The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, more popularly known simply as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning its interior, is located in the enigmatic city of Istanbul in Turkey.
Built in late classical Ottoman and Islamic architectural styles, the Blue Mosque is a colossal building, which to this day continues to serve as a place of worship, while pulling in a lot of tourists to the city. It was completed in 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I, whose mausoleum forms part of its construction.
The scale and splendour of the Blue Mosque is simply breath-taking, with six minarets and countless domes rising majestically above the huge courtyard with its seemingly tiny fountain centrepiece. Faced with the superlative craftsmanship that went into its construction, such as the 20,000 hand-made ceramic tiles lining the interior, visitors quite rightly feel suitably humbled.
Where is it?
The Blue Mosque is a very large and completely unmistakable building in Istanbul, Turkey.
What is it?
An extravagant temple of worship and major tourist attraction combining elements of Islamic and Byzantine architecture, and is considered the last great mosque of the classical period.
Best time to visit?
The mosque is closed between 12:00 and 13:00 for noon prayer and between 16:00 and 17:00 for afternoon prayer every day. Visit in the morning to catch the low sun on the shimmering surfaces.
It may seem obvious, but if you are on a tight schedule during your visit to Istanbul, make sure you can visit the mosque when it is open to the public to best appreciate the brilliance of the artisans who made it.