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This is just a quick note to thank you for the outstanding service provided me upon arrival at Izmir airport. My flight was late and my mobile phone did not work in the region so I was afraid that the driver had left, but he did not. He was waiting patiently and all smiles. I thanked him profusely! His English was great and he was more than willing to tell me about the city as we drove to the hotel.
Sarah W.
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Ataturk Airport to Sultanahmet transfer
Sultanahmet Information
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The Sultanahmet Mosque is the Blue Mosque and is located next to Hagia Sophia and it was built between 1609. Access to the mosque is only permitted through the North Gate for all non-Muslims where plastic bags are provided at the door in order to place your shoes.

Open 9:00am-6:00pm daily except during the five daily prayer times
Admission free

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There is a strict dress code for those entering the mosque and you should be properly dressed in order to have access to the interior. Both men and women must cover their heads before entering the mosque

If you are not Muslim, it is suggested that you sit on the prayer rug. Visitors should avoid walking in front of someone in prayer as well as talking while the ceremony lasts.

During winter due to lack of heating the mosque is fairly cold and it is wise to wear heavy socks and clothes for your visit.

At 9:00pm on summer nights, there is a narration about the construction of the mosque. As the narrator explains about each part of the Mosque, the lights turn on in that particular part of the mosque. When the narration ends, the entire mosque is glowing in splendor.

This a unique experience for visitors who come to the Blue Mosque called blue due to the blue tiles used in the interior. Six minarets can be found in the Blue Mosque similar to those on the Hagia Sophia, across the street.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (or Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is the National mosque of Turkey in Istanbul. The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is nowadays one of the greatest tourist attractions of Istanbul.

Architecture

The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque combines elements deriving from two centuries of Ottoman mosque development. It is regarded as the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect had to synthesize a construction of overwhelming size, majesty and splendor, and even though the exteriors are astonishing unfortunately, the interiors lack creative thinking.

Large quantities of materials were used for the construction, mainly stone and marble. The layout of the mosque is irregular, as the architect had to adjust the design according to the existing constraints of the site at the time.

The architect based his plan on the Ṣehzade Mosque, which was the first major large-scale work of Sinan, preserving the same square-based symmetrical quatrefoil plan and the spacious forecourt. The overall effect of the exterior on the visitor is constitutes a perfect visual harmony, leading the eye up to the peak of the central dome.

The main architectural elements of the Blue Mosque are:

-The prayer hall with ascending domes and semi-domes.
-The central dome, which is 23.5 meters in diameter and 43 meters high.
-The four massive piers.
-The turrets on the corner domes.
-Vaulted arcade (revak).
-The central hexagonal fountain.
-20,000 handmade ceramic tiles in more than fifty different designs.
-200 stained glass windows
-The mihrab, which is made of finely carved and sculptured marble

blue mosque sultanahmet

 
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