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The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) is one of the most beautiful mosques and landmarks in both Istanbul and the world. Blue Mosque was built in the 17th century (1603-1617) by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga (2nd important architect after Mimar Sinan) with the order of Sultan Ahmet I.
Its name comes from the very beautiful blue interior “Iznik tiles”. It was the only mosque with six minarets in the world, but now shares this reputation as a new mosque named “Camlica Mosque” is constructed in the Camlica Hill of Istanbul’s Asian side in 2019.
Located in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Sultanahmet Sqaure, the Blue Mosque is a great sample of the Turkish and Islamic architecture and one of the most visited sights and mosques in Istanbul. It can also be considered as a triumph of harmony, proportion and elegance.
History of the Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque is the first mosque of an Ottoman Sultan, constructed with an allowance from the treasury of the Ottomans. It was built on the site of the former Ayse Sultan Palace, since the site was bought for 30,000 gold. Sultan Ahmet I and many other statesman have worked on the construction of the mosque. It is also known that, Sultan Ahmet I made the first hit on the mosque’s groundbreaking ceremony and his pickax is exhibited in the Topkapi Palace.
After the completion of the mosque, it received a big criticism from the different parts of the community. Main reason for this, was the mosque’s having 6 minarets like the holy Mecca Mosque which generates kind of a competition on people’s minds.
And the 2nd reason was the high amount of money spent despite the decrease in the income of the Empire. After, when Sultan Ahmet I ordered to build the 7th minaret in the holy Mecca Mosque, some of those criticism ended.
The site of the Blue Mosque used to be a big complex including many buildings such as a Medrese (a Moslem theological school), Sultan’s pavilion, an Almshouse and Hamam (Turkish Bath). Majority of those building couldn’t survive until today.
Anyways, you may see the tomb of Sultan Ahmed I and a sundial at the courtyard of the Blue Mosque. The famous Great Palace Mosaics Museum, an impressive mosaics museum preserved from the from the Great Palace of Constantinople also situated at the site of the complex.
The Interior of the Blue Mosque
You may enter the courtyard of the Blue Mosque from 3 gates. The interior of Blue Mosque has a main glorious dome of 43 meters height and of 23,5 meters diameter.
The walls of the Blue Mosque are decorated with 22,000 pieces of famous Iznik and Kutahya tiles. And there are 260 windows.
Visiting Hours & Admissions
Open every day, every hour, no limitations
Entrance to the Blue Mosque is FREE of charge.
Visiting Blue Mosque Insider Tips
* Blue Mosque is a live mosque that you should respect some rules. First of all, visitors are kindly requested to show respect to prayers in the mosque by not making so much noise and take care of their dresses.
* Some parts of the mosque used by prayers are temporarily closed to the visitors on Friday worship at noon, as not to disturb.
* You’ll also be kinda contacted with several people around the Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet Square for guidance requests. Don’t pay attention, don’t look in their eyes, and talk with beggars, and people coming beside and ask for helping with guidance around or for money.
* Keep an eye out for unofficial guides (guides should have official badge on).
* While entrance to the Blue Mosque is FREE of charge, we highly recommend you take a guided tour to experience the most of the history and sights of the Mosque from an official historian guide. And you can also avoid yourself from stupid guidance requests and beggars.
This is the best and one of the cheapest options that we recommend especially for first time visitors. When you book you’ll get an email confirmation with meeting details and there your name will be checked by the official guide’s list with your confirmation number.
Blue Mosque and Sultanahmet Square Tour with Historian Guide
This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend. You’ll discover and enjoy all the historical buildings from outside that surround the ancient imperial square of Istanbul. Between the monuments, your guide will take you through the ages of Istanbul – from antiquity to modern times.
- Discover Byzantine and Ottoman relics
- Learn more about the fascinating history of Istanbul
- Discover some of the city’s most important historical sites
- Get a sense for the culture both past and present
- Explore the Hippodrome with its two obelisks and the Serpentine Column
- Visit the German Fountain, a gift from the German Emperor Wilhelm II
- See the magnificent Palace of Ibrahim Pasha
- Stroll through the courtyards of the Blue Mosque
- Step inside the beautiful Blue Mosque and stay inside as long as you want
Ticket price: €6
Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.
Meeting Location: Meet your guide in front of the Hagia Sophia
Tour Duration: Tour duration is about 45 minutes
Meeting Hours: daily at 14:00 except Fridays
Rebooking & Cancellation Policy: You have missed your meeting time? No problem, you can come to our next meeting time or day. You want to cancel? No problem, you can cancel your reservation anytime and get your refund.
How to Get to Blue Mosque?
The Blue Mosque is situated in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Sultanahmet Sqaure, just across the famous Hagia Sophia Museum and Museum of Turkish and Islamic Arts. See the location map.
The most practical way to get to Sultanahmet is via Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).
- The closest tram stop is Sultanahmet.
- Sultanahmet Square and most of the connecting roads are closed for vehicle traffic except tram and tour buses.
- From Taksim, take the funicular to Kabatas (from taksim Square) or funicular to Karakoy (from Tunel square) and than take the tram.
- If you stay at the Sultanahmet hotels, than you easily walk to the museum.
Check our Sultanahmet page to see how to get to Sultanahmet in details.
Address: Sultanahmet Square, Fatih, Istanbul
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