The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

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Blue Mosque overlooking the Bosphorous
Photo by: Rudolf Stricker, Creative Commons

At first glance, the Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmed Mosque) – a famous structure in Istanbul seems to be a misnomer. After all, the mosque’s exteriors are anything but blue. However, learning about the structure’s background will tell a traveler that the Blue Mosque is called such because of the blue tiles in its interiors. To fully appreciate the mosque’s beauty, one has to go inside.

Quite a famous building in the country, the Blue Mosque—also called the Sultanahmet Mosque—has gained popularity perhaps because of its six minarets. Looking around other mosques will show a traveler that most of these have only four minarets; the story behind the two extra minarets is quite interesting. It was said that when Sultan Ahmet I was only 19 years old, he commissioned the construction of the mosque. Sultan Ahmet I requested for gold (altin) minarets. However, the architect misunderstood the request, and he instead built six (alti) minarets.

The six minarets stirred concern among the people, as Mecca’s Harem Mosque also had the same number of minarets. To resolve the issue, the sultan sent his architect to Mecca to construct an additional minaret to the other mosque.

Today, the Blue Mosque gathers a battalion of visitors every year. Travelers would be in awe of the cascade of domes, which exhibit the great skills of those who built the structure. Moreover, the ceiling is lined with thousands of blue tiles.

It is said that people going to the Blue Mosque should enter from the west entrance; this is so that there is more drama in seeing the structures. By doing so, they would be able to appreciate the breathtaking details of the mosque. However, it is encouraged that non-worshippers enter from the north entrance in order to keep the sacredness of the place. As much as the mosque is a sight to behold, it is also a functioning mosque. Worshippers still use the structure for prayers.

9 responses to “The Blue Mosque in Istanbul”

  1. imzy says:

    try and include short points about the mosque such as how big it is, the size of the dome.e.t.c

  2. alik says:

    i agree with imzy short bullet points

  3. alik says:

    i agree with imzy short bullet points….

  4. alik says:

    this should have mor info

  5. allie says:

    i dont agree. it is worded reaally good but you need to add more information about what you can see there, remember its a tourist attraction add more details about this tourist attraction…

  6. HARRY SAXON says:


  7. Aras says:

    Perfect Mosque. I’m Turkish, and you must see it! Sultan Ahmed and Hagia Sophia <3

  8. Gokhan says:

    View it in context – it builds the story around it.
    Sultan Ahmed I was the 14th Ottoman Sultan. He came to the throne when he was 14 years old. He was Sultan for 14 years. He was bedridden for 14 days due to stomach infection and died as a result.

    The construction was began on 4 January 1610. The architectural masterpiece was opened to the public on the 9 June 1617. H

    He wanted to know how many people the interior could hold and ordered the misbah / tesbih /prayer bead manufacturers of Istanbul to distribute a tesbih to each entrant. At the end of the day, the distributed tesbihs numbered over 70,000.

    There are three sun clocks within the mosque….but these – you will need to locate yourself. 😉

  9. BobT says:

    Any Christian houses of worship in Turkey.

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