Visiting Blue Mosque

You can visit the Blue Mosque at any time of the day except for half hour of prayer time five times a day. On Friday, the Muslim holy day, the prayers are longer and the Mosque may remain closed for a longer time. There is no entry fee. The visitors generally enter from the north door while the west door is reserved for the Muslim worshippers.

The real thrill of visiting the Blue Mosque lies as you approach it. Entering it is an overwhelming experience. As you enter the compound, you see the six minarets towering in front of you. You look upwards to the domes and each dome rises higher than the other does until you reach the main dome. Here, as you look up, you seem to face the heavens above. You will be given a plastic bag for your shoes when you walk round to the main entrance.

Once inside, the calligraphy by the poet architect Mehmet, the painted arabesques on the roof of the dome, the stained glass windows, and the blue tiles gradually unfold themselves and you can feel the mystic atmosphere of the place. You can sit quietly on the carpet and absorb the beauty of the interiors. The one thing that strikes about the Blue Mosque is the bright and open effect that is produced by the 260 windows through which sunlight streams in. This is a well thought illumination that combines skillfully the faience to herald a new type of architecture.
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