March 2010 • Canon 40D camera
July 2015 •Canon 60D camera
UNESCO World Heritage site
Historic Areas of Istanbul
Sultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, is just down the street from the Hagia Sophia and the Topkapi Palace. It is one of the most beautiful and architecturally fascinating buildings to visit in the world. Designed by the architect Sedefhar Mehmet Aga, it is considered to be the last example of Ottoman classical architecture. Named after the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire at the time, Ahmed I, it was constructed between 1609 and 1616. The Mosque has six minarets, four at the corners mosque and two minarets at the front corners of the courtyard. This is unique, as mosques will generally have 1 or 4 minarets.
The central dome is surrounded by four other semi-domes below, which is further surrounded by smaller semi domes. It really is something special to see when you are inside looking up at the dome ceilings. The prayer hall is a large, rectangular open space. Depending on the season and time of day, soft sunlight will bathe the prayer hall through the stained glass windows. The interior walls are wonderfully decorated with intricate patterns on thousands of handmade tiles. The reason why people refer to this mosque as the ‘Blue Mosque’ is because of the dominate use of the colours blue and turquoise on the ceramic tiles.
There are more than 200 stained glass windows and 20,000 handmade Iznik style ceramics tiles.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque feels very grandeur and unique. The mosque still functions as a practising place of worship, but non-muslims can still visit inside to look and take photos in front of the prayer hall. The mosque is free to visit but you will need to cover up exposed legs and shoulders for both men and women. Women will need to wear a headscarf which can be provided at the mosque.
It is a must-visit when you are in Istanbul. It is very conveniently next to the other popular attractions, which makes it easy for you to stop by and spend some time inside. For photographers, your wide angle lens will be ideal for the interior shots of the domes above.