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From: MSC Eastern Mediterranean Cruise Review

Blue Mosque dome

Blue Mosque carpeting

Istanbul, Turkey

During our visit to Istanbul's Blue Mosque, we thought the two most notable characteristics of interior were the dome and the carpeting.

The dome or cupola is 23.5 meters (77 feet) in diameter, with a height of 43 meters (141 feet) at the center. It's decorated with Moorish motifs and inscriptions from the Koran, and 260 windows--some with stained glass, some uncolored--admit light through the cupola and surrounding galleries.

The pattern on the carpeted floor is designed to create order during prayers: Muslim worshippers place themselves along the lines of flowers, in much the same way as Christians arrange themselves on pews or chairs.

  • Note: The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is nicknamed the "Blue Mosque" because the interior was painted blue at one time. The original color of the walls was not blue, however, and since the 1970s, restoration has brought most of the interior back to its original (pre-blue) color.

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