One of the most stunning features of the Istanbul skyline, the Blue Mosque is among the most prominent landmarks of the Turkish capital. Constructed to surpass the ancient Hagia Sophia, the architecture of the Blue Mosque combines traditional Ottoman styles with Hagia Sophia-inspired Byzantine figurines and awe-inspiring Islamic arts.
The exteriors of the iconic mosque, with five main domes, eight secondary domes, and six minarets, are as enchanting as its unmatched interiors. More than 20,000 handcrafted blue Iznik tiles embellished with 50 varying motifs adorn the interior walls of the mosque, giving the structure its famous name.
Recorded into the UNESCO World Heritage List of Zones Historiques Istanbul, the seventeenth-century mosque, also known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, is still open for those who wish to offer prayers. More than 200 stained glass windows let sunlight into the interiors, creating a spiritual atmosphere like no other. The iconic landmark is also the resting place of its ambitious patron, Sultan Ahmet I, who succeeded in creating a structure that rivals the legendary Hagia Sophia.
Blue Mosque Istanbul history can be traced back to the seventeenth century when the massive Ottoman Empire was ruled by its fourteenth Sultan, Sultan Ahmet I. In a period when the hills of Istanbul were full of mosques named after the Sultans who commissioned them, the young new Sultan wished to construct a structure that would surpass the glory of one of the city’s greatest icons, the Hagia Sophia.
As the Fifteen Years’ War between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs came to an end, there was a perception that citizens of the empire were losing trust in the Ottomans. To reassert his authority and boost the morale of his people, Sultan Ahmet I ordered the construction of a mosque right next to the Hagia Sophia.
It was in 1609 that the construction was kickstarted by the Sultan as per the architectural plans of Mehmet Aga, the chief architect of the palace. The magnificent structure saw completion in 1616, seven years after the building process had begun. There were various names given, from the New Mosque to the Sultanahmet Camii to its most popular name, the Blue Mosque.
A unique feature of the Blue Mosque was that it had six minarets, constructed to the Sultan’s wishes to make the new structure different from other mosques. This, however, drew backlash from the Muslim community, as only the Kaaba in Mecca had six minarets earlier. The community saw the Sultan’s decision as disrespect, a notion that he dismissed by commissioning a seventh minaret at Kaaba.
A unique amalgamation of Byzantine and Ottoman architectural traditions, the Blue Mosque is famous for its six minarets, five main domes, and eight secondary domes. Even more popular is the interior décor, as 20,000 handcrafted blue Iznik tiles embellished with Ottoman motifs adorn the walls. As the tiles give the mosque its name, the enchanting structure is lit up from within by more than 200 stained glass windows and gorgeous chandeliers. The Blue Mosque, locally known as the Sultanahmet Mosque, is also the resting place of its visionary patron, Sultan Ahmet I.
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Who built the Blue Mosque?
The history of Blue Mosque notes the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I as the ruler who ordered its construction in the seventeenth century.
How old is the Blue Mosque?
Blue Mosque Istanbul history began in 1609 when the construction was kickstarted by Sultan Ahmet I which makes it older than 400 years.
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How long did the Blue Mosque take to build?
A seven-year construction period led to the completion of the Blue Mosque Istanbul in 1616.
What dynasty built the Blue Mosque?
The history of Blue Mosque notes that the construction of the structure was done under the Ottoman dynasty.
Why was the Blue Mosque built?
The Blue Mosque Istanbul history notes that it was built after the Fifteen Years War between the Ottomans and the Habsburgs. As people’s trust in the Ottoman empire was perceived to be fading, the Sultan wanted to reassert his authority and boost the morale of citizens. The Blue Mosque was envisioned by the Sultan as a mosque that would rival and surpass the ancient Hagia Sophia in size and beauty.
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What are the main features of the Blue Mosque?
The Blue Mosque is a unique blend of traditional Ottoman and Byzantine architectural styles.The structure has five main domes, eight secondary domes, and six minarets.
The interiors of the Blue Mosque are adorned with handcrafted blue Iznik tiles that are embellished with traditional Ottoman motifs, which give the mosque its name.
There are more than 200 stained glass windows and huge chandeliers that light up the interiors of the mosque.
The Sultanahmet Mosque is fully functional, and people offer prayers during namaz and throughout the day.
Who is buried in the Blue Mosque?
The patron of the Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmet I, is buried with his wife, Kosem Sultan, on the mosque premises.
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Is the Blue Mosque worth visiting?
The Blue Mosque rivals Hagia Sophia is a must-visit if you are in Istanbul for its magnificence and is unique because of its six minarets and blue interiors. Among the most impressive Ottoman structures, the still-functional mosque combines Byzantine and Ottoman elements in its architecture. The Sultanahmet Mosque is lit up by more than 200 stained glass windows and huge chandeliers and is a beautiful sight to behold inside and out.
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