The Blue Mosque- Istanbul, probably the most prominent mosque in Istanbul.
The mosque can be seen from quite a distance with its 6 minarets soaring into the sky. This mosque was the very last, Grandest and the most beautiful Mosque from the classic period of the Ottamon era.
Built between 1609-1617, it was originally named ‘Sultanahmet Camii’ after Sultan Ahmed 1 who was the ruler at the time. Sultan Ahmed 1 became the emperor of the Ottamon Empire at the age of 13.
He built the Blue Mosque Istanbul as a rival to The Hagia Sophia. The Blue Mosque sits directly opposite it.
The actual square and area around the blue mosque Istanbul is also called ‘Sultanahmet Square’ named after him.
We know this mosque as ‘The Blue Mosque’ because of its 20000 blue tiles which surround the interior of the mosque.
This mosque at the time was the only mosque in Istanbul with 6 Minarets. (The new Camlica Mosque now also has 6 minarets).
A Little Controversy
The only Other mosque at the time with 6 Minarets was the Haram mosque in Makkah. Which is the most important Mosque for Muslims.
This created a lot of hostility and controversy.
Sultan Ahmet claimed that this was an actual error and a miscommunication between himself and his architect as he had ordered gold minarets (Altin Minare) and his architect took it as 6 Minarets (Alti Minare) and built the mosque with six minarets instead.
The religious leaders of the time were so outraged, that Sultan Ahmet sent his architect to Mecca to build a seventh minaret and paid for it so that the Holiest of mosques could retain its status.
Interior of the Blue Mosque Istanbul
The Blue Mosque Istanbul has actually been under renovation for the past 3 years and it is still a further year before it will be open to the public again. It is closed most of the day, but after mid day prayers (zuhr) an hour is given for tourists to see a small area of the mosque.
I have been Inside before the renovations, but that was before I started blogging and so my pictures at that time were not the best. The other times I have been, it has always been under construction.
I managed to get a few pictures inside but most of the areas were sealed up with large blocks or sheets of long paper
The domes 43 meters high up are beautifully and elegantly decorated with verses from the Quran.
Lighting is usually via the 200+ stained-glass windows, but most of this are covered up due to renovation. Chandeliers are also used for the lighting
Exterior of the Blue Mosque Istanbul
The garden of the Blue Mosque is probably as large and spacious as the Blue Mosque itself, When we last came here, we prayed in the gardens of the Blue Mosque. The Gardens are still available to pray in at prayer times.
The actual mosque on the exterior is not blue- the ‘blue’ name has come from the exterior detailing.
A tip: Their will be people outside the mosque who will try and ‘help’ by telling you they will give you a tour even though the mosque is closed- they are actually going to take you either to their store or shop instead whilst sweet talking you. Don’t worry- they will not rob you- but they do take up a lot of your time. If it is your first time be wary of that.
Have you been to Istanbul and inside the Blue Mosque before the renovation?
Love and regards