A perfectly proportioned masterpiece

Cameras at the ready. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or the Blue Mosque, Istanbul, is a real showstopper. You’ll be stopping to take photos at every glance of this architectural masterpiece. With its voluptuous curves and never-ending courtyards it’s one of the world’s true wonders.

The history of the Blue Mosque

When the young Sultan Ahmed I realised that no mosques had been built in Istanbul for 40 years, he endeavoured to please Allah with a new one. It took seven years to build, from 1609 to 1616.

Normally a mosque has four minarets (towers). But there was a misunderstanding between Sultan Ahmed and the architect. When Ahmed asked for gold (altin) minarets, the architect thought he said 6 (alti).

Why the ‘Blue’ Mosque?

It is popularly known as the Blue Mosque because the inside is decorated spectacularly with around 20 thousand blue Iznik tiles. The effect is transcendent, and has to be seen to be believed. Hop off your Istanbul bus tour at Sultanahmet Square to get a look up close.

Other interesting facts about Blue Mosque, Istanbul

  • The interior of the Blue Mosque has 260 windows
  • The courtyard is the biggest of all Ottoman Mosques
  • Sultan Ahmed I was only 19 when he commissioned the Blue Mosque
  • The original Mosque complex contained a hospital, primary school and a market