Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)
Sultan Ahmet Camii, the Blue Mosque, was built by the sultan of the same name to out-wow the adjacent Aya Sofia.
Built in the early 1600s, on the site of Constantinople’s Great Palace, the ‘blue’ comes from the blue tiled walls and dome. The blue tiles, latticework and carved marble are highlights of the interior.
Outside, the mosque’s sequence of flattened domes is circled by six pointed minarets.
Non-Muslims can visit outside prayer times; the door for visitors is on the Hippodrome side of the building. You need to remove your shoes before entering, and women need to wear a headscarf.
The Blue Mosque is in Sultanahmet, opposite Aya Sofia. The best way to appreciate its beauty is to approach from the Hippodrome side.