Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Sultânahmed Mosque was built between 1609 and 1617 by the Ottoman Sultan Ahmed I, on the historical peninsula in Istanbul, by Architect Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa. It is called "Blue Mosque" by Europeans because the mosque is decorated with blue, green and white Iznik tiles and the interior of its half-domes and large domes are also decorated with blue-colored pencil works. After Hagia Sophia was converted from a mosque to a museum in 1935, it became the main mosque of Istanbul.
In fact, it is one of the biggest works in Istanbul with the Blue Mosque complex. This complex consists of a mosque, madrasahs, doner kebab pavilion, shops, Turkish baths, fountains, fountains, mausoleum, hospital, school, imaret room and rooms for rent. Some of these structures have not survived.
The most important aspect of the building that is noteworthy in terms of architecture and artistry is that it is decorated with more than 20.000 Iznik tiles. Traditional plant motifs in yellow and blue tones were used in the decorations of these tiles, and carried the building beyond just a place of worship. The mosque's worship section is 64 x 72 meters in size. The diameter of the 43-meter-high central dome is 23,5 meters. The interior of the mosque is illuminated by more than 200 colored glasses. His writings were written by Diyarbakır Seyyid Kasım Gubarî. It creates a complex of buildings with the surrounding structures and the Blue Mosque, the first mosque in Turkey with six minarets.
The design of the Sultan Ahmet Mosque is the peak of the 200-year synthesis of the Ottoman mosque architecture and Byzantine church architecture. In addition to containing some Byzantine inspirations from its neighbor Hagia Sophia, traditional Islamic architecture also outweighs and is considered the last major mosque of the classical period. The architect of the mosque succeeded in reflecting Architect Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa's “size, majesty and magnificence” ideas.
Except for the addition of small towers above the corner domes, the facade of the large front courtyard was built in the same style as the facade of the Süleymaniye Mosque. The courtyard is almost as wide as the mosque itself and is surrounded by a continuous arch. There are ablutions on both sides. The large hexagonal fountain in the middle remains small given the dimensions of the courtyard. The narrow monumental passage opening towards the courtyard differs architecturally from the arch. Its semi-dome is crowned with a smaller protruding dome and has a thin stalactite structure.
The interior of the mosque, with its low level on each floor, is decorated with more than 50 thousand tiles made of 20 different tulip patterns in Iznik. While the tiles at the lower levels are traditional, the patterns of the tiles in the gallery are showy and magnificent with flowers, fruits and cypresses. More than 20 thousand tiles were produced in Iznik under the management of tile master Kasap Hacı and Kapadokyalı Barış Efendi. Although the amount to be paid per tile is regulated by the order of the sultan, the price of tiles has increased over time, as a result, the quality of the tiles used has decreased over time. Their color is faded and their polish is faint. The tiles on the rear balcony wall are recycled tiles from the harem of the Topkapı Palace, damaged in the fire in 1574.
The interior is higher in blue, but of poor quality. More than 200 mixed stained patterned glass transmits natural light, they are supported by chandeliers today. The discovery that the use of ostrich eggs in the chandeliers kept spiders away prevented the formation of spider webs. Most of the calligraphy decorations containing words from the Quran were made by Seyid Kasım Gubari, the greatest calligraphy artist of the time. The places are covered with carpets that are renewed as they age by helpful people. Many large windows give a spacious and spacious ambience. Pop-up windows on the ground floor are decorated with a floor shape called “opus sectile”. Each curved section has 5 windows, some of which are opaque. Each semi-dome has 14 windows and the central dome has 4 windows, 28 of which are blind. Colored glasses for windows are gifts from the Venetian signal to the Sultan. Many of these colored glasses have been replaced by modern versions that have no artistic value today.
The most important element inside the mosque is the mihrab, which is made of carved and carved marble. The adjacent walls are covered with ceramic tiles. But the large number of windows around it makes it less splendid. To the right of the altar is the richly decorated pulpit. The mosque was designed in such a way that everyone can hear the imam, even in the most crowded state.
The Sultan's shaft is in the southeast corner. It consists of a platform, two small recreation rooms and porch, and the sultan's passage to the lodge in the southeast upper gallery. These resting rooms became the administrative center of the vizier in 1826 during the rebellion of the janissaries. Hünkar Mahfili is supported by 10 marble columns. It has its own altar, decorated with emeralds, roses and gilding, and 100 pieces of Quran engraved with gilding.
Many lamps inside the mosque were covered with gold and other precious stones, and glass bowls that could contain ostrich eggs or crystal balls. All of these decorations were either removed or looted.
The names of the caliphs and pieces from the Quran are written on the large tablets on the walls. These were originally made by the great calligrapher of the 17th century, Diyarbakır Kasım Gubari, but they were recently removed for restoration.
Sultan Ahmet Mosque is one of five mosques in Turkey with six minarets. The other 6 are Istanbul Çamlıca Mosque, Taşoluk New Mosque in Arnavutköy, Istanbul, Sabancı Mosque in Adana and Muğdat Mosque in Mersin. When the number of minarets appeared, the sultan was charged with arrogance because there were 5 minarets in the Kaaba in Mecca at the time. The Sultan solves this problem by building the seventh minaret in the mosque (Masjid Haram) mosque. 4 minarets are at the corners of the mosque. Each of these pen-shaped minarets has 6 balconies. The other two minarets in the front courtyard are two balconies.
Until recently, the muezzin had to climb narrow spiral stairs 5 times a day, today a mass distribution system is applied and the adhan, echoed by other mosques, is heard in the old parts of the city. In the crowded sunset time formed by the Turks and tourists, they gather in the park and listen to the evening prayer by giving the face to the mosque as the sun sets and the mosque starts to be illuminated brightly with colorful projectors.
During the period when the mosque was built, it was a place where the people at the Topkapı Palace worship on Fridays for a long time.