Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia

Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque acquired its name from the incredible display of blue tiles that decorate the walls of the its interior, however it is formally known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It remains a place of worship but due to its heritage and stunning architecture, it has emerged as a popular visitor attraction. Read on to find out why this is a must-see when you are in Istanbul.

The exterior

The 17th century Blue Mosque's grand architecture combines characteristics of both the Byzantine Church and Ottoman design. On arrival, the facade is as beautiful as the interior. The courtyard is as large as the building itself and is surrounded by a vaulted roof. With its many domes and minarets, the grand building pays homage to the Hagia Sophia while also staying true to traditional Islamic architecture. Six minarets surround the mosque, which also features a spacious forecourt leading you inside.

The interior

Once inside, you will be impressed by the expansive interior, which is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles arranged in floral patterns. The work that must have gone into designing and creating it will certainly leave you feeling awe-inspired. Over 200 stained glass windows allow natural light to wash over the intricate interior decorations.

Things you need to know before visiting

The mosque is still used as a place of worship so visiting times are limited. The best time to visit is mid-morning but if that does not suit you then ask our receptionists at the Radisson Blu Hotel, Istanbul Asia who will advise you when it is open. On arrival, shoes must be removed and the dress code respected. Once inside, it is requested that you remain quiet and avoid using flash photography. Follow all these steps and you are guaranteed a lovely visit to the Blue Mosque.