One of the main buildings to see in Istanbul is the Blue Mosque or Sultan Ahmed Mosque, built by Sultan Ahmed I between 1609 and 1616 and inaugurated in the year 1617 during the term of Mustafa I.
The pride of the Sultan, who wants a mosque more impressive than Hagia Sophia, led to the construction of a mosque with six minarets, something that caused much controversy and that Mecca also had six. The controversy is resolved by incorporating one more minaret into the Saudi mosque.
Despite this rivalry and the apparent equality of dimensions with Hagia Sophia, the Blue Mosque is smaller with a large central dome 23.5 m in diameter and 43 m high.
Inside there are more than 20,000 blue tiles that adorn the dome and the top of the mosque. Unfortunately, I could not detect it since the mosque was under construction, as were many other monuments in the city.
It was the first mosque that was built after forty years of inactivity. For the Sultan, the intention was for the mosque to be the first of his Empire. But its construction generated a great controversy. The money from the municipal coffers was used, so a sector of the city, the ulemas, did not agree.
The mosque was built in front of the Basilica of Hagia Sophia, in the place occupied by the Grand Palace of Constantinople. In fact, a part of the temple rests on the foundations of that palace. The immense size of the mosque made it necessary to tear down part of the buildings that were around.
Finally, in 1617 it was inaugurated, although it was not finished during the sultanate of Ahmed I, but of Mustafa I.
The mosque is a synthesis between Ottoman architecture and architectural forms of traditional Islamic art. And also, it is considered the last work of Ottoman art.
The Blue Mosque is formed by a succession of domes, which increase in size until they reach the great central dome. Its dimensions are huge. The central dome is 23 meters in diameter and 43 meters high. It is approximately twice as large as the Basilica of Hagia Sophia.
The interiors are lined with thousands of blue tiles and are decorated with plant species such as tulips, flowers, fruits and cypresses. The tiles were manufactured in the ancient city of Nicea (now İznik) and made by hand.
The mosque is lit with more than 200 stained glass windows and chandeliers hanging from the ceiling. Its immense size and majestic decoration leave all tourists open-mouthed.
It is one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul and the world. Named for the color of the tiles that decorate its interior, we will learn more about the Blue Mosque.
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