Sultan Ahmed Mosque is another impressive structure that makes a perfect match with Hagia Sophia church (they face each other). It was first built to show the supremacy of Islam over Christianity but we did both on the same day and enjoyed it! I cant tell which one is better (if that matters) but the great difference of course is that Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built 1000 years after Hagia Sophia in 1616 ;)
It was the early 17th century when Mehmet Aga started to built the impressive mosque for Sultan Ahmet I. It took 7 years (1609-1616) and the style is a mix of byzantine and Islamic features but the most impressive that time was that it had 6 minarets while usually the mosques have 4. The problem was that Ka’aba in Mecca had also 6 minarets so the Sultan built an extra minaret at Ka’aba to stop criticism. Some people claim that that the architect heard wrong because the words gold (altin) and six (alti) sound similar in Turkish.
It’s also called the Blue Mosque because the interior houses about 20,000 blue tiles from Iznik.
Except Friday (when they have the big muslim prayer) the non muslim visitors can tour inside. Don’t forget that the mosque is still in active use so respect the rules and take your shoes off at the door, no shorts or skirts of course, the women have to cover their heads also.
There’s no entrance fee but donations are welcomed
Sultan Ahmed Mosque (in Turkish, the Sultanahmet Camii) was constructed between 1609 and 1616, by Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, Ahmed I. Due to the blue tiles inside the building, it is often called the Blue Mosque. The capacity of this huge structure is 10,000 worshippers.
The architecture is considered to be a blend of Byzantine and traditional Islamic styles. Perhaps the most unique feature outside the mosque is its six minarets rather than the traditional four. When constructed, this mosque had the same number of minarets as the Ka'aba in Mecca; to overcome criticism the Sultan soon built a seventh minaret at the Ka'aba.
The Blue Mosque is located alongside the hippodrome on the site of the former Great Palace of Byzantium.
Stunningly beautiful mosque built by Mehmet Aga for Sultan Ahmet I in the early 17th century. It contains more than 20,000 Iznik tiles and 260 stained glass windows. It is an operating mosque so you'll have to take your shoes off at the door. I found a corner, sat down, relaxed and took it all in for about half an hour.
Although it is not blue in colour from the external view,it is really made up by blue iznik tiles in the interior part of this majestic mosque.One thing to highlight is that it is build up with 6 minarets,in which no other mosques in this country have.Muslims are welcomed to pray inside,and non-muslims can get inside too,and leave your shoes when entering praying hall
Note to non-muslims:
Wear suitable clothes,No shorts n skirts,its a mosque
Dont go on Friday afternoon.there'll be Friday prayer.
This is a picture of the mosque showing only 4 of its 6 minarets! It was completed in 1616. The "blue" in the title refers to the predominant color of the tiles -- my memory was how white it was inside with the light streaming in.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque , was built between 1609- 1616 by Sultan Ahmed I and it was named after him. It is also know as The Blue Mosque , cause of blue color , which dominates .
It is classical mosque with 6 minarets . It has 23 m in diametar and it is 43 m hight. It has 260 windows.
The floor of the mosque is covered with donated carpets . Before you enter the Mosque , you have to take of your shoes ( you 'll even get a bag for your shoes ) .
It was really impressive experience ( it was my first time in a Mosque ) .
It 's looks brings you back in time like in some fairytale ....
If want to see beauty, grandeur and history the I feel you will come to the right place. It certain covers all. I have to say it has been some years since I last visited but nevertheless you can not for get in your mind on how it looks.
It is massive once you walk in and see the amazing tiles and architectural appeal.
May seem weird for a Turk to say this the only downside for me personally speaking is the idea that you must be covered especially on your head. I am not religious whatsoever and that is my reasoning
More to follow
According to Wikipedia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque (commonly known as the Blue Mosque for all of its blue tiles) is "the last great mosque of the Classical period". The Blue Mosque is still in active use today, but visitors may tour the historic building outside of prayer times.
As the Blue Mosque was built opposite the Hagia Sophia to emphasize the supremacy of Islam over Christianity, visiting both sites in two or three hours is very do-able. Once you've entered through the tourist entrance and been given a robe (if necessary- to comply with Islamic dress codes), you'll have the chance to walk over gorgeous carpets, under soaring domes and past Islamic architectural features like the minbar and mihrab. As you leave, look back upon the six minarets and the giant courtyard.
Entrance is by donation.
Whilst in Istanbul it's virtually impossible not to come across a mosque or three.
On of the most spectacular is situated in the Sultanahmet area of the city and is called the Sultanahmet Mosque, or more commonly the Blue Mosque.
The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of the ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace (whose mosaics can be seen in the nearby Mosaic Museum). Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years.
None of the exterior is blue - the name "Blue Mosque" comes from the blue tiles inside.
It's well worth a visit inside as well. You just need to queue up and take your shoes off before entering.
Tourists must enter through the north gate and remove their shoes at the entrance (plastic bags for shoes are provided). Modest dress is required for both men and women; women must cover their heads. Wraps are provided when deemed necessary by mosque officials.
The mosque was constructed by the 14th Ottoman sultan Ahmet I who ruled 1603 - 1617. The complex consisted of a medresa, hospital, Arasta Bazaar, school, mausoleum, caravanserrai and public fountain as well as the mosque. The term 'Blue' came from the 21 thousand Iznik tiles and pieces used for the interior decoration. Inside is also a beautiful silk carpet and excellent examples of stained glass. It is the only mosque in Istanbul (and one of the few in the world) with 6 minarets.
The standard rules apply for visitors - you can't visit while prayers are in progress, no shoes inside and respectful dress for both men and women. Ladies - carry a scarf in your day bag. If not they are available for a small cost.
Many hotels and restaurants at the Old City offer a beatiful view of the fabulous Bosphorus and/or the Old City itself. After visiting the historical places in the afternoon go up to the roof of these and watch the lovely view having your favorite drink.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, popularly known as the Blue Mosque, was built between 1609-1616, during the reign of Ahmed I. It faces the Hagia Sophia across the Hippodrome, and was constructed on the site of the Great Palace of Constantinople, the palace of the Byzantine Emperors. It is beautifully decorated inside with blue tiles from Iznik, hence the alternative name, and has six minarets, rather than the usual 1, 2, or 4. There is a story that when people realised that the mosque would have six minarets, the original number at Mecca, they criticised the Sultan for aspiring to make his mosque as important as the holiest place in the world to Muslims; the Sultan then had a 7th minaret built at Mecca - however this is apparently not true as the 7th minaret at Mecca was built 100 years before the Blue Mosque. Another story is that the architect misheard the Sultan's instructions for gold minarets, as the words for 'gold' and 'six' are very similar in Turkish.
The Blue Mosque is a beautiful place to visit. Please remove your shoes, and it would be respectful of women to cover their heads within, although it seems that this is often ignored. People at the mosque are happy to give you leaflets on the history of Islam and to talk to you about it.
The Blue Mosque, (blue taken from the color of the tiling inside the Mosque) is a must see in Istanbul.
Entry is free, but you need to remove your shoes of course, (I was provided with a plastic carry bag to carry them) to go in. The tiling and decoration is supurb, the atmosphere is tranquil, photography is allowed but please limit flash use.
One word of caution, look out for the touts outside who want to take you to their carpet shop.
Known as the Blue Mosque for the tens of thousands of blue Iznik tiles covering its interior, Sultanahmet Camii was built in 1609 on the orders of Sultan Ahmet I. For the job, he appointed the imperial architect Sedefhar Mehmet Ağa, a student of the famous architect Sinan, and chose the site of the ancient Byzantine palaces, directly across from the Hagia Sophia. Stones from the Byzantine palaces and hippodrome were used in the construction, while Iznik tiles and Venetian stained glass decorated the interior. The new mosque was to match and exceed the splendour of the Hagia Sophia and other imperial mosques in Constantinople, a feat that was certainly accomplished. This large scale project came at the beginning of the slow decline of the Ottoman Empire, and was in part planned to deflect the impact from Sultan Ahmet's losses in recent wars. Unlike previous imperial mosques funded by gains in wars, the Blue Mosque was financed by the Empire's treasury. This extravagance, coupled with the fact that it was the first mosque outside Mecca to have six minarets, angered the religious establishments of Constantinople, but to appease them, the Sultan constructed a seventh minaret at the Great Mosque of Mecca.
Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) was built with the order of Ottoman Sultan Ahmet. Sedefhar Mehmet Aða, a pupil and senior assistant of Mimar Sinan was in charge of the construction which was completed in 1616. The blue mosque name comes from the interior lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik in more than fifty different tulip designs. This is one of the two mosques in Turkey with 6 minarets. Pope Benedict XVI visited the Sultanahmet Mosque on 30 November 2006 during his visit to Turkey. It marks only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship. During his tour, the pontiff turned towards Mecca in a gesture of Muslim prayer and conducted "Silent Prayer". Having removed his shoes, the Pope paused for a full two minutes, eyes closed in prayer, standing side-by-side with Mustafa Cagrici, the Mufti of Istanbul and Emrullah Hatipoglu, the Imam of the Blue Mosque. Try to avoid visiting the mosque during Friday noon prayers and Teravih prayers (evening prayers during Ramadan) which are more crowded than any other day and time.