- On 10/07/2022
- In Places to visit Tips for travellers
- Tags: Blue Mosque, istanbul, Sultanahmet
How to visit Blue Mosque (Complete Guide) 2023
In your Istanbul trip you should definitely visit Blue Mosque which is one of the most iconic places in Istanbul. Located in the Old City known as heart of Istanbul, also gave its name to the region, so today the most historic site of ancient Constantinople is known as Sultanahmet area. Built right in front of Hagia Sophia as another masterpiece to complete the perfection of city in the 17th century by Architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga who is one of students of famous Mimar Sinan (Architect Sinan).
What religion is the Blue Mosque?
It’s built by one of the Caliphs for Muslims to pray. As leading power of Muslim community, Ottoman Empire built it to prove power and aesthetic perspective of Islam religion. During your private Istanbul tour, your guide will share more detailed information about its history and architecture.
Is the Blue Mosque open to the public?
Normally as a building it is open for everyone, you can enter the mosque to pray or visit. During the restoration which has started on July 6, 2017, You could see magnificent tiles, unique architecture and its beautiful atmosphere with some restrictions until the January 2023. But unfortunately last of the long restoration, the Blue Mosque is compleatly closed till April.
The most elaborate restoration process in the history of the Blue Mosque still continues. After 6 years in the restoration process, most of the major works such as the main dome, fine engraving and the restoration of the 4 minarets have been completed. On the back of the exterior of the mosque, the scaffolding still stand. Restoration work continues inside the courtyard and on the exterior.
According to the last announcement of the Ministry of Culture and Tourism, The Blue Mosque is closed until April in order to complete the restoration as soon as possible.
Is Blue Mosque the same as Hagia Sophia?
Most people are confused with the number of mosques in Istanbul. Blue Mosque and Hagia Sophia are the most iconic ones, so that’s more likely to confuse to each other. But these are two different structures opposite to each other. Hagia Sophia will be noticed easily by its red color and large dome. Despite size of domes are almost equal to each other, Hagia Sophia looks larger due to lack of supportive semi domes.
It’s built during the reign of Sultan Ahmet III. So it’s called Sultanahmed Camii by local citizens of the city. Due to the predominant color of the blue tiles, which come from the city of Iznik, it is known to foreigners as the Blue Mosque.
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Where should I visit during the restoration instead of the Blue Mosque?
The Blue Mosque is closed due to the renovation but don’t worry. As Istanbul has a deep history, there a lot of sites to replace with Blue Mosque. Here is the some sites for visiting;
1- Nuruosmaniye Mosque:
The Nuruosmaniye Mosque is an example of Ottoman architecture’s earliest use of European Baroque. The elaborate tops of the two minarets that extend from the main chamber and the richly adorned arches on the main wall are two architectural elements that distinguish it apart from other significant mosques from earlier eras. Particularly striking is the courtyard, which has a horseshoe form and is enclosed by twelve columns and fourteen tiny domes but without a fountain. The interior is very lighted up thanks to the five rows of windows that are located beneath the magnificent main dome. The name Nuruosmaniye, which means to “Light of Osman,” derives from this as well.
Also, The Nuruosmaniye Mosque is located in Cemberlitas and one of the gates of the Grand Bazaar leads to the Nuruosmaniye Mosque.
2- Rustempasha Mosque:
The Rüstem Pasha Mosque was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha. Located in the Hasırcılar Carsisi in the Tahtakale neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul.
Sinan’s architectural style is known for his emphasis on building construction rather than interior decoration. The Rüstem Pasha Mosque was different from his usual aesthetic because he preferred more enormous interior over a more sparse one.
The Rüstem Pasha Mosque is famous for its vast quantities of Iznik tiles in an extremely wide variety of floral and geometric motifs, which cover the mihrab, minbar. Around 2300 tiles are visible, and they are placed in about 80 different patterns.
In addition to the traditional ceramic tiles, the Rüstem Pasha Mosque’s qibla wall includes a variety of new and unusual painting techniques.
Can you go inside the Blue Mosque?
No matter your religion, you can go inside the building to visit and see people praying. But there are some dress codes to respect for the Islamic rules and people which are praying inside building. Woman needs to wear scarves and cover their head, shoulders and men needs to wear clothes until below knees.
What are visiting hours of the Blue Mosque?
Visiting hours of the Blue Mosque are from 9 am to 6 pm 7 days a week, excluding daily prayer times.
When / What time should I visit Blue Mosque?
You can visit Blue Mosque between 09:00am and 18:00pm every day except Fridays. On Fridays, due to Jummah (Friday) prayer, it’s closed for visit until noon for non-Muslims. If you are Muslim, you can go inside for praying by talking to security staff.
Is the Blue Mosque open for visit on Friday?
There are restrictions for non-Muslims on Friday, until jummah prayer is over non-Muslims are not allowed to visit Blue Mosque. Due to overcrowding, paying a visit is not allowed in the morning, approximately after 13:30pm mosque is open for visitors of people from all religions. Please remember that the time of prayer changes depending on the season, so we mentioned only the approximate time of opening.
What time is jummah (Friday prayer) at Blue Mosque?
According to rules of Islam religion time of prayer is calculated by moves of Sun, so it changes all year round however in Turkey during winter season approximate time for Jumah is 13:00pm to 13:30pm. Still, we need to remind you that it depends on position of the Sun, so you can check exact timing from following link of official site of Presidency of Religious Affairs
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