Properly known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, the Blue Mosque acquired its name from the blue tiles that decorate the walls of the mosque's interior. Though still in traditional use today, this place of worship has also emerged as a popular tourist attraction.
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Visiting the Blue Mosque
The Blue Mosque's grand architecture combines characteristics of both Byzantine church and Ottoman mosque design. With its many domes and minarets, the grand building pays homage to the Hagia Sophia while also incorporating traditional Islamic architecture. Six minarets surround the mosque, which also features a spacious forecourt.
Once inside, visitors will be impressed by the interior, which is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles arranged in floral patterns. Over 200 stained glass windows allow natural light to wash over the Blue Mosque's intricate interior decorations.
Well worth a visit, tours operate regularly through the mosque, which can be found in the western half of the city.