Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque)


Sultanahmet Camii (Blue Mosque) was built at the time of Sultan Ahmed's rule (1603 - 1617) as an Islamic response to Aya Sophia, remaining the symbol and center of religious life. It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture and the most significant mosque after one in Mecca. It is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles with which the interior walls are decorated. Since these tiles were not intended as original ornaments of the mosque, they are mostly removed so that the interior is no longer dominant blue. The wooden parts of the building are enriched with nacre, carved stone and handwritten calligraphies. More than 200 colored windows leaking daylight provide a magnificent atmosphere. The most important element in the interior is the mihrab made of the finest marble, that contains a piece of sacred black stone from the Mecca Mosque. It is unique because of its six minarets, namely, the mosques built at that time had a maximum of four.

Numerous tourists gather in the park opposite the mosque at sunset to hear the mujezin’s invite for the evening prayer and to enjoy the view of the mosque illuminated with colorful reflectors. The mosque is open for both visiting and performing religious duties. In the Imperial Pavilion is the Carpet and Kilim Museum with beautiful examples of various styles from the 16th to the 19th century.