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Blue MosqueTop 10

The Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Blue Mosque is one of the main sights in Istanbul. Tours are available outside of prayer times.

History of the Blue Mosque

Sultan Ahmet I commissioned the architect Mehmet Aga to build the mosque in 1609. The Sultan Ahmet Mosque was built in Ottoman architecture and completed in 1616, a year before the Sultan’s death.

The mosque is decorated with a variety of tiles, mainly showing traditional plant motifs. The tiles are mainly dominated by the color blue, so the structure is also known as the Blue Mosque. Istanbul’s main mosque is located opposite the Hagia Sofia and offers an impressive sight with its six slender minarets reaching into the sky. Few places of worship in Islam have six minarets, only the main mosque in Mecca has more than the Blue Mosque. According to tradition, the fact that the mosque has six minarets is due to the architect. The Sultan wanted everything to be decorated with gold leaf, or “altin” in Turkish. But since this would have far exceeded the budget of the builder, the architect took advantage of a “hearing error” and built six, in Turkish “alti” minarets instead.

The prayer room of the Blue Mosque is almost square, measuring 53 by 51 metres, with the dome rising more than 20 metres above it. Four free-standing pillars carry the load of the dome. The 260 richly decorated and colorfully glazed windows of the mosque represent, among other things, symbols of paradise.

With plastic shoes over precious tiles

The mosque can be visited outside prayer times. No entrance fee is charged for a visit to the building, and there are no rest days either; it is open daily between 9:00 and 18:00. At the entrance, visitors are given plastic covers for their shoes to protect the valuable tiles in the interior. The building complex also includes a courtyard with a fountain. The adjacent “Türbe”, in German cemetery or mausoleum, can also be visited by visitors. This is where Ahmed I, his wife and three of his sons found their final resting place.

In summer, a spectacular light show takes place between the neighbouring Hagia Sofia and the Blue Mosque, which visitors should not miss.

Personal tip

The Blue Mosque is illuminated by many spotlights until deep into the night. After dusk, the view of the mosque and from there to the Bosphorus is already worth a trip to Istanbul.


  • Monday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Tuesday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Wednesday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Thursday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Friday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Saturday: 09:00-19:00 h
  • Sunday: 09:00-07:00 h

More Info

AdresseSultan Ahmet, Atmeydanı Cd. No:7, 34122 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkei