Visiting Blue Mosque Istanbul, TurkeyJanuary 19, 2012 No Comments
Blue Mosque is one of the most famous sites in istanbulIn Photo Album: Istanbul Virtual Tour. Read more ... » that you should visit during your stay in Istanbul. Officially called Sultanahmet Camii (The Sultan Ahmet Mosque), this fascinating mosque is located near Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya Museum), which you can reach just by taking a walk for less than 5 minutes. These two great monuments of Istanbul are facing each other, very easy for you to visit one after another.
There’s a reason why Sultanahmet Camii is called as Blue Mosque, its interior blue tiles, which mostly are on the upper level. From far you cannot really see the color but as you approach closer and see it from the upper windows in Hagia Sophia, the blue tiles are clearly seen.
Blue Mosque was built in 1603-1617, a masterwork of Ottoman architect Sedefkâr Mehmet Aga, ordered by Sultan Ahmet I. He decided to build Blue Mosque, a huge mosque which has six minarets and a great cascade of domes. After building six minarets, Sultan Ahmet faced a problem because the only islamic religiousPlace of the day: Metéora, Greece, a Combination of Peaceful and Breathtaking Views of Nature. Read more ... » structure that has six minarets at the time was Mosque of Mecca. Therefore, he then ordered his men to add the seventh minaret to Mosque of Mecca, altogether with golden covering to Kaaba. Blue Mosque was first opened a year before the death of Sultan.
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To enter Blue Mosgue, if you are non-Muslim, you have to take a walk to the southern side of Hippodrome, where you can find German fountain and Egyptian Obelisk (or Sultanahmet Meydani) monument. There are kids selling handicrafts sometimes at side entrance gate. Once arrived, you will be told to take off your shoes. Don’t worry, you can find plastic bags available for you to put the shoes, and therefore you can bring your shoes to go inside. Visitors are not entitled to pay entrance fee, but if you want to donate, it is always accepted. You cannot just go inside the mosque, it is always with a group of people. So if you are lucky enough, you will not have to wait for long until a certain numbers of visitors already reached to make a group. Women are allowed to enter with a condition to cover the head with either scarf or shawl. Fascinating experience is seeing the huge ceiling dome from inside, and the upper windows which allow lights coming in and create beautiful colors.
Visitors are allowed to take photos inside but just try to keep being quiet. There is Minbar, a chair of the Imam of the mosque, beautifully decorated with gold and designed in a way that prayers will still be able to see the Imam even when in crowded situation. The huge dome is surrounded by 4 half domes, supported by four large pillars which are called the “legs of the elephant” by Turkish people.
Usually it is a limited visiting-time, about 10-15 minutes then everybody is asked to leave the mosque, so other groups will be able to go inside as well or also if it’s praying time. After visiting Blue Mosque, you can simply go to other sites nearby such as German Fountain, Egyptian Obelisk (or also called Sultanahmet Meydani), Basilica Cistern, Hagia Sophia.
If you are not staying in Sultanahmet or nearby, Blue Mosque can be reached through T1 Tram line from Zeytinburnu- Kabatas. Make a stop at Sultanahmet and there you will see this blue tiles mosque.
Staying nearby Blue Mosque allows you to reach the monuments very easy. If you are wish for visiting istanbul, make sure you check hotels in Istanbul.
If you are planning to stay in Sultanahmet, please find below some Recommended Hotels nearby Blue Mosque:
5. Hotel Novano
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Tags: Istanbul, TurkeyMIDDLE EAST, Turkey