The Mosque of Sultan Ahmet, known as Blue Mosque from the colour of its interior decoration, stands gloriously with its domes like a jewellery crown next to the hippodrome on the european side of Istanbul. Its monumental and harmonious architecture balances and completes the city skyline opposite to Hagia Sophia on the other end of the garden. It is immediately shown to the eyes with six minarets. It is only mosque in the city with six minarets, once it triggered the dispute among clergy as it was considered a challenge to Holy Mecca Mosque which was only one with six before completion of Sultan Ahmet Mosque. A funny story tells that the Sultan asked his architect to build a golden minaret (ALTIN) but he misheard and built six minarets (ALTI). Assuming that it was only mistake, Sultan Ahmet Mosque was completed in seven years between 1609-1616 on the ground of former Roman Palace and some Ottoman palaces which they had to be confiscated and demolished to make enough room. As it was the one of most expensive structure in Ottoman Era, the finest building material was gathered from all over the empire. Marbels, tiles, gigantic gates, all of them is combined in best way possible.
Sultan Ahmet I was fourteenth Sultan and was fourteen years old. Interestingly he died at age of 28, exactly after 14 years of his reign. unfortunately he hardly appreciated his masterpiece for 10 months more or less.
Today, Blue Mosque is one of the most visited monument in Istanbul. As it is a functioning mosque and that’s reason it is closed to visits during praying times. The praying times changes to the seasons but the best hours to visit Blue Mosque is either right after opening its doors at 08.30 a.m. or after noon service around 13.00 p.m.