THE BLUE MOSQUE (SULTANAHMET)

The Blue Mosque, known as Sutanahmet Cami in Turkish, was founded by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmet I and constructed by the architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga in 1609-1616. The Blue Mosque to be the most splendid of the imperial mosques in the city, with its graceful cascade of dome and semidomes, its six slender minarets accentuating the corners of the courtyardand the building, the loely colour of the stone set off by gilded ornaments on domes and minarets, and its generaly imposing but gracious proportions.

The interior plan of the Blue Mosque, like that of the other imperial mosques, recalls in a general way that of Hagia Sophia; but in this case the difference are greater than the other mosques. It is almost a square, 51 metres long by 53 metres wide, covered by a dome, 23,5 metres in a diameter and 43 metres high, resting on four pointed arches and four smooth pendentives.

The Blue Mosque has 260 windows. These were once filled with coloured glass which would have tempered the too-crude brightness; now they are slowly being replaced with modern imitations. The blue tiles, giving the famous name to the mosque, are Iznik tiles of the best period and they are worth to see. The magnificent floral designs display the traditional lily, carnation, tulip and rose motifs, also cypresses and other trees, all in exquisite collours; subtle blues and greens predominating. The mihraband minber, of White Proconnesian marble, are also original. They are the incridible works of that period. 

The Ottoman mosques were not only practicing and also were foundations which provide education, healthcare, food and accomadition to whome care-seeking. So, the Ottomans added school, Hospital, Library, Kitchen and Dormitory in every mosques. Those parts of the Blue Mosque are located near by. Unfortunately, some of them have been destroyed.

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