A very full day included: the underground Cistern, Haggia Sophia, the Roman Hippodrome, the Blue Mosque and the Grand Bazaar. Our evening cruise on the Bosphorus took us to dinner at the restaurant Del Mare on the Asia Minor side of Istanbul.
The Blue Mosque, which takes its name from the mainly blue Iznik tilework decorating its interior, is one of the most famous religious buildings in the world. The Blue Mosque was built by Sultan Ahemet I between 1609-16, during the period of declining Ottoman fortunes. Architect Mehmet Aga designed it with six minarets which was considered a sacrilegious attempt to rival the archeture of Mecca itself. To solve the trouble he was in, they commissioned a seventh minaret to be added to the Mosque at Mecca.