Sultan Ahmed Mosque, known as the Blue Mosque is an historical mosque in Istanbul.
The Blue Mosque was the ambitious development of a young sultan and would become certainly one of Istanbul’s most iconic sites. Blue Mosque is where where the land meets heaven in a peaceful harmony. Blue Mosque that is one of the most famous monuments of Turkish and Islamic art is found in Istanbul Turkey. It is at the European area of the city in Sultanahmet area, nearby Hagia Sophia. Blue mosque (its real name in Turkish; Sultan Ahmed Camii) is available to visit every day, just closed during prayer times (approximately 30 minutes during the each five daily prayers which is closed for a longer time at midday on Friday, the Muslim holy day). Begun in 1606, the Blue Mosque is really called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) after the ruler who commissioned it, Sultan Ahmet I.
The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I like a rival to Hagia Sophia and created by architect Mehmet Aga (Aga’s unfortunate predecessor was fired – i.e., executed).
Construction around the mosque began in 1609 and took seven years. Sultan Ahmet died merely a year after the completion of his masterpiece, in the age of 27. He is buried outside the mosque with his wife and three sons.
Things to see
One of the most notable options that come with the Blue Mosque is visible from far away: its six minarets. This is extremely unique, as most mosques have four, two or simply one minaret. According to one account, the Sultan directed his architect to create gold (altin) minarets, which was misunderstood as six (alti) minarets.
- Regardless of the origins of the unique feature, the six minarets caused a significant scandal, as the mosque in Mecca also had six minarets. The issue was solved by adding a seventh minaret to Mecca’s mosque.
- The primary, west entrance is beautifully decorated and cannot be missed, However, to preserve the mosque’s sanctity, non-worshippers have to use the north entrance, from the Hippodrome. Hanging from this gate are symbolic chains that encourage everyone, the sultan on horseback, to bow their head upon entering.
- The interior’s high ceiling has about 20,000 blue tiles that provide the mosque its popular name. Fine types of 16th-century Iznik design, the tiles feature flowers, trees and abstract patterns
- There are several buildings near the Blue Mosque which include a theology school, a Turkish bath, a kitchen that accustomed to serve soup for the poor, and shops. The businesses would provide revenue for maintaining the mosque. The Blue Mosque, because the name implies, was decorated with blue tiles as well as glass-work with the same color.
- There are no images or statues within the mosque since Islam forbids praying to images of any sort. Before entering the mosque you need to take your shoes off. You shouldn’t wear miniskirts, shorts, or really low neckline dress. The staff in the mosque will give you a wrap-round shawl cover yourself when they find your clothing is not right for the mosque.
The mosque is covered with rugs like a general tradition in any mosque, thus individuals have to take their shoes off before entering. It’s able to take photos inside and employ flash without any problems. The mosque is usually open to the visitors throughout the day, but closed for a small amount of time during the prayers. If possible, a little donation is accepted at the exit from the mosque, which is used for repair and maintenance works. Throughout the summer nights, light and sound shows are organized around the block next to the mosque.