Thursday, August 23, 2012

Mosque: Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque

Interesting Places I've Photographed
Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque
Istanbul, Turkey
Topic: Mosques

GPS: N41° 00.322; E028° 58.614

Quick Description: 

The Sultan Ahmet mosque  incorporates elements of both Byzantine and Islamic architecture. It is considered to be the last great mosque of the Classical period of Ottoman architecture.

Long Description: 

The domes and minarets of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (better known as the "Blue Mosque") dominate the skyline of Istanbul. In the 17th century, seventeen year old Sultan Ahmet I wished to build an Islamic place of worship that would be even better than the nearby Hagia Sophia. Construction began two years later, in 1609, and took seven years to complete. The mosque was designed by architect Mehmet Aga. Sultan Ahmet died, at age 27, one year after the mosque was complete.

The interior of the Sultanahmet (Blue) Mosque is vast and richly decorated. It contains more than 20,000 mosaic tiles decorating the interior walls and large central dome and the 8 smaller domes. The main dome is  most striking of all. It is surrounded by a course of windows which light up the blue tiles that give the mosque its common name. Suspended from the dome is a huge chandelier that illuminates the interior of the mosque.

The Sultan Ahmet (Blue) Mosque is open everyday, all year around, but is closed to tourists 5 times a day for short periods for prayer.

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