The alluring domes and six graceful minarets of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque constitute to one of the most beautiful destinations in the world. The historical and architectural marvel is commonly referred to as the Blue Mosque pertaining to the blue titles and walls. Sultan Ahmed Mosque was built during the rule of Ahmed 1 (1609-1616). Besides being a Muslim house of worship the mosque entails a school or madrasa and a hospital.
History of Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Sultan Ahmed 1 decided to build the Blue Mosque in rendition to the Peace of Zsitvatorok (1606). The mosque was built in particular to face the Hagia Sophia, another beautiful destination in Istanbul that is filled with architecture and historical richness.
Sultan Ahmed 1 appointed his royal architect, Sedefhar Mehmet Aga for the construction of the mosque. Around 8 volumes of meticulous blue prints were printed in order to layout the structure and its composition. A royal box known as the ‘hünkâr mahfil’ was also included, solely dedicated to the Sultan. However, the construction could not be finished until the Sultan’s reign thus the mosque was then assigned to his successor Mustafa 1.
The design of the mosque is a pastiche of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine elements. The Mosque also culminates traditional Islamic architecture making it one of the most beautiful historical monument of the Ottoman Empire. The Mosque includes six minarets which imitates splendor and magnificence. However, during its construction when the number of minarets were revealed, Sultan Ahmed 1 was criticized for being presumptuous since the same number of minarets were at the mosque situated in Mecca. The Sultan then ordered the construction of a seventh minaret in Mecca at his own expense.
Four minarets are situated at the corners of the Blue Mosque where in, the other two are located at the forecourt. Each minaret has a balcony overlooking the magnificent mosque and awe inspiring views of the city. The call to the prayer can be heard across the city. Many people reminisce the moment when they hear the call perfectly in sync to the sunset illuminating the mosque in bright light.
The mosque was built using twenty thousand handmade ceramic tiles portraying fifty different tulip designs. The gallery built on the first floor represents traditional elements with different designs including flowers, fruit and cypresses. More than 20,000 tiles were made under the supervision of the world renowned Iznik master potter Kasap Haci,and Baris Efendi. However, with time the colors have faded. You can also marvel at the beautiful and intricate designs on the glass panels that illuminates natural light. The decor also includes verses from the Holy Quran many of them made by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, regarded as the greatest calligrapher of his time.
Visit the historical monument to marvel at its beauty and relish the moments of peace the mosque emanates!