SULTANAHMET CAMII (THE BLUE MOSQUE)
Built by Sultan Ahmet I as a part of a large complex,among the Turkish People its called Sultanahmet Mosque.However,tourists fascinated with the beatiful blue tiles always remember it as the Blue Mosque.
The comlplex consist of a moaque,tombs,medreses,fountains,a helath center,kitchens,shops,a bath,rooms,houses and shopstores.
A 19-year-old Sultan started digging ceremoniously in the presence of high officals until he was tired.This began the construction in 1609 which continued until it was finished in 1616.Being close to the Topkapi Palace Sultanahmet mosque was regarded as the Supreme Imperial Mosque in Istanbul.Even though the palace was left and Sultans moved to the Dolmabahce Palace,Sultan Ahmet Mosque shared this pride with the Suleymaniye mosque.The architect was one of the apprentices of Sinan,Sedeftar Mehmet Aga.He designed one of the last examples of the classical periods of architectural style.
The mosque is situated in a wide courtyard which has five gates.There is an inner courtyard next to the mosque with three entrances.The inner courtyard is sorrounded b porticos consisting of 26 columns and 30 domes.The sadirvan in the middle is symbolic,because the actual ones are outside on the walls of the inner courtyard.There are three entrances to main building one from the inner courtyard and two from both sides of the building.There are four minarets at corners of the mosque having three Serefes each.The two minarets at far corners of the courtyard have two serefes each.There 6 minarets in all,each of which is fluted.
The interrial of the mosque is a square with a width of 51.65 m / 170 ft and a length of 53.40 m /175 ft covered by a dome.The main dome rests on four semi - arches and four pantentives.The diameter of the dome is 22.40 m / 73.5 ft. and the height 43 m / 141 ft. The four peace carrying the dome are called elephant legs as each as a diameter of 5 m / 16.4 ft.
There are 260 windows which do not have original stained glass any longer.The walls all along the galleries are covered with 21 thousund 17C Iznik tiles having many flower motifes in a dominated blue color.