June 28, 2017 10:48 pm
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A Magnificent Architecture – Blue Mosque

Blue Mosque – Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Massive and magnificent architecture , the Blue Mosque (in Turkish – Sultanahmet Camii) dominates Istanbul’s skyline. Six minarets, shining silver in the sun, pierce the air like expectant rockets. The Mosque was built between 1609 – 1617 by order of Sultan Ahmed I, it was designed to rival the great church of Haghia Sophia, just a stone’s throw to the north. Not content with challenging one of Christendom’s most sacred shrines, the Blue Mosque even vied for supremacy with Islam’s holiest mosque at Mecca, the only one at the time to have six minarets. To quash the scandal a seventh minaret was added in Mecca.

Blue Mosque - Sultan Ahmed Mosque

Blue Mosque – Sultan Ahmed Mosque |via|

Stroll into the vast courtyard and you are engulfed by arches, domes, and semi-domes on every horizon. Walk into the hushed inner sanctum, and you’ll see that these architectural cascades weren’t just built to impress. They have the practical purpose of creating a vast interior with giant columns, stained glass windows, and thousands of tiles whose blue hue gives the mosque its moniker.

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, A Magnificent Architecture - Blue Mosque, Istanbul

Alas for Sultan Ahmed I, he died, aged just 27, of typhus shortly after the Blue Mosque’s opening ceremony and before its actual completion. Like many other mosques, it also contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasa and a hospice.

Blue Mosque Park

Blue Mosque Park |via|

Domes - Sultan Ahmed, Istanbul

Domes | Sultan Ahmed, Istanbul |via|

Stroll into the vast courtyard and you are engulfed by arches, domes, and semi-domes on every horizon. Walk into the hushed inner sanctum, and you’ll see that these architectural cascades weren’t just built to impress. They have the practical purpose of creating a vast interior with giant columns, stained glass windows, and thousands of tiles whose blue hue gives the mosque its moniker.

Come and you’ll marvel at this Ottoman masterpiece, but remember this is no ruinous relic of the past. Listen to the call to prayer, watch the pilgrims wash themselves, and you’ll see the Blue Mosque is a living, breathing building, still filled by the faithful.

Inside the Blue Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque At Night

Blue Mosque Highlights

  • Count the tiles. There are more than 20,000 of them – the finest money could buy from the celebrated kilns of Iznik. Lilies, tulips, trees, and abstract patterns swirl in bright blues and greens.
  • Go at night. During the summer months there is a free son et lumiere  performance retelling the story of the mosque’s construction is told in different languages on different evenings.
  • Walk from the west. To best appreciate the building, approach from the hippodrome side, slowly. Walk through the first portal and into the courtyard. The mosque’s epic roof comes into sight, and your perspective of the domes cascading down changes with every step.
  • Raise your eyes to the sky. Marvel at the six slender and elegant minarets soaring upward.
  • The mihrab, or prayer niche indicating the direction of Mecca, contains a piece of the sacred Black Stone from the Kaaba in Islam’s holiest city.
Blue On Blue - Sultan Ahmed, Istanbul

Blue On Blue | Sultan Ahmed, Istanbul |via|

The Blue Mosque, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is currently one of the most impressive monuments in the world, also has become a popular tourist attraction in Istanbul.

Source: bluemosque | petersommer |  nationalgeographic