On exiting Hagia Sophia, one gets a view of the Blue Mosque (properly the Sultanahmet Mosque), which replaced that earlier building as one of the main centres of worship in Imperial Istanbul. Its architect, Mehmet Sedefkar Mehmed Agha, was obviously a little influenced by Hagia Sophia when building this impressive structure for the young Sultan Ahmed I in the early 17th Century.
Like Hagia Sopha, the complex contains a school, tomb for the Sultan and a courtyard with fountains for worshippers.
The Sultan was the only individual able to enter the complex on horseback – this chain made sure that he had to bow when doing so. The “blue” in the mosque’s popular name comes from the 20,000+ Iznik tiles that decorate the interior of the complex from its domes to its columns.
The vivid colours make this a stunning location and it’s well worth a visit. The visitors’ entrance is well signposted and you’ll be given a handy plastic bag for your shoes, as well as a head covering (females) if you haven’t got one of your own.