A historic mosque and tourist attraction place, The Blue Mosque also famous as The Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is located in Istanbul, Turkey. It remains a functioning mosque, while also attracting a large number of tourists. It was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmed 1. The hand-painted blue tiles adorn the interior walls of the mosque, and the mosque is bathed in blue at night. When the light forms the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes.
Mosque was built in 1609 by Sultan Ahmed I and completed in 1617. The Sultan was only 19 at the time and dreamed of building a mosque that would be better. Hagia Sophia is also said to have begun the construction of the mosque after the Peace of Zsitvatorok and losing the war to the Persians as a gesture to reassure its citizens and re-establish Ottoman rule.
Blue Mosque was built on the site of former Byzantine palace and now stands on top of Bosphorus Hill and the Sea of Marmara. It also precedes Hagia Sophia, a former Orthodox Christian church that was converted into the main Ottoman royal mosque.
Blue Mosque has six minarets, five main domes, and eight secondary domes. This design is the culmination of two centuries of Ottoman mosques. This Mosque is a beautiful confluence of classic Islamic, Ottoman and Byzantine Christian-style designs, designed by the architect Syed Fikr Mehmed Agha. He was a student of the famous architect of the Mimar Sinan, completed his mission by incorporating his bright, colorful architectural style as his master teacher.
The upper area is decorated with about 20,000 hand-painted glazed ceramics in 60 different tulip patterns. The stories below are illuminated by 200 stained glass windows. In front of this mosque there is a watchman in front which has a big spring and a special area for ablution.
The most important element of the interior of the mosque is the mihrab, which is made of fine carvings and sculptural marble. Although one of Istanbul’s most famous landmarks, it is still a working mosque and is therefore closed to tourists for 90 minutes during each prayer. About 20,000 people can worship at the mosque at a time.
In the end, Sultan Ahmed has already won, and The Blue Mosque now sits on a hill that was once home to the Grand Palace of Constantinople in the Byzantine Empire. The wide forecourt was built in the same way as the Suleymaniye Mosque, except for the towers on the corner domes. The court itself is as big as the mosque itself and has a revolving arcade around it.
Its semi-dome has a fine stalactite structure, the length of which is supported by a small rib dome on a long talobite. Its historic elementary school is used as the “Masjid Information Center” which is attached to its outer wall on the Hagia Sophia side.
A notable feature of Blue Mosque is its minarets – the tall, narrow towers around the outside of the mosque where the Muezzin traditionally pray five times a day. Sultan Ahmed I wanted to make sure that his mosque is magnificent and he designed six minarets
There are four minarets on the corners of this Mosque. Each of these, pencil-shaped towers has three balconies with stabilized corbels, while the other two have only two balconies at the end of the key door.
In 2009, US President Barack Obama arrived in Istanbul and visited Blue Mosque with Turkish PM Recep Tayyip Erdogan. President Obama was on a two-day visit to Turkey to highlight ties between a Muslim-majority country and the United States.
Tourists are always wondering how to visit Blue Mosque. There are a lot of other questions like entry fees, dress code, where to keep my shoes and so on. Below are the answers to all these simple questions.