The Blue Mosque

There really aren’t words to describe the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It is just simply breathtaking.

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Our second day in Istanbul we went on a tour for the majority of the day – it was really great! Our guide was awesome and we saw EVERYTHING we wanted to see, the first of which being the Blue Mosque!

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Since I took so many pictures from our tour, I figured it would be best to break it down in blog post by landmark. I will be linking to Wikipedia for further information on the sights we saw if you would like to know more!

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Our tour started just outside the Blue Mosque at  the Obelisk of Theodosius remaining from the Byzantine Hippodrome . It predates the Ottoman buildings around it and was transported from Egypt!

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Outside the mosque, attached to the building is a hallway of faucets for washing hands and feet before entering. Since is is still an active mosque today, this is very important to the Muslims who worship there.

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Like I mentioned in on our first day in Istanbul, we got a little sneak peak of the outside and courtyard area, but seeing it in the early morning made it even more beautiful!

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Here is a little more detail on some of the “rules” before entering the mosque:

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We had to remove our shoes before entering, which I understand why we had to do it, but to be honest with you, the mosque smelled like feet.

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But I got over the smell the second I stepped foot inside and looked up. 

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We went during a time when there were no prayers going on so we got a really nice view of everything and it wasn’t too crazy packed with tourists.

The Call to Prayer happens five times a day: It is heard at dawn, at the midday, about the middle of the afternoon, just after sunset, and at night fall about two hours after sunset. We heard all 5 calls to prayer everyday during our time in Istanbul, it was very beautiful!

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My experience inside the Blue Mosque was unexpected. I had no idea what the inside would be like and when we went inside I was overwhelmed with the size of it all.

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The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles adorning the walls of the interior.

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The tiles were beautiful, no picture can really do them justice.

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The carpet even had a little blue in it too!

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I brought a scarf with me to cover my head in the mosque out of respect. There were lots of women who had skin showing and heads uncovered, which I didn’t think was very cool.

When in Rome Istanbul, right?

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Did I mention the details in this place were out of control?

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I make the scarf on the head look good, right?

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I think the outside is just as beautiful as the inside.

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With our tour group we hit up the “Facebook spot” for some more pictures.

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Pretty nice view if you ask me!

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On the horizon is the stoic Hagia Sophia, which we will see later on our tour!

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What did you think of the Blue Mosque? Have you ever been in a mosque before?

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10 Comments

  • Reply Melissa June 14, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    You’re just beginning your honeymoon updates and I’m already wanting to ask for your entire itinerary. Everything in Istanbul looks amazing. I was planning on going to Germany/Austria in early September but I may have to rethink that trip. 😉

  • Reply Kelley June 14, 2011 at 9:35 pm

    Wow, those pictures are stunning. Istanbul is definitely on my list now. I can’t wait to see the rest of your trip because I’m dying to know if you visited Kusadasi too!! We visited a mosque in Dubai and Egypt. It was such a cool experience. But that blue mosque is exquisite!

  • Reply Sana June 15, 2011 at 2:11 am

    As a Muslim, I am really impressed that you wore a scarf when you went to the mosque, that was really awesome of you 🙂

  • Reply allison June 15, 2011 at 8:26 am

    As an art major im totally loving all the mosque pictures!!! It has such incredible architecture and detail!

    And i think its totally rude if people didnt cover their head and i saw a guy in shorts in one of your pics! Definitely not cool!

    have fun on your honeymoon:):):):)

  • Reply Liz June 15, 2011 at 8:37 am

    I’m not Muslim, but I am very impressed at the respect you showed for others’ faith. Go you. 🙂

  • Reply Hope June 15, 2011 at 8:44 am

    Beautiful pictures! 🙂 I’ve never been to Mosque before.

  • Reply Patty O July 5, 2011 at 5:56 pm

    I have never been a Mosque, but it reminds me of some of the beautiful Cathedrals I saw in Europe recently while on vacation. The cathedrals are much more ornate and have lots of marble statues, etc. The scarf looked awesome, not to worry!

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