Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)

  •  Wednesday 11th April 2012

Sultanahmet Mosque, more familiarly known as the Blue Mosque for the 20,000 blue interior tiles, is located in the heart of historic Istanbul. This beautiful mosque was built from 1609-1616 by Sultan Ahmet. The Sultan wanted to build a place of worship that would be superior to the Hagia Sophia opposite. The result was a masterpiece that the Sultan named after himself. During construction, the Sultan instructed his architect to build gold minarets. His orders were misinterpreted as six minarets by the architect. So the mosque was completed with six minarets, a unique feature in those days since most mosques would have at most four minarets. The mosque’s ending up with six minarets caused quite a stir, because it equaled the Grand Mosque, Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca. People thought it was sacrilegious to put the Blue Mosque on an equal plane. The Sultan solved the problem by getting his arcitect to add a seventh minaret to Masjid-al-Haram in Mecca.

Today, this fully operational mosque welcomes visitors from far and wide to witness its sheer beauty. Visitors should enter from the north entrance. Shoes must be removed and placed in bags (provided). One should be modestly dressed, and ladies should cover their heads. Visitors will be required to leave the building during prayer times. The mosque is a short walk from the Sultanahmet tram station, on line T1.

On our way to Sultanahmet .

We followed the Tram A route to Sultanahmet area.

One of the Kebab shops we passed while walking to Sultanahmet.

Lines for Hagia Sophia were long.....very long.

Seeing the lines for Hagia Sophia the decision was made to go and explore the Blue Mosque first.

Blue Mosque

Mosque entrance.

Inside the Mosque......large crowds were viewing the mosque.

Main prayer area.

Barriers are in place so the visitors stay off the main prayer area.

Separate area for ladies to pray.

Stunning decor.

These light holding wires do slightly hinder the immense beauty of this Mosque.

Arabic verses within the blue circle pattern on the dome ceiling.


Moon and star flower pattern in the mosque garden resembling the moon and star on theTurkish flag.

Looking through the mosque exit at Hagia Sophia.

Blue Mosque

This photo from Galata tower showing all six minarets.

Striking beauty.