Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet Mosque - the first largest and one of the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul. The mosque has six minarets: four, as usual, on both sides, and two slightly less high - on the outer corners. It is considered one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic and world architecture. The mosque is located on the shores of the Marmara Sea in the historic center of Istanbul in the Sultanahmet area in front of the Cathedral of St. Sophia.
Istanbul (historically Byzantium and later Constantinople; see the other names of Istanbul) is the largest city of Turkey and the third largest city in the world. The city covers 27 districts of the Istanbul province.It is located on the Bosphorus Strait and encompasses the natural harbor known as the Golden Horn, in the northwest of the country. It extends both on the European (Thrace) and on the Asian (Anatolia) side of the Bosphorus, and is thereby the only metropolis in the world which is situated on two continents. In its long history, Istanbul served as the capital city of the Roman Empire (330–395), the East Roman (Byzantine) Empire (395–1204 and 1261–1453), the Latin Empire (1204–1261), and the Ottoman Empire (1453–1922). The city was chosen as joint European Capital of Culture for 2010. The historic areas of Istanbul were added to the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985.