Blue Mosque

The Mosque of Sultan Ahmed, popularly called Blue Mosque, is situated near Hagia Sophia, against ancient hippodrome and Byzantine emperor palace. Blue Mosque in Istanbul was built in Ottoman empire era, with characteristic cascade domes and six minarets. It is considered to be one of the most impressive religious buildings in the whole wide world. Architectural style of this mosque is predominantly classical Ottoman style mixed with certain Byzantine elements.

Guided tours visiting Blue Mosque

Fascinating interior of the mosque is encased with 21,043 handmade ceramic pads. Among decorations of the interior, you can see Qur'anic verses, written by Sajid Kasim Guberi, distinguished penman at the time. Despite its name Blue Mosque, nothing is blue in its exterior. For this adjective, the most deserved is color of internal walls. Blue Mosque is unique for its six minarets because majority of the mosques that were built at the time had four minarets the most. Actually, at the time, building a mosque with six minarets was quite a controversy because the only Masjid al-Haram in Mecca had just as much. Sultan Ahmed I solved this problem by sending a donation to build seventh minaret on the big mosque near Kaaba. Construction started in 1609 when Ottoman sultan Ahmed I decided to build a religious place bigger than Hagia Sophia. He named emperor’s architect Sedefkar Mehmed Agha to be in charge of this project. Building lasted for seven years and the mosque opened its doors to believers in 1616. Only one year after finishing his masterpiece, sultan Ahmed I died at the age of 28. He was buried in the harem along with remains of his wife and three sons as well.

Blue Mosque is so spacious it can fit around 20,000 people at the same time and this is how many tourists visit it each day. This mosque has 260 windows so, comparing to the other mosques built by various sultans throughout the history, it has much more light. Blue mosque is very popular for tourists.

Although many worldwide known politicians and other influential people have visited this exquisite building, one of the most remarkable moments in its history is the visit of Pope Benedict XVI. When he entered the building, he stopped for the moment, closed his eyes and enjoyed peace and quiet. This historic moment happened in 2006. It is very important since this is only the second time in the history that high representative of Christianity, visited a muslim religious building.

Interesting facts

Sultan wanted minarets made of pure gold, but the constructor, who suffered from impaired hearing from the noise and dust instead of ‘alten’ (golden) heard sultan saying ‘alt’ (six). That is how the constructor, working on the most beautiful mosque in the empire built the only mosque with 6 minarets in Istanbul shocking the entire Muslim world. It is built couple of hundreds of meters from Hagia Sophia to defy each other with their beauty.

According to one legend, when sultan saw that minarets aren’t made of pure gold, he asked for Mehmed Agha and ordered to cut his hands by his elbows. However, the sultan couldn’t resist the most beautiful mosque in the world. He adored it for its mesmerizing minarets and 30 domes up to 44 meters high. Its walls are decorated with 20,000 white, blue and green pads from Nikea and all 260 windows are painted in a way to pour light in the mosque in quite a unique way that was supposed to affect people by enhancing their need to pray.

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