The interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik, in more than fifty different tulip designs. The tiles at lower levels are traditional in design, while at gallery level their design becomes flamboyant with representations of flowers, fruit and cypresses. The price to be paid for each tile was fixed by the sultan's decree, while tile prices in general increased over time. As a result, the quality of the tiles used in the building decreased gradually. Their colours have faded and changed (red turning into brown and green into blue, mottled whites) and the glazes have dulled. The tiles on the back balcony wall are recycled tiles from the harem in the Topkapi Palace, when it was damaged by fire in 1574.
The most important element in the interior of the mosque is the mihrab, which is made of finely carved and sculptured marble, with a stalactite niche and a double inscriptive panel above it. To the right is the richly decorated minber, or pulpit, where the Imam stands when he is delivering his sermon at the time of noon prayer on Fridays or on holy days.
One of the Blue Mosque's most redeeming features are its number of minarets - six instead of the more conventional four. It is one of only two mosques in Turkey that has six minarets, the other one is the Sabanci Mosque in Adana. When the number of minarets was revealed, the Sultan was criticized for being presumptuous, since this was, at the time, the same number as at the mosque of the Ka'aba in Mecca. He overcame this problem by ordering a seventh minaret to be built at the Mecca mosque.
Four of the minarets stand at the corners of the mosque, each fluted and pencil-shaped with three balconies (serefe) and stalactite corbels, while the other two stand at the end of the forecourt and have only two balconies.
Officially known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque but more popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior, this mosque is a major tourist attraction in Istanbul. Unlike the Hagia Sophia which was converted into a museum by Ataturk, the building is still used as a mosque today and so is used for prayer. Be aware of this as you will not be able to enter during this time.
The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Sultan Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah (school) and a hospice. After the Peace of Zsitvatorok and the unfavourable result of the wars with Persia, Sultan Ahmed I decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul to placate Allah. It was built on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, facing the Hagia Sophia (at that time the most venerated mosque in Istanbul) and the hippodrome, a site of great symbolic significance. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period.
The Blue Mosque is one of only two mosques in Turkey that has six minarets, the other one is the Sabanci Mosque in Adana. When the number of minarets was revealed, the Sultan was criticised for being presumptuous, since this was, at the time, the same number as at the mosque of the Ka'aba in Mecca. He overcame this problem by ordering a seventh minaret to be built at the Mecca mosque. The interior is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik in more than fifty different tulip designs.
Modest relative to the grandeur of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque, this small domed mausoleum contains the tomb of Sultan Ahmet I himself. As was typical, the great Sultan chose to be buried close to his namesake mosque and placed his mausoleum just north of the mosque, within its outer grounds. Both structures were built together in the early 17th century, and as with the mosque, the mausoleum was adorned with beautiful blue Iznik tiles and Ottoman decorative motifs. Members of the Sultan's family were also buried within. Note that shoes have to be taken off before entering the mausoleum and women may have to cover their hair (?).
Sultan Ahmed I began the foundation of this great mosque, using his ceremonial dagger, in 1609 (that dagger can now be viewed at nearby Topkapi Palace). The mosque was completed about ten years later; unfortunately, the young Sultan didn't live to see it.
This is Istanbul's most distinctive mosque. Its most unusual feature is its six minarets. No other mosque in Turkey has that many. It has no paintings or sculpture, but some stunningly beautiful calligraphy.
If you go, remember that this is an active mosque, not a museum. Please dress conservatively, remove your shoes upon entering, and keep your voice low.
I'm not one for looking at religious buildings, so I was a reluctant visitor. BUT it was worth it, and I'm glad I went. Magnificent architecture.
It's a bit over-run with tourists tho', which to my mind is inconsistent with the religious angle.
Try to come back at night, to sit outside to take in the son et lumiere show (even more touristique).
Our hotel was just round corner, so the call to prayer from the mosque bounced us out of bed at 5.30am (I think someone had been playing with PA controls).
Takes it's name after Sultan Mehmet. The area is also named after him: Sultanahmet.
The unique thing about it's design is that it has six minarets, constructed out of a misunderstanding on the architect's part! No other building was to eclipse the mosque in Saudi Arabia (with 6 minarets!), so how could this be rectified?? Well, the design is such that most of the time, you will not see all 6 minarets at the same time!! Only by standing in particular angles would you see all six! This way everyone was happy :)
The interior is massive, with the huge dome supported an elephantine columns. There is an overwhelming sea of blue inside, hence the name. The decorative tiles are exquisite, with hints of pink as well (even the occasional green), so it's certainly not monochrome.
The interior is truly beautiful, and delicately decorated.
I thought this mosque is MASSIVE, only to be told that Sulemaniye (on the highest hill in Istanbul) is even larger! Imagine that!!
The cascading domes and six slender minarets of the Sultanahmet Mosque (better known as the "Blue Mosque") dominate the skyline of Istanbul. A visit to the Blue Mosque is an almost must when visiting this city. This six-minareted , multi dome structural wonder does not take its name from the outside, but rather from the inside. Once inside you will see the lovely blue Iznik tiles. This place is huge.
This is a working religious facility, so please be courteous and don't visit during prayer times. Dress appropriately, ladies your heads have to be covered and no shorts allowed or tank tops! Open Tuesdays to Saturdays.
In the 17th century, Sultan Ahmet I wished to build an Islamic place of worship to rival the Hagia Sophia, and the mosque named for him is the impressive result. The two great architectural achievements stand next to each other in Istanbul's main square.
Construction on the mosque began in 1609 and took seven years. Sultan Ahmet died only a year after the completion of his masterpiece, at the age of 27. He is buried just outside the mosque with his wife and three sons.
One of the most notable features of the Blue Mosque is visible from far away: its six minarets. This is very unique, as most mosques have four, two or just one minaret. According to one account, the Sultan directed his architect to make gold (altin) minarets, which was misunderstood as six (alti) minarets.
Whatever the origins of the unique feature, the six minarets caused quite a scandal, as the Haram Mosque in Mecca (the holiest in the world) also had six minarets. In the end, the problem was solved by adding a seventh minaret to Mecca's mosque.
The interior's high ceiling is lined with about 20,000 blue tiles that give the mosque its popular name. Fine examples of 16th-century Iznik design, the tiles feature flowers, trees and abstract patterns. The overall effect is one of the most beautiful sights in Istanbul.
Tips for Visiting
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 and women must cover their heads. Wraps are provided when deemed necessary by mosque officials.
this mosque is:
a symbol of Turkey
a symbol of Istanbul
a symbol of the Ottoman architecture and its empire
a symbol of islam
a symbol of the former Constantinople
a symbol of pwer and history
it is really amazing, the most beatiful mosque of Istanbul and turkey... and one of the most beatiful in the world
The Sultan Ahmet, or Blue Mosque- so-called because of its interior cladding of blue and white tiles - is one of those 'if-you're-there-you-do that' things. And as is often the case, I thought it rather failed to justify this status. Certainly it's setting is splendid, sitting on the end of the promontery of the Old City and dominating the skyline as seen from the Sea of Marmara. And it does contain a lot of blue and white tiles: and certainly the luminous glory of the quibla wall, with its tiers of stained glass windows, is breathtaking. But I found the space itself unsatisfactory, lacking that sense of harmony that I particularly associate with Islamic architecture. It's those vast pillars, which can only really be described as clumsy. And it's being almost solidly packed with tourists didn't help, either.There are several other mosques whose overall architectural impact is far greater.
What can be said about the Blue Mosque that hasn't already been said? For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to see it. It is as synonymous to Istanbul as the Grand Bazaar. It is what the Eiffel Tower is to Paris, the Statue of Liberty is to New York, the Taj Mahal is to India. It is one of the most famous and most recognizable buildings in the world. In the end I found it to be extraordinary but it wasn't, as I expected, my favorite site in Istanbul. I would have to say though, that it is the #1 must see in Istanbul.
The Blue Mosque is really called Sultanahmet Camii. Architect Mehmet Aga created this Ottoman masterpiece for Sultan Ahmet I in 8 short years beginning in 1609. My favorite features - the cascading domes and six minarets - make this a stunning building from the outside. It was the six minarets though that provoked hostility because it was considered a sacrilegous attempt to rival the Elharam Mosque in Mecca. In the end, Sultan Ahmet I had to send Aga to Mecca to build a seventh minaret for the Elharam Mosque to reestablish its prominence in the Islamic world.
Much larger than I expected, the Sultanahmet Camii is 213 feet by 239 feet. It is so huge that it can be seen from many spots around the city - and it is from a distance that you can fully appreciate its beauty (and its size!).
We walked through the courtyard to the entrance. We removed our shoes, I covered my head, and we stepped inside. My eyes adjusted to the light and I looked around in awe. There was so much to see, so many fantastic details. The carpeted floor seemed to go on forever. The area for worshipper's was roped off and non-Muslim men and all women were not permitted past the rope. There was a separate section in the back for women worshippers.
The mosque is nicknamed the Blue Mosque because of the 20,000 blue-green hand painted Iznik tiles inside. (Iznik pottery is made from hard, white "fritware" which is similar to procelain.) The tiles themselves have over 50 different designs (including floral designs - tulips) and are very beautiful. Although it was not brightly lit inside, light comes from the 260 stained-glass windows and the 141 feet high center dome. (The celing of the dome is painted with very pretty Arabic patterns.) There is also a huge (very low) chandelier (as well as other chandeliers) that had small strings of lights but must have once held candles.
Other special highlights inside:
The Mihrab - an ornate niche in the wall that marks the direction of Mecca.
The Mimbar - a lofty pulpit from where the imam (head of the mosque) delivers his Friday khutba (sermon).
The Loge - provided the sultan with a screened-off balcony where he could pray.
We spent a good amount of time inside - there was so much to see - before making our way back to the large courtyard which interestingly covers the same amount of space as the prayer hall to balance the whole building. In the middle of the courtyard is the ablutions fountain where worshippers would wash their head, hands, and feet before entering the mosque. This fountain is no longer in use and the ablutions ritual is performed at a line of taps next to the entrance to the courtyard.
Please be quiet and respectful of worshippers (no photos!). No flash photography is permitted. Women must cover their heads, proper dress for all. Allow at least an hour to visit.
The mosque is opposite Hagia Sophia and within walking distance of Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern. Within the mosque are the Carpet and Kilim Museums. Entrance to the museums is $2.
No charge for entrance into the mosque, although donations are accepted.
The mosque is open 8:30 a.m. to noon, and 1:45 - 4:30 p.m. Access is restricted during prayer times, particularly mid-day Fridays.
Plenty is written elseware in guide books and VT about the blue mosque my tip is DO NOT MISSShoes must be removed, a plastic bags is provided for you to carry them. Entry to the Mosque is free, donations appreciated. A marvellous place. Closed during prayer times.
La Mezquita Azul o Mezquita del Sultán Ahmed (en turco, Sultanahmed Camii) de Estambul, es obra de Sedefhar Mehmet Aða, discípulo del arquitecto Sinan. Está situada frente a la Iglesia de Santa Sofía, separadas ambas por un hermoso espacio ajardinado, y es la única en Estambul que posee 6 alminares.
Su magnífico exterior no le hace sombra a su suntuoso interior, en el que una verdadera sinfonía de bellísimos mosaicos azules de Izmir, dan a este espacio una atmósfera muy especial
Tras la Paz de Zsitvatorok y el negativo resultado de las guerras contra el Imperio Safávida, el sultán Ahmed I ordenó construir una mezquita en Estambul para apaciguar a Alá. Fue la primera mezquita imperial que se construyó después de más de cuarenta años. Mientras sus predecesores habían construido mezquitas con el botín de las guerras, el sultán Ahmed I tuvo que retirar los fondos del tesoro, debido a que no había ganado ninguna batalla importante. Este hecho provocó la ira de los ulemas.
La mezquita se construyó en el lugar que ocupaba el Gran Palacio de Constantinopla, frente a Hagia Sophia (en esa época, la mezquita más venerada de Estambul) y el hipódromo, emplazamiento de gran valor simbólico. Gran parte de la cara sureste de la mezquita descansa sobre los cimientos y sótanos del Gran Palacio. Fue necesario comprar, a un precio elevado, diferentes palacios que se encontraban en el mismo lugar y derribarlos, especialmente el palacio de Sokollu Mehmet Paþa, y gran parte del Sphendone (tribuna en forma de U del hipódromo).
La construcción de la mezquita se inició en agosto de 1609. La intención del sultán era que la Mezquita Azul fuese la primera mezquita de su Imperio. Encargó las obras al arquitecto Sedefhar Mehmet Aða, alumno y ayudante principal del conocido arquitecto Sinan. La organización de la construcción se describió meticulosamente en ocho volúmenes, que actualmente se encuentran en la biblioteca del Palacio de Topkapý. La ceremonia de inauguración tuvo lugar en 1617 (aunque en la puerta de la mezquita si indica el año 1616) y el sultán rezó en la sala real (hünkâr mahfil). Sin embargo, el edificio no se terminó bajo su sultanato, sino bajo el de Mustafa I.
La Mezquita del Sultán Ahmed, conocida como Mezquita Azul, es uno de los monumentos más impresionantes del mundo. Se trata de uno de los elementos incluidos en el complejo que construyó Ahmed I para competir con Hagia Sophia.
The interior of the mosque, which is 64x72 m, is lighted with 260 windows. The central dome, placed on four piers, is 33.6 meters in diameter and 43 meters high at its central point. It is supported by four semi-domes.
The building is more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque because of its magnificent interior paneling of more than 20,000 blue and white Iznik tiles which include floral motifs. According to Evliya Celebi, the famous 17th centruy Ottoman traveler and writer, seven palaces were pulled down for this monumental structure. Being one of the last samples of the Classical Ottoman architectural heritage adds a different value to the complex.
You can watch my 2 min 05 sec HQ Video Istanbul Sultan Ahmed Mosque part IV out of my Youtube channel with Al Quran Al Karim (end).
The outer courtyard, encircled with windowed walls, has eight doors on both sides and in front. The inner courtyard with marble floor coverings is enclosed with 30 domes. The tulip and carnations motifs of the fountain with six columns in the inner courtyard is eye-catching. It is entered by the inner court with three doors.
You can watch my 4 min 24 sec HQ Video Istanbul Sultan Ahmed Mosque part II out of my Youtube channel with Al Quran Al Karim.