Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Mosque)
Sultan Ahmet I had offered to built it as an honor of his period. It was a large complex. Turkish people have called as Sultan Ahmet Mosque. However, tourists fascinated with the beautiful blue tiles always remember it as the Blue Mosque. The complex consisted of a mosque, tombs, madrasah, fountains, a health centre, kitchens, shops, a bath, rooms, houses and storehouses.
It is a functional mosque and attracts large numbers of tourist visitors. Its Kulliye (Complex) contains Sultan Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah, and a hospice. Blue quartz tiles adorn the interior walls of mosque. It stands next to Hagia Sopia with 6 minarets. The Blue Mosque has been in the list of UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1985 under the name of “Historic Areas of Istanbul.
A 19-year-old Sultan started digging ceremoniously in the presence of high officials until he was tired. Thus began the construction in 1604 which continued until 1615. An interesting fact about Sultan Ahmet is that he ascended to the throne at the age of 14 as the 14th ruler and died only 14 years later. Being close to the Topkapi Palace, Sultan Ahmet Mosque was the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul. Even though Royalty had left the Topkapi Palace. But, Sultan Ahmet Mosque ( Blue Mosque) have shared this pride with the Suleymaniye Mosque.
Blue Mosque has five main domes, eight secondary domes and six minarets. The design is the excellence of 15th and 16th centuries of Ottoman Mosque development. It has many Byzantine elements of Hagia Sophia with Islamic Architecture. Also It has been last great mosque of classical period of Ottoman era. Upper gallery has been decorated with approx. 20 thousand pieces of quartz finest Iznik Tiles with mostly tulip patterns. Main Gallery shows all beauty of lights with 200 stained glass windows. ( Sultan Ahmed Mosque)