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The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul

Turkey's Top-Rated Tourist attraction

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

The Blue Mosque of Istanbul, also known by its official name, Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is a historic Ottoman-era imperial mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. A functional mosque, it also attracts a large number of tourist visitors. It was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmed I. It has Ahmed's tomb, a madrasa and a Dharamshala in its courtyard. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the inner walls of the mosque and at night the mosque is bathed in blue as the illumination of the mosque's five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. It is located next to the Hagia Sophia, Istanbul's main mosque until the construction of the Blue Mosque and another popular tourist site. The Blue Mosque was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1985 under the name "Historic Area of ​​Istanbul".

After the Peace of Zsitvatorok and devastating losses in the 1603-18 war with Persia, Sultan Ahmed I decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul to restore Ottoman power. It will be the first royal mosque for more than forty years. Although his predecessors had paid for their mosques with spoils of war, Ahmed first collected funds from the treasury, as he was unable to achieve significant victories. The construction started in 1609 and finished in 1616.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

The Blue Mosque Architecture

The Blue Mosque has five main domes, six minarets and eight domes. The design is the culmination of two centuries of development of the Ottoman mosque. It incorporates many of the Byzantine elements of the adjacent Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkar Mehmed Agha, synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan with the aim of overwhelming size, majesty and grandeur. The top is decorated with around 20,000 hand-painted glazed ceramics in 60 different tulip patterns. The lower stories are lit by 200 stained glass windows. To the east of the mosque is a large fountain and special place for ablution. An iron chain hangs over the court entrance on the west side. Only the Sultan was allowed to ride into the mosque on horseback, and he had to bow his head so as not to hit the chains, a symbolic gesture that confirmed the ruler's humility before Allah.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

Internal of the Blue Mosque

On its lower level and in each ghat, the interior of the mosque contains more than 20,000 handmade Iznik style ceramic tiles, made in Iznik (ancient Nicaea) in over fifty different tulip designs. The tiles on the lower level are traditional in design, while on the gallery level their designs become brighter with representations of flowers, fruits and cypresses. The tiles were created under the supervision of the Iznik master. The price to be paid for each tile was determined by Sultan's decree, while the price of tiles in general increased over time. As a result, the quality of the tiles used in the building gradually decreases.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

External of the Blue Mosque

The facade of the broad wall was constructed in the same way as the facade of the Suleymaniye Mosque, except for the addition of turrets to the corner domes. The court is as large as the mosque and is surrounded by a continuous arched arcade (revak). There are ablution facilities on both sides of it. The central hexagonal fountain is smaller than the courtyard. The courtyard is monumental but architecturally distinct from the narrow gateway arcade. Its semi-dome has a fine stalactite structure, crowned by a small ribbed dome on a tall thallobate. Its historic primary school (Sıbyan Mektebi) is used as the "Mosque Information Center" adjacent to its outer wall next to the Hagia Sophia. This is where they provide visitors with a free orientation presentation on the Blue Mosque and Islam in general.

The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, Turkey Top-Rated Tourist attraction

Tower of the Blue Mosque

The Blue Mosque is one of five mosques in Turkey with six minarets (one being the modern Sabanki Mosque in Adana, the Mugdat Mosque in Mersin, the Chamlika Mosque in Üsküdar, and the Green Mosque in Arnavutki). According to folklore, an architect misheard the Sultan's request for the "Altin Minerala" (Golden Minaret) as the "Alti Minar" (Six Minarets), a unique feature of Mecca's Kaaba Mosque at the time. Criticized for his assumption, the Sultan then ordered the construction of a seventh minaret at the Mecca Mosque.

Location: Fatih, Istanbul, Turkey

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