5 facts you should know about the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is one of the most incredible constructions in the city. And not only because of its beauty, but because it is the most important mosque in the Turkish capital. And, in addition, it is very close to another of Istanbul’s treasures: Hagia Sophia. A real treasure that we are going to visit to tell you about its history and some curiosities.

1. History of Istanbul Blue Mosque

Interior – Krissanapong Wongsawarng

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul was built in the 17th century with the aim of honoring Allah after the wars against the Safavid Empire. It was Sultan Ahmed I who ordered its construction, thinking that the bad fortune in the contests was due to the fact that Allah had been angry with the Turks.

In this way, a magnificent temple was designed and built. But this fact also brought problems to the sultan, since mosques were usually built with the spoils of wars. As this was not the case, treasury funds had to be resorted to, which not everyone liked.

2. Construction of the mosque

Aerial view – Faraways

Nothing was left to chance in the construction of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. It rises in the same place that occupied the Great Palace of Constantinople. In fact, much of the mosque sits on the foundations and cellars of the palace.

Besides, this site is near the old racecourse, a place with special meaning and, as we said at the beginning, a stone’s throw from Santa Sofía, at that time the main mosque in the city. Hence the great symbolism of the place chosen to erect this magnificent building.

3. Architecture

Courtyard – Luciano Mortula – LGM /

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is very similar in size to Hagia Sophia. It highlights the size of the central dome, which is no less than 23 meters in diameter and 43 meters high. And next to it, a whole series of smaller domes that overlap. Seen from the sky, its plant is shaped like a four-leaf clover.

Another aspect to be aware of its minarets caused a great controversy. Why? Because the mosque was built with the same number of minarets as the one in Mecca, six. The issue was resolved in a somewhat peculiar way: raising one more in Mecca.

4. Interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Interior – isa_ozdere /

Its name indicates it in a clear way. And it is that The interior of the Blue Mosque in Istanbul is lined with more than 20,000 blue tiles. These tiles adorn and decorate the dome and the top of the mosque and have more than 50 different designs.

But the beauty of the decoration could not be appreciated without the luminosity of the temple. Much of the light enters through 200 stained glass windows of different sizes. And they are joined by the magnificent chandeliers that hang from the ceilings. In this way an almost magical atmosphere is created that envelops and invites prayer.

One relevant element remains inside: the mihrab. It is clad in marble and contains a double panel filled with inscriptions.

5. Tips for visiting the Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Domes – isa_ozdere /

The mosque hours are from 9 in the morning to 7 in the evening. But keep in mind that during the hours of worship tourists have prohibited access. Of course, admission is free.

Another important aspect is that to enter it you have to take off your shoes and wear appropriate clothing. Especially women, who can’t bare shoulders or bare hair. And no one can enter either showing their legs. In any case, the most clueless at the entrance are provided with outfits to cover themselves.


“Once you have traveled, the journey never ends, but is recreated over and over again from display cases of memories. The mind can never let go of the journey.

-Pat Conroy-

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul is one of the great treasures of the city, a magnificent building inside and out that will leave you speechless from any point of view. In short, a place that must be visited yes or yes.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button