Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
Blue Mosque History, Architecture, Dress Code, Opening Hours
Imperial Blue Mosque is one of the top three tourist attractions in Istanbul. Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Blue Mosque are considered as the major pillars of Istanbul’s Old Town.
Blue Interior Design With Tiles
There is no clue from outside about why people call this place as Blue Mosque. Visitors can understand why this name is given to the mosque, only if they visit the inside of the mosque. Blue is obviously the most dominant colour of the interior decoration of the building.
Tough foreign visitors call this place as Blue Mosque, its true name is Sultanahmet Mosque. (also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque)
Blue Mosque Interior Decoration
Blue Mosque History And Architecture
The mosque is built from 1609 to 1616 (in 7 years ). 6000 workers were engaged in the construction process. Blue Mosque is considered as the masterwork of Ottoman architect Sedefkar Mehmet Agha. He was known as the apprentice of most famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. The blue mosque was built on the site of the Great Palace of Roman emperors.
Sultan Ahmed lived only 28 years and reigned for 14 years. He was not able to see the mosque completed before he died. Blue Mosque stands out with its size and six minarets. Imperial Ottoman Mosques usually have 2 or 4 minarets but Blue Mosque is an exception.
Blue Mosque And Hagia Sophia
Turks had built different type of mosques before settling to Istanbul. The mosque architecture had more square features with many little domes at the top. However after capturing the Constantinople, they started to use one central dome and semi domes as in the Hagia Sophia.
It’s obvious that the Ottoman architects were impressed by the wisdom and beauty of Hagia Sophia. The most famous architect of Ottoman History: Mimar Sinan claimed that he spend his lifetyme to surpass the superiority of Hagia Sophia and he finally did it at Selimiye Mosque (in Edirne – North West Turkey)
For more information: Turkish Mosque Structure And History
Blue Mosque’s Blue Mosaic Tiles
Blue Mosque Opening Hours & Prayer Times
Blue Mosque is still an active mosque therefore it’s closed to visit during the prayer hours.
Blue Mosque Friday Prayers
Blue Mosque is closed for half a day on Fridays. There is the congregational prayer take place on Friday early afternoon. Therefore they clean up the mosque and make preparations for the Cuma Prayer.
The Blue Mosque is closed from morning to 14:30/2:30p.m. for Friday Prayers.
Blue Mosque Prayer Times
The prayer times change almost everyday. There is a huge difference between the summer and winter praying hours. Therefore the Blue Mosque opening hours should be checked carefully.
The sign for the Visiting Hours (please see the image below) hanged on every single entrance of the Mosque for visitors.
Updated Opening Hours & Visiting Times of Blue Mosque
If you would like to check it from your hotel, you may ask the Front Desk to call the Turkish Speaking Operator +90 545 577 18 99 to check the latest prayer times.
The phone operator is simpliest way to check the times which is sometimes confusing for tourists.
Blue Mosque Opening and Visiting Hours
What to Wear when Visiting the Blue Mosque
There is a strict dress code for the Blue Mosque. Women have to wear headscarf and use it for covering the hair and shoulders. It’s better to bring a headscarf of yours, but if you don’t have it no problem! They provide a scarf to use during your mosque visit.
There is a little kiosk places in the courtyard, they provide you the scarf to wear. You might have to borrow a skirt to cover your legs in case you wear shorts or tight jeans.
Dress As You Feel Comfortable during Istanbul Sightseeing
I recommend you to dress as you will feel comfortable in Istanbul. In the high tourist season which is Spring and Summer, the weather could be too hot.
Visiting the Blue Mosque would be easy with provided headscarf & skirts. You will carry them for just 20 minutes or so.
But if you wear long sleves and pants, you might feel very uncomfortable during the sightseeing & walking tours due to hot weather.
Dress Code to Enter the Blue Mosque
Blue Mosque Courtyard
Other Recommended Mosques To See in Istanbul
After you Blue Mosque visit, I strongly recommend you to visit also Suleymaniye Mosque. These two mosques are the major pillars of Ottoman Classical Architecture.
Suleymaniye Mosque is built by Suleiman the Magnificent at the peak of the Ottoman Empire. Please check the below link to discover other Elegant Mosques of Istanbul.
More Reading: Most Beautiful Mosques of Istanbul
Blue Mosque Monumental Gate
Get Inside Blue Mosque Faster – Get Rid of The Long Lines
Cruise groups mostly cause long lines in the Blue Mosque. They visit mosque as the first thing in the morning from 09:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. So you can skip the Blue Mosque and do something else in the meantime. Otherwise you would have to wait for at least 30 minutes.
You can come back before the midday prayer and have enough time to visit. Best time frame to visit the Blue Mosque is from 10:30 to 12:00.
Istanbul Blue Mosque Entrance Fee 2019
There is no admission fee required for Blue Mosque. Neither for other operating mosques of the city. Entering the functional mosques free in Istanbul. No matter if you are local or stranger.
Further Recommended Reading:
Written by Serhat Engul