The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior. The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 years, during the rule of Ahmed I.

The mosque is covered with rugs as a general tradition in any mosque, so entering the mosque everyone is required to remove their shoes, as they want to keep the carpets clean. Upon entering the mosque and working our way through the crowds the carpet might be clean but the air was well permeated with the odor of thousands of feet.

 

The Blue Mosque Turkey

 

This is the only mosque in Istanbul having 6 minarets or towers. Muslims are called to prayer from the balconies on the minarets five times a day by the Muezzin.

 

The Blue Mosque

 

The Blue Mosque

 

The interior of the mosque is lined with more than 20,000 handmade İznik style ceramic tiles, in more than fifty different tulip designs.

 

The Blue Mosque

According Wikipedia, Pope Benedict XVI visited the Sultan Ahmed Mosque on 30 November 2006 during his visit to Turkey. It marks as only the second papal visit in history to a Muslim place of worship.

 

The Blue Mosque

 

The Blue Mosque

 

The Blue Mosque

 

It’s free to enter the mosque but you do have to stay to the side. They ask for donations on the way out, we gave them a few TL.

Across the promenade from The Blue Mosque is The Hagia Sophia. Visiting it is a bit of a different experience. Think of it like traveling through an airport security in the US compared to most other countries. The Blue Mosque has someone at the entrance to check you, but for the most part they are more relaxed about it. The Hagia Sophia makes you wait in line then you go to pay a fee to get in. The cost has multiple prices and isn’t clear on the difference. When you ask the person behind the window, they could care less about your question or helping you but will take your money anyway. From there you go through a metal detector and security check before finally being allowed in.
The Hagia Sophia
Once a church, later a mosque, and now a museum but still used as a church and looks just like a church. I guess the difference is you pay to a museum in Istanbul but not a mosque or church.
The Hagia Sophia
The church/Museum goes back to the Byzantium and Ottoman Empires, and is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture.
The Hagia Sophia
If you have looked through these images and are thinking to yourself ‘WTF these pictures suck.’ The reason is, I did it on purpose to demonstrate the issue with traveling in a world with such a large population. And that we can’t see sites anymore without having to deal with massive crowds. This is the reality of travel vs the idealized version of travel that we get in the heavily curated images that most people post.