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Blue Mosque

About Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historical mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I. just like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.Besides still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

Besides being tourist attraction, it’s also a active mosque, so it’s closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.

Best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use same direction to enter the Mosque. ​​

Please ignore and avoid people who offer you to enter mosque without  queue up. Those people mostly will try to sell you something and take you to the some shopping place. Best way is to line up and enter Mosque just like other tourists. Don’t worry if line looks very long, it will move very fast for sure. 

How to Visit Blue Mosque?

Tourists always wonder how to visit Blue Mosque.There is also many other questions such as if there is any entrance fee,dress code, where to put my shoes etc.Here below is the answers of all these simple questions…

1) Plan your visit to the Sultanahmet area of Istanbul, so that you better arrive mid morning. Pray happens five times a day with the first call to prayer at sunrise and the last one at nightfall.The mosque closes for 90 minutes at each pray time.Avoid visiting a mosque at pray time (Especially Midday praying on Friday) or within a half hour after the ezan is chanted from the Mosque minarets.

2) Before step in to Mosque, take off your shoes and put in plastic bags provided at the entrance(Free of Charge). This is required of all persons as part of Muslim tradition when entering a mosque. There is also no charge to enter the Blue Mosque.

3) If you are women wear a head covering when entering to Blue Mosque.Head coverings are available at the Blue Mosque entrance for free. Place the fabric cover on top of your head with equal portions hanging on both sides. Take one side and wrap it around your neck, tossing it behind your back with covering your shoulders. Don’t cover your face, the covering is meant to hide your hair only.

4) When you are inside the mosque, remain quiet and don’t use flash photography.Since this is a place of worship, avoid staring or taking picture of those who are praying.Visit the mosque respectfully and quietly.At the Mosque exit, you can put used plastic bags in designated bin bags and return head covers to duty staff.

5) You can do donation to help maintain the Mosque at the exit door.It is not compulsory, but if you make donation you will get the official receipt for it.

History
He did appoint his royal architect Sedefhar Mehmet Aga, a pupil and senior assistant of the famous architect Mimar Sinan to be in charge of the Mosque construction. The organization of the work was described in meticulous detail in eight volumes, now found in the library of the Topkapı Palace. The opening ceremonies were held in 1617 . The sultan could now pray in the royal box which called hünkâr mahfil. The building was not yet finished in this last year of his reign, as the last accounts were signed by his successor Mustafa I. Known as the Blue Mosque , Sultan Ahmed Mosque is currently one of the most impressive monuments in the world.
Following the Peace of Zsitvatorok (1606) and the  unfavourable result of the wars with Persia, Sultan Ahmed I decided to build a huge mosque in Istanbul. It would be the first great imperial mosque to be built in more than  forty years.His predecessors had paid for their mosques with their  war booty, Sultan Ahmed I had to withdraw the funds from the treasury, because he had not won any notable victories during his time. This provoked the anger of the Ottoman ulema, the Muslim legal scholars.
The mosque was to be built on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, facing the Hagia Sophia  (at that time it was most venerated mosque in Istanbul) and the hippodrome, a site of great symbolic significance. Large parts of the southern side of the mosque rest on the foundation and vaults of the Great Palace. Several palaces was already built there, most notably the palace of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha,  so these first had to be bought at a considerable cost and pulled down. Large parts of the Sphendone (curved tribune with U-shaped structure of the hippodrome) were also removed to make room for the new mosque. Construction of the mosque started in August 1609 when the sultan himself came to break the first sod. It was his intention that this would become the first mosque of his empire.
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