The Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is one of the most famous and iconic landmarks in Istanbul, Turkey.
Blue Mosque Sultanahmet Istanbul
Here’s some information about the mosque:
Construction and Design of Blue Mosque:
The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Sultan Ahmed I. It was designed by the architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, who incorporated elements of both Ottoman and Byzantine architectural styles.
The mosque gets its nickname, the “Blue Mosque,” from the blue tiles that adorn the interior walls. More than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, mostly in shades of blue, decorate the upper levels of the mosque.
Architecture of Blue Mosque:
The Blue Mosque follows the traditional Ottoman mosque design, featuring a central dome, semidomes, and multiple minarets.
The main dome, which is 23.5 meters (77 feet) in diameter and 43 meters (141 feet) in height, is supported by four large pillars and is surrounded by smaller domes and semidomes.
The mosque has six minarets, a distinctive feature as most mosques typically have two or four minarets. The additional minarets were a cause for controversy at the time of construction.
Courtyard and Entrances of Blue Mosque:
The mosque has a large courtyard, known as the Sultanahmet Square, which is open to the public. The courtyard is paved with marble and features a central fountain for ablution before prayer.
There are three entrances to the mosque, with the main entrance located on the west side. The entrances are adorned with intricate stone carvings and calligraphy.
Blue Mosque Interior:
The interior of the Blue Mosque is spacious and filled with natural light, thanks to its many windows and the main dome’s numerous small windows.
The walls are decorated with beautiful floral patterns and calligraphy, predominantly in shades of blue, which give the mosque its name.
The mihrab (prayer niche) and the minbar (pulpit) are intricately designed and crafted, showcasing the skilled workmanship of the period.
Function of Blue Mosque:
The Blue Mosque continues to serve as an active place of worship, accommodating thousands of worshippers for daily prayers, Friday sermons, and special religious occasions.
Visitors are welcome to explore the mosque outside of prayer times, but it’s essential to dress modestly and respect the mosque’s sacred atmosphere. The Blue Mosque’s stunning architecture, elegant design, and its prominent location near the Hagia Sophia make it a popular destination for tourists and a significant symbol of Istanbul’s rich history and cultural heritage.
How to visit Sultanahmet Mosque?
Better you follow the steps below for visiting blue mosque
To visit the Sultanahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, in Istanbul, you can follow these steps:
As the Blue Mosque is an active place of worship, it’s essential to dress modestly and respectfully. For both men and women, shoulders and knees should be covered. Women are also required to cover their heads with a scarf. If you don’t have appropriate clothing, you can borrow a cover-up at the mosque entrance.
Visit During Non-Prayer Times:
The mosque is open for visitors outside of prayer times, so it’s best to plan your visit accordingly. The mosque is closed to non-worshippers during the five daily prayer times, which last about 90 minutes each. Check the prayer times in advance to ensure you visit during the open hours.
Enter through the Correct Entrance:
The main entrance for visitors is on the west side of the mosque. Look for signs directing visitors to the appropriate entrance.
Before entering the mosque, you need to remove your shoes. There will be designated areas where you can store your shoes securely. It’s a good idea to bring a plastic bag to carry your shoes.
Follow the Mosque Etiquette:
Once inside, remember that the mosque is a place of worship. Maintain a quiet and respectful demeanor. Avoid using flash photography, as it can disturb those who are praying. Refrain from touching or leaning on the prayer rugs or other religious objects.
Explore the Interior:
Take your time to admire the stunning interior of the mosque. Marvel at the beautiful tilework, the grand central dome, and the intricate designs. However, be mindful not to wander into areas reserved for worshippers.
Visit the Courtyard:
After exploring the mosque’s interior, you can also visit the spacious courtyard, known as Sultanahmet Square. Enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and the beautiful architecture surrounding the courtyard.
Remember that the mosque is a sacred place for Muslims. Be respectful of those who are praying and maintain a quiet and reverent attitude throughout your visit. Visiting the Blue Mosque is a memorable experience, allowing you to appreciate the architectural beauty and experience the spiritual ambiance of this iconic mosque in Istanbul.
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