Sultanahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Sultanahmet Mosque is located in the heart of Istanbul Old town and can also be seen from the sea. A show of elegance with its six thin minarets and a dome, the mosque is one of the masterpieces of classical Ottoman architecture. Its famous six minarets are unique in Istanbul. It is also known as the Blue Mosque, because of its magnificient interior decorations of blue Iznik tiles. The mosque is a part of a kulliyah (complex of buildings centered around the mosque) which consists of madrasahs, pavilions of the sultan, Arasta Bazaar, baths, fountains, tomb, hospital, primary school, and poorhouse. It was built by the architect Sedef Mehmet Aga, starting on 1609 and and completing on 1616 at the order of Sultan Ahmet I. It was built to rival the Christian Church Hagia Sophia which was converted to a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul, in beauty and size.

The mosque is not only open to travelers to see, but is also a working mosque where daily prayers are held unlike Hagia Sophia which is now converted to a museum. About 10000 people from all around the world visit this magnificent building everyday. It is walking distance from everywhere in Sultanahmet and very easy to reach by tram from Taksim (with funiculaire connection down to Kabatas and the tram to Sultanahmet) and other locations in European Istanbul. The mosque is only minutes away on foot from Sultanahmet tram stop.

In order to enter the mosque you have to pass by the big courtyard. Entrance is free. Incumbents at the entrance will give you a plastic bag because you have to take off your shoes and carry them with you. It is very impressive inside, you feel very relieved and peaceful. The beautiful motifs which require a high level of hand workmanship can be seen in details.

Every traveler visiting Istanbul must see this unique mosque!

Blue Mosque on Istanbul Map