The Blue Mosque is a historical site in Istanbul. It is a very popular tourist attraction. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles surrounding the walls of the interior.
The exterior façade of the spacious forecourt was built in the same manner as the façade of the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, except for the addition of the turrets on the corner domes. The court is about as large as the mosque itself and is surrounded by a continuous vaulted arcade.
Besides being a tourist attraction, it’s also an active mosque, so it’s closed to non-worshippers for a half-hour or so during the five daily prayers. When visiting the mosque you should take off your shoes and put them in the plastic bag provided, so you can carry your shoes with you. I didn’t have to pay an entrance fee.
The architecture of the Mosque combines two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church developments. It incorporates some of the Byzantine elements of the neighbouring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period of the Ottoman Empire. The architect has applied the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendour.
The interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles, made at Iznik city (Nicaea) in more than fifty different tulip designs.
I was surprised to see how beautiful and detailed everything was inside.
The price to be paid for each tile was fixed by the sultan’s decree. As tile prices in general increased over time the result is that the quality of the tiles used in the building decreased gradually. Their colours have faded, changed and the glazes have dulled.
The best thing for me at the Blue Mosque, was seeing the beauty of all the details and colours. A great place to visit.