The next door neighbor to Hagia Sophia is Sultanahmet Mosque better known as the Blue Mosque. It's blue owing to the color of the tiles predominant in its interior.
Pretty imposing with its 6 minarets and cascading domes.
The building is a working mosque. This means it's not always open to non-worshippers. Good thing about that is that it never closes so we were able to visit outside of worship hours.
When we first got in, I was initially hesitative so as not to do anything offensive. Turns out they weren't so strict. Saw men just sitting, squatting, even laying down on the carpeted middle section, some taking or posing for pictures. There was some talking and laughing. And oddly, I saw a lot of children running around as if it were a playground, all this while some men were actually in prayer! Bit strange.
And I also noticed this sign...
Afterwards, it was time to grab some dinner. We decided to go back to Taksim Square and look for this particular kebab place that someone suggested. Despite walking about a kilometer's length (!) of Istiklal Street, we couldn't find the place at all.
We did find another place on our list - Cicek Pasaji which turned out to be a beautiful alternative.
Labels: Church, Travel, Turkey