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Blue Mosque

Photo credit: MY EXPRESION / Foter / CC BY-SA
Blue Mosque
  • (interesting)
  • NA
  • Easy
  • Free
  • 1 hour or less
  • 1 1

Get a glorious taste of Islamic architecture

At Meydanı No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Turkey
There are no restaurants on site but if you are open to trying local Turkish cuisine, Sultan Kosesi is your place. Not very expensive, and right at the city centre. Try their salads, meze platter & chicken pie.
1) The entry is free of cost.
2) Just remember to avoid wearing shorts or short dresses.
3) If possible, carry your own scarf to cover your head when you enter the mosque. It is mandatory for females. Males need to avoid wearing shorts.
4) Before entering the mosque, you have to remove your footwear and make use of the disposable plastic bags provided. You can carry it with you inside.

The Blue Mosque, also known as Sultanahmet Camii is the only mosque in Turkey to have six minarets. Built in the 16th century, it got its English name from the Europeans who named it the “Blue” because more than 20000 blue handmade ceramic tiles were used to create intricate patterns of artwork within the mosque. It was originally call the “Sultanahmet Camii” by the great Sedefkar Mehmet Aga.

 

There are about 260 stained glass windows inside the mosque and this makes it extremely well lit and portray its vibrant shades of blue. Even though it is always packed with people, you get a certain feel of calmness inside the mosque. If you are an avid art lover, you would spend rather more time inside than an average visitor admiring the flamboyant designs of flowers, especially tulips, cypresses and variety of fruits on its interior walls.

 

Further inside, there is a huge courtyard about the size of the mosque itself and a small fountain at the centre which is rather small compared to the size of the mosque. There is also a display of the mosque in a small miniature form which gives a birds’s eye view of all sides at the same time.



Opening hours

Avoid visiting the mosque during pray times. There are 5 prayer times during the day and public entry is closed during this hours. You will have to stand in a long queue if you miss the normal entry hours. Each prayer time lasts for about 90 mins.

How to get there

The sight is right in the heart of city centre in the old Sultan Ahmet area. It is at a walking distance from major hotels. Right opposite to the Hagia Sophia.

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