The Blue Mosque, Istanbul – Beauty and Piety Personified

Every globe trotter must spend some quality time in Istanbul! You will be surprised to know that Istanbul is not just about Hagia Sophia. This oriental city has lot more to offer. During my week long vacation in Istanbul, I spent almost two full days to explore the Hagia Sophia. After that, I longed to see something that would be a notch higher both in terms of architecture, history and interior decor. My tour guide suggested me to visit the Blue Mosque. I am glad I took the suggestion. This sacred place of worship is a work of art, beauty and creativity.

The Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The Blue Mosque is known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque and got constructed between the years of 1609 and 1616. If you go by it’s most common name i.e. Blue Mosque you will not find any similarity with its exterior. The mosque is given that name because of the beautiful blue tiles inside. However, if you are visiting on a full moon night you will find that the moon casts a mesmerizing halo over the mosque’s dome and minarets. Sometimes, it does take on a light blue tinge. Akin to any other mosque in Istanbul, this place also has the founder’s tomb, a hospice and a madrasa. It is open for everyone, even the non-Muslims.

Exploring the Mosque

The ideal way for tourists to explore this majestic architecture is to approach from the Hippodrome. Time your visit to the Sultanahmet area in such a way that you reach by mid morning. Prayer inside this mosque happens five times in a day for which it closes for ninety minutes. If you are a woman, then you have to cover your head when you enter this place. If you are not carrying one, you can take it from the entrance free of cost. Inside the mosque it is advised to maintain silence. Furthermore, it’s better to avoid flash when taking photographs as the flash light might cause harm to the interior decor and its other properties.

What to see?

Even before you enter the mosque, the six tall minarets outside is a stunning sight! You can see it from a distance and take a panoramic photograph. And just in case, if it’s a full moon night then you will have one of the best sights. When you are outside you can view the cascade of domes which looks magnificent. The arcades that are beneath the domes add to its visual splendour. You get to see the mesmerizing blue tiles as you walk in. The high ceiling inside has been lined with almost 20,000 blue tiles from which the mosque derives its popular name. In addition to that, there are 260 windows made in the early 17th century design that adds an oriental feel to the mosque.

The Blue Mosque is a place where you will be able to get collected and poised within. The decor sometimes makes you time travel to a bygone era. So don’t waste time. Book your cheap international flights to Istanbul and explore this mosque.


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