Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also called the Blue Mosque, is one of the most significant mosques in the world and is located at the heart of Old İstanbul, just next to Hagia Sophia. Sultan Ahmed Mosque was completed in 1616 by the order of Sultan Ahmed I. He was also buried in the mosque that later became the iconic symbol of his reign and classical Ottoman architectural style.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque: Impressive and Prestigious
Sultan Ahmad Mosque is one of the most impressive landmarks in İstanbul with all its might. It has five large domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes with a capacity of more than 10.000 worshippers. Its architect is Albanian-origin “Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa” who was the first assistant to Mimar Sinan during his best works. Sultan Ahmed I and his successors were the only ones to be allowed to enter the court of Blue Mosque on horseback, but there was a heavy chain on put on the entrance of the main court so they had to lower their heads as a gesture in the face of the divine.
UNESCO World Heritage Listed Sultan Ahmed Mosque attracts millions of local and international tourists every year thanks to its prestigious architectural style that captivates its visitors. Its interiors are made with dominantly white and blue tiles that are brought from Kütahya and İznik provinces. More than 21 thousand pieces from 50 different species of tiles with tulip designs are used to decorate the mosque. These tiles are accompanied by 200 stained glass windows that create stunning natural light sceneries throughout the day.
How to Get There
The mosque is in Fatih district of the city where you can encounter many historical landmarks of Old İstanbul. Sultan Ahmed Mosque is just on the opposite side of magical Hagia Sophia and next to the Imperial Topkapı Palace. The T1 tram line is the easiest way to reach the mosque from Kabataş, Karaköy, Aksaray, or Beyazıt Grand Bazaar. You can hop off in Sultanahmet stop and walk for five minutes to reach the mosque. If you are coming from the Asian side of İstanbul, you can use ferries or metro which have a stop in Eminönü and walk for fifteen minutes to the mosque. You can also use the tram from Eminönü.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an in-use mosque that is filled with worshippers during prayer hours. It is possible to join prayers side by side with the worshippers on during prayer hours but a restriction on taking photos. If you would like to visit the mosque and enjoy its stunning architecture, it is possible for you to visit the mosque from 08.30 AM until one hour before dusk each day, excluding 90 minutes prayer time 5 times a day. On Friday, the Muslim holy day, it is closed for two hours during noon prayer.