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The Sultanahmet Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii) is one of the most famous monuments of Turkish and Islamic art, the mosque is visited by all who come to Istanbul and gains their admiration. This imperial mosque is an example of classical Turkish architecture, and it is the only mosque that was originally built with six minarets.

Although it is popularly known as the Blue Mosque, its real name is Sultan Ahmet Mosque. Befitting his original profession, its architect Mehmet Aga decorated the interior fastidiously like a jeweler. Built between 1609-1616, the mosque used to be part of a large complex, including a covered bazaar, Turkish baths, public kitchens, a hospital, schools, a caravanserai, and the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet.

The architect Sedefkar Mehmet Ağa was a student of Sinan, the greatest architect of classical Turkish architecture..

The Sultanahmet Mosque combines the best of two architectural styles. It is a mixture of traditional Islamic architecture with Byzantine elements, taken from the adjacent Hagia Sophia. The central dome of the Blue Mosque, which is 23,5 meters in diameter and 43 meters high at its central point, is of course impressive. 4 immense pillars or ‘elephant feet’ supports the domes. One of the 4 pillars can be seen in this frame. Beathtaking are the more than 20.000 handmade Iznik ceramic tiles, in more than 50 tulip designs, that decorate the interior walls of the mosque. Their color gives the place its popular name, the Blue Mosque.

Light inside the mosque is provided by the more than 200 stained glass windows and several chandeliers. They put ostrich eggs on the chandeliers to repel spiders, hence avoiding cobwebs inside the mosque. The floors are covered with carpets, which are donated by faithful people and are regularly replaced as they get worn out.

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Additional Photos by Angshuman Chatterjee (Angshu) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 7765 W: 324 N: 15666] (55259)
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