The Blue Mosque is impressive with its beautiful domes and semidomes, nice courtyards and six slender minarets.
The Blue Mosque was founded by Sultan Ahmet I. He ordered Architect Mehmet Ağa to begin constuction in 1609 and the whole complex was completed in 1616. The location of the mosque is just opposite of the splendid Church of Hagia Sophia as it is trying to compete with it. That is actually true because Architect Mehmet wanted to construct a bigger dome then Hagia Sophia’s but he could not succeed. Instead, he made the mosque splendid by the perfect proportion of domes and semidomes as well as the splendid minarets.
The mosque covers a large area, there’s a big courtyard where some ablution fountains are located. There are beautiful marble steps right in the middle of the courtyard, leading to the main courtyard. There is a fountain in the middle which is used as decorative purposes. There is a portal on the left hand side which is entrance for the local people.
The gate is a Seljuk wooden work with a geometrical design in its center. The star symbolizes the Turkish Generation. After the gate, you meet the interior of the mosque with its chandelliers and blue tiles. The mosque is all surrounded by beautiful 17th century Iznik tiles which give its name to the Blue Mosque.
The mosque has 260 windows which let the sunlight diffuse into the building quite nicely. They were filled with stained-glass in early 17th century but they were restored later.
The mosque is closed at prayer times for 1-1.5 hours. You should prefer to visit the mosque in the morning or before 3-4 o’clock in the afternoon because the prayer times rotate according to the sun’s positions.