Istanbul Blue Mosque

Istanbul Blue Mosque
Istanbul Blue Mosque

Istanbul's Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is located in the city of Istanbul in front of the well-known Hagia Sophia Basilica, however this does not detract from the beauty of the Mosque, which is characterized by the unique mosque in all of Istanbul that is crowned with six minarets. The work is presented as one of the best synthesis between Ottoman architecture and the architectural forms of traditional Islamic art and its construction is considered the last great work of Ottoman art.


The works were carried out between 1609 and 1617. Sultan Ahmed I ordered the construction to be erected with the intention of appeasing the wrath of Allah due to the succession of defeats that his army had suffered against the Safavid army. The Blue Mosque would be the first imperial mosque to be built after almost forty years of inactivity and, of course, it was the first to be built not with the spoils of war but with the money from the municipal coffers, which caused great controversy.

If its construction was controversial, the location chosen for it was no less so; the sultan decided to build the mosque right in front of the well-known Hagia Sophia, which until then was considered the most prominent mosque in all of Istanbul. For this, the Imperial Palace and the city's hippodrome had to be demolished, which still causedmore expenses. The work was commissioned to the architect Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa, right-hand man of the well-known Sinan; Although it is true that Sedefkar managed to capture the same splendor that Sinan gave to all his works on the outside of the Blue Mosque, he did not manage to recreate the magnificence with which his master built the interiors of the mosques, which in this case, appears distorted with respect to the outside.

Despite its irregular layout, the architect has managed to establish a harmonious whole; on the outside the building is presented as a succession of staggered domes that grow until they reach the great central dome. In the conception of the building and in the support system, the influence that Sinan had on his disciple is evident. The dimensions of the temple are gigantic, the courtyard is the same size as the prayer room and, according to legend, the stock of stone and marble from the main quarries in the area was exhausted during its construction.

The name of the Blue Mosque comes precisely from the lavish interior of the temple that is covered with more than twenty thousand bluish tiles made in the ancient city of Nicaea and brought to Istanbul specifically. Their forms are combined to represent a wide repertoire of vegetal decoration that ascends towards the domes.

In its time it was considered that the Blue Mosque would be too lavish due to the construction of six minarets, since at that time the only mosque that had such a number of minarets was the Mosque ofthe Kaaba located in Mecca.

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