Istanbul, also known in the past as Constantinople or Byzantium. This amazing city is located on two continents – Europe and Asia. It was its remarkably rich history, culture and tasty turkish cuisine that persuaded us to make a city break here. On the second day of our visit we decided to visit the stunning sightseeing – the Blue Mosque.
Breakfast with amazing view of Blue Mosque
The alarm clock wakes us up early in the morning. Unceasing rain is drumming on the window sill. The rain has never kept us from exploring new places. Today, we have a plan to see some beautiful places. Starting from the rooftop terrace of the hotel during our breakfast. Many hotels in Sultanahmet district have dining rooms on top floor where they have a terrace with view. Our terrace is partly glassed and closed so we stay in warm and admire views on majestic Blue Mosque with six minarets. One of the minarets is during our visit in reconstruction.
Hotel in Istanbul
The choice of the hotel may be difficult thing. You can choose from hundreds of hotels. Each has its pros and cons and you can spent a lot of time when you want to take the right one for you. We always try to chose such hotel that will cope with our criteria. For example it should not be fa from main attractions that we intend to visit, but at the same time it must be for reasonable price. Therefore we follow recommendations of other travellers on various websites such as TripAdvisor or Booking.com.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque – Sultan Ahmet Camii
Today we are going to visit on of the sightseeing which is must see when you are in Istanbul – Sultan Ahmet Mosque or otherwise known as Blue Mosque. From our hotel it is not far, only 300 meters. It took us less than 5 minutes to get there. Directly opposite the Blue Mosque across the Sultan Ahmet park you can see another great historical building – Hagia Sophia – Holy Wisdom – Ayasofya.
This masterpiece of Islamic architecture is spectacular. It was built between 1609 and 1619 on the order of sultan Ahmed the First. It is one of two mosques in Turkey with 6 minarets. There is only one mosque in the world that has more minarets, the one in Mekkah. Name of the Blue Mosque came from the fact that the interior is decorated with blue tiles. There are more than 20.000 of them and all are hand-made. On each tile you can see tulip design while there are more than 50 types of tulip designs.
Entrance for tourists
We are entering the first gate to the mosque. Many tourists come outside. Few steps and we are at the courtyard near the main entrance. Thought this entrance only prayers who are going to pray may enter.
Tourists must pass the courtyard and enter the mosque from side entrance. During prayers the mosque is closed for tourist. Women may not enter the mosque without covered shoulders. Also men should have appropriate dress, long trousers. Before entering the mosque we put off our shoes. You can use prepared plastic bags for your shoes. The entrance is free of charge. Finally, we can admire the mastery of Islamic architecture.
After visiting this remarkable place we continued to other famous sightseeings of Istanbul. Check out our impressions of the Grand Bazaar and the Spice Bazaar in the next blog 🙂
Time for visit: up to 1 hour, it depends on the queues at the entrance
Entrance fee: free of charge