blue mosque, Istanbul
In summerevenings, at nine o'clock, there is a lightshow by the Blue mosque. The story about the construction of the mosque, by sultan Ahmet I and the architect Mehmet Aga, is heard while different parts of the mosque is in light in different colours. The language spoken is different different evenings.
There is no admission.
Also known as Sultan Hammet, is smaller than Hagia Sophia, but much more intensely decorated. Its name comes from the blue tiles on the walls.
Go inside, take off your shoes and sit down for a while (more than 10 minutes and no photos, please!!) and relax, hear the silence, look up to the thousand lamps. That's one of my best memories of Istanbul!
Open 8-18, free entrance.
Favorite thing: I never grew tired of just staring at the Blue Mosque. Something about the architecture -- its perfectly balanced symmetry, grand scale, touches of color--slows down ones steps and brings the internal rhythm to a calm state. Depsite its large scale, the building manages to convey a peaceful state of mind.
Favorite thing: Take a quiet walk inside the blue mosque and be sure to sit down on the carpeted floor. I think the interior is best appreciated from a humble, low position, the height at which one would be praying. Look upwards, trying to ignore the bustle of tourists and admire the beauty of the place.
Sultan Ahmet I Camii (Blue Mosque)
The most famous, if not necessarily the most beautiful, mosque in the old city is the Blue Mosque, facing Aya Sofya from across Sultanahmet Square . It is a purposefully imposing structure, its interior walls clad in exquisite Iznik tiles, built between 1609 and 1616 by the architect Mehmet Aga. A student of the great architect Sinan, Aga built the mosque both as a means of showing the world that he had outstripped his mater – and the architects of Aya Sofya – and as a tribute to the superiority of Islam. It still maintains that symbolism for many Muslims. The mosque, with 260 windows, associated religious school, hospital, caravansaray and soup kitchen (the kulliye or “complete social centre” in the Islamic sense) is impressive for size alone. Its six minarets nearly caused a major rift, as this was as many as the great mosque in Mecca ; the Sultan had to donate an extra minaret to Mecca to quell the row.
Fondest memory: If Turkey is your chosen destination then Sakura Tourism & Travel is the perfect choice to arrange your complete vacation, from the moment you arrive until your departure. We specialise in creating and arranging personalised itineraries to suit each guest's individual requirements. Additionally if you wish to travel as an organised group, we will quote and prepare all arrangements.
I think this is the best place to explore a mosque since there are so many of them here, thus "The City of Minarets". As you have heard, one must remove their shoes prior to entry. Also, you cannot go in during the times of prayer. There are 5 times daily where this will happen. It starts early in the morning and the last prayer is in the evening. There are several times throughout the day where you can look at a mosque.
About picture taking: I certainly enjoy photography, however it would be best to not take photos inside a mosque. i did not want to disturb others and felt like it would be rude to get a picture. The Blue Mosque would probably require a flash to get a good photo inside, and that would disturb others. my recommendation would be to get a guidebook or a postcard for your memory of the interior. Mosques are elaborate buildings, and they are everywhere. Inside them, one can see the minbar where the imam gives the sermon and near to this should be the mihrab, a notched structure which points to Mecca. These are often works of art in their own right.
Fondest memory: My favorite part of Istanbul is the architecture. You have places to see that are a millenium and a half old. The history of Byzantium/Constantinople/Istanbul is incredible. In school, it was just another name in a long line of names to memorize. Now, the place has meaning. Being at a geographical crossroads in the world, many of the things you can see there will remind you of this city's fascinating past.
Favorite thing: The Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque is one of Istanbul's symbols. The name was given to the mosque because of the blue tiles and stained glass windows, shown here.
This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616
in the square carrying his name in Ýstanbul. The architect is Sedefhar Mehmet Aða. It is
the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. The mosque is 64 x 72 m in dimensions. The
central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter. 260 windows surround the mosque.
Due to its beautiful blue, green and white tilings it has been named the 'Blue
Mosque' by Europeans. The inscriptions were made by Seyyid Kasým Gubari.
Favorite thing: Blue Mosque (Mosque of Sultan Ahmed I), Sultanahmet Sq. This 17th-century mosque is the only one in Turkey to have six minarets (most have two or four); the mosque also features over 20,000 original Iznik tiles and, on summer evenings, a historical narration and light show.
Only few cities in the world are as exciting to discover as Istanbul:
Istanbul bridges Europe and Asia; blends East and West, the present and the past. Today as a thriving metropolis, it combines ultra-modern amenities with the splendours of the history in perfect harmony.
Istanbul offers easy accessibility from anywhere in the world by daily 208 international flights and can be reached only within 2-3 hours flying time from Central Europe.
Istanbul is a treasure trove of sightseeing possibilities and options for special events. The list of possibilities extends as far as your imagination takes you...
A very helpful website to me was:
During the Byzantine Era there was a hippodrome near the Blue Mosque with a capacity of 10,000 people. In 1606, Sultan Ahmet wanted to build a mosque bigger, more majestic and more beautiful than the Saint Sophia Church, and he did indeed build a mosque; you will be the one to judge which one is more impressive.
The Blue mosque is called 'Sultan Ahmet Camii' in Turkish, which means the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet. The mosque was built in the classic Ottoman style and is located just in front of Saint Sophias' Church the Sultan Ahmet district of Istanbul. Mosques were generally built to be used as a public service for the citizens.
There are some buildings near the Blue mosque which include a theology school, a Turkish bath, a kitchen that used to serve soup for the poor, and shops. The shops would provide revenue for maintaining the mosque.
The Blue mosque, as the name implies, was decorated with blue tiles and also glass-work with the same color. There are no images or statues inside the mosque since Islam forbids praying to images of any kind.
Before entering the mosque you should take your shoes off. You should not wear miniskirts, shorts, or very low neckline dresss. The staff at the mosque will give you a wrap-round shawl cover yourself if they find your clothing is not appropriate for the mosque
Go to the Blue Mosque, it's one of the most breath taking buildings I have ever seen! Some might not find the inside as impressive but for one that has the ABC syndrome, it's a nice change from the ornamental cathedrals of most European cities!
Fondest memory: Feeling so clean after having a Turkish bath! Highly recommended, although be prepared to get your kit off for it.
This is one of the most recognise landmarks in Istanbul. It was sounded by Sultan Ahmet and it covers a large area. A beautiful courtyard and impresive gardens sorround the building.
Favorite thing: Visit the Blue Mosques (see picture at top of page). Here are Irwin and yours truly at the Blue Mosque.