Blue Mosque – Istanbul, Turkey

world landmarks

Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultan Ahmet Camii), also known outside Turkey as The Blue Mosque, was built by Sultan Ahmed I and is one of the most famous and important mosques in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

The mosque is located in Sultanahmet Square, opposite the Hagia Sophia Mosque, which Ataturk turned into a museum and then restored as a mosque. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is famous for its distinctive architecture, as it is considered one of the most important and largest mosques in the Islamic world.

Mosque architecture

The mosque was built between 1018 AH – 1026 AH / 1609 AD – 1616 AD, according to one of the inscriptions on one of its doors.

Its architect, Mehmet Agha, is the most famous Turkish architect after Sinan Pasha and Daoud Agha. The mosque is located south of the Hagia Sophia and east of the ancient Byzantine Racecourse.

It has a high wall surrounding it on three sides, and in the wall there are five doors, three of which lead to the courtyard of the mosque and two to the prayer hall.

The courtyard consists of a large courtyard, and in the middle of the court is a hexagonal basin mounted on six columns. The largest doors that lead to the courtyard show the influence of Persian art.

The Ottoman architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa (Turkish: Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa) synthesized the ideas of his mentor Mimar Sinan, striving for the grandeur of the building, grandeur and splendor.

Design from the outside

The mosque has five main large domes, six minarets, and eight small domes. The design came to reflect two hundred years of Ottoman experience in building mosques.

The mosque’s architecture includes some Byzantine Christian architectural elements taken from the neighboring Hagia Sophia, with traditional Islamic architecture, and it is considered the last great mosque in the period of traditional (classical) Ottoman architecture.

interior design

From the inside, the mosque is in the form of a rectangle with lengths of 64 m and 72 m, and in the middle is a large dome flanked by four half-domes, and each corner of the mosque is covered with small domes with a large number of windows that transmit light.

You can reach the Sultan Ahmed Mosque in Istanbul by tramway T1 “Bagcilar-Kaptas”, get off at the “Sultanahmet” station, then walk about five minutes to reach it and to the Hagia Sophia Mosque.

The story of the six minarets

Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the four exclusive mosques in Turkey that has six minarets and we will mention them at the end of the article.

Above the mosque are six minarets that encountered difficulties in their construction, as the Grand Mosque in Makkah Al Mukarramah contained six minarets.

Sultan Ahmed received great criticism on the idea of ​​the six minarets as a comparison or analogy to the Grand Mosque in Mecca, but he overcame this problem by ordering the construction of a seventh minaret in the Grand Mosque so that his mosque would be the only mosque in Istanbul and Turkey (until the time of its construction) that contains six minarets, While the Grand Mosque is unique with seven minarets alone.

It is said that Sultan Ahmed, before heading for Hajj, had ordered his prime minister to build a minaret of pure gold for the mosque, and the word gold in Turkish is called: “altın,” but the Prime Minister mistakenly heard it as “altı” (Turkish: altı). Which means: the number “six” in Turkish instead of “altin” (meaning “golden”), so he built six minarets instead of building a golden one.

Other mosques that have six minarets are:

Sabanci Central Mosque in Adana, which was built in 1998 AD, and Hazrat Miqdad Mosque in Mersin, Yenişehir region, named after the great companion Miqdad bin Amr, one of the first converts to Islam and buried in Baqi’ in Medina, and Çamlıca Mosque in the Uskudar district of Istanbul, and it was opened on July 1 2016 AD.

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