As one of the cultural wonders of the 20th century and a striking symbol within Ankara's skyline, Kocatepe Mosque is a marvelous sight. Its construction started in 1967 and took 20 years to complete. It can house a massive 24,000 worshipers and is easily recognizable by the four minarets surrounding the main dome. They each stand at 88 meters tall, adding to the wonderful architecture of the mosque. Even though it was built in recent years, Kocatepe Mosque is one of the world's largest. You can even find a shopping center and supermarket in its basement: a reflection of modern Turkey.
Stepping into a work of art
Kocatepe Mosque is open to visitors looking to explore the awe-inducing building, as long as they observe and respect the various rules and rituals. Even though it can be seen from most of Ankara on days with clear weather, it is worth the trip to see it up close. As you stand by the main entrance you'll soon be mesmerized by the sheer scale of the building. Upon entering you have to remove your shoes and make sure you wear appropriate clothing. Once inside you can look upon the numerous stained glass windows and intricate ornaments covering the walls and roof. Four massive columns support the main dome from within and you'll be hard pressed to not feel reverence for the magnitude of the structure.
After a visit to the mosque you can stroll around in the surrounding areas, where there are several traditional Turkish cafés and restaurants for you to dine at while processing the adventures of the day.
Getting to Kocatepe
Getting the the mosque is an easy task, with several bus stops found right next to it. The Kizilay subway station, one of the city's main transport centers, is found just one kilometer away. The famous Kizilay Square is also right around the corner from Kocatepe.