Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque

Most commonly known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul, is the Blue Mosque. This mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 and has six minarets and its name derives from the blue tiles on its pillars as well as the blue Iznik tiles of the interior and the Ottoman design elements.
 
It is definitely one of the most beautiful buildings in the world and one very rarely sees a photo or postcard of Istanbul without the Blue Mosque in it.  The mosaics that adorn the walls are magnificent and cover the overhead domes as well as the walls. The stained glass windows invite rays of light that brighten parts of the mosque during various times of the day.
 
It is often described as an outstandingly beautiful building. Not only are the walls and interior tiles exquisite, but so are the carpets and ornaments within. As Turks claim that the origin of tulips was from Turkey, these flowers are often depicted in mosaics and on the carpets.
 
People visiting the Blue Mosque should adhere to modest dress code. It is an active mosque and a place of worship; therefore especially women should cover their shoulders and refrain from wearing short skirts and pants. Tourists should also avoid visiting the mosque during prayer times as it will be closed for the duration of the prayers and on Fridays long prayer services are conducted.
 
No admission fees are charged and one can easily spend an hour within the mosque to take in its design and architecture. As mentioned before, it would be a shame to have photos of Istanbul without the Blue Mosque as center piece of the shot.