Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Blue Mosque)

Sultan Ahmed Mosque

A Journey into the Heart of History | Hagia Sophia | Sultan Ahmed Mosque | Topkapı Palace | Hippodrome

Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Hundreds of windows in the domes bathe the interior of the mosque with an enchanting luminescence.

 

To Sultan Ahmed I (1603-1617) fell the honor of constructing a mosque on the plaza that could rival and reflect the magnificence of Hagia Sophia (Ayasofya). This structure is frequently referred to as the "Blue Mosque" because of the extraordinary tiles decorations. These tiles, whose blue tones imbue the interior with an ethereal atmosphere, were produced in Iznik when the industry there had achieved full maturity. The Sultanahmet mosque is also unusual for its six minarets and it is the only mosque in Istanbul with so many. (In Ottoman times, only sultans and the members of their immediate families were allowed to build mosques with multiple minarets.) The building is the work of the architect Ahmet Aga, who adhered to the mosque-building traditions established by the great Mimar Sinan. Construction began in 1609 and was completed in 1616. The practice of stringing up lights between the minarets of mosques spelling out messages during the Ramazan month of fasting was begun by Ahmed I and has since become a custom.

Blue-and-white Iznik tiles
Because of the blue-and-white Iznik tiles gracing the interior, the Sultanahmet Mosque is also known as the "Blue Mosque".

 

A Journey into the Heart of History | Hagia Sophia | Sultan Ahmed Mosque | Topkapı Palace | Hippodrome