The Blue Mosque is an amazing monument which has many stories and a wonderful structure with beautiful architecture. It is an imperial mosque located in Sultan Ahmet district in the old city of Istanbul, in an area where tourists are eager to know more about.
History of the Blue Mosque
The Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I wanted to build a huge mosque to represent the empire’s power across the region. The mosque has been built from the treasury of the empire rather than his predecessors who built their mosque from the spoils of war. The construction of the mosque has been completed in 1616. In fact, the construction of the mosque caused the anger of the Islamic Jurists back then because the mosque was built in front of the Hagia Sophia and on top of Byzantine emperors’ palace. The mosque stands tall as a symbol of the Ottoman empire dominant power and capture the skyline of Istanbul.
Architecture and Interior Design of the Mosque
The mosque has a very interesting architecture, it has five main domes and six minarets, in addition to eight domes serve as a secondary domes. The main style of architecture of the mosque is Islamic with respect to the Christian elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia.
The interior of the mosque has more than 20,000 ceramic tiles and many different designs of the tulip. The upper levels are mostly blue paint with 200 stained glass windows.
There are four minarets at each of the mosque’s corner, with each one of them have pencil shaped design. Two of those minarets have 3 balconies while the other two have only two balconies.
The District of the Mosque
The district of the mosque is one of the main attractions for tourists who come to Istanbul, the district, Sultan Ahmet, has plenty activities to check out. In the district right beside the mosque there is the Hagia Sophia which is another great monument that represent Istanbul’s history and attracts also many tourists. The Hagia Sophia served as the Eastern Orthodox church back In the Byzantine Empire and then later on, it was converted to an Ottoman Mosque after the Ottomans conquered Constantinople after the historic conquest led by Mehmet the Conqueror.
The Sultan Ahmet District is very relaxing and chilled area where you can take a nice calm walk around the area and discover more about the area, the tram station of Sultan Ahmet can get you to the famous Grand Bazaar which is one of the largest covered bazaars in the world that still function in our modern lives and contest with the best outlets in Istanbul. The Grand Bazaar has been built by the Ottomans and it was the center of economy back then. You may go to the Grand Bazaar and descend at Beyazit station, and shop for your favorite and desired products, the merchants In the bazaar can speak fluent English so you might want to be prepared for bargaining before you come to the bazaar. The Grand Bazaar has many sections like the Jewelry section, Clothes section, antiques section, and Turkish food and Delights.
If you the other direction from the Sultan Ahmet Tram station you will arrive at the Eminonu station and stop by its famous Spice Bazaar or check the beautiful Suleymaniye Mosque. The Eminonu District is famous for its bazaar, the Mosque, and its wonderful Harbor that has a fantastic view over the Golden Horn, you can also stop by the fish market or eat fish at one of the fish restaurants to enjoy a nicely fresh fish you will never forget.
The Blue Mosque attracts many tourists every day, the beauty of the mosque is so astonishing with respect to its neighbor the Hagia Sophia, both monuments give the district a wonderful background and history while being the best historic places in the city.