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. Some of these social and cultural buildings have not survived to our day.
The architect was a student of Sinan, the greatest architect of classical Turkish architecture. He applied a plan used previously by his master, but on a larger scale.
There are three entrances to the mosque interior. The wealthy and colorful vista inside created by the paintings, tiles and stained glass complements the exterior view. The interior has a centralized plan; the main and side domes rise on four large columns that support broad and pointed arches. The walls of the galleries surrounding the three sides of the interior chamber are decorated by over 20,000 exquisite Iznik tiles. The areas above the tiles and the inside of the domes are decorated with paintwork.
The blue of the paintwork, which gives the mosque its name, was not the color of the decorations originally; they were painted blue during later restorations. During the last renovation, completed in 1990, the darker blue color of the interior decorations painted as its original light colors.
The floor is covered by carpets, as in all mosques. Next to the mihrab (niche aligned towards Mecca) opposite the main entrance, there is a marble minber (pulpit) with exquisite marble work. On the other side is the sultan's loge (box) in the form of a balcony. The 260 windows flood with light the interior space, which is covered by a dome 23.5 m in diameter and 43 m high.
The small market building, repaired and reconstructed in recent years, is situated to the east of the mosque, and the single-domed mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet and the medrese (religious school) building are to the north, on the Hagia Sophia side.
The domes and the minarets are covered by lead, and at the top of the minarets there are standards made of gold-plated copper. Master craftsmen repair these coverings very skillfully when needed.
Islam requires all Muslims to pray five times a day. When the believers hear the call to prayer from the minarets, they perform their ablutions (washing) and then pray. The noon prayer on Fridays and the prayers on other important holidays are performed in the mosques collectively, but other prayers can be performed anywhere.
In the communal prayers performed in the mosque, the imam takes the lead and he chants verses from the Koran. The areas of prayer for men and women are separate. In the central area only men are allowed to pray, while women take their places either behind them or in the galleries.
Critiques | Translate
ben4321 (9875) 2006-12-29 11:56
I don't think I've seen a shot of the Blue Mosque quite like this before; it looks a lot more squat than usual, and with the soaring minarets being almost hidden, more rooted in the earth than the heavens.
It's an unusual view of this famous building, so well done for bringing us something a bit different; not easy with such an iconic structure.
I'm not sure that this has been wholly succesful in terms of composition, though.
I think that this needed to be as near to symmetrical as the situation allowed. It looks to me like you took this from slightly to the right of the building, rather than directly in front.
I think that with the minarets spaced evenly on either side of the main dome, and with two archways on either side, this would have been better.
It's an interesting shot though; good to see you digging through your archives.
behcet (479) 2006-12-29 15:34
Nice POV and framing for the Blue Mosque. Although I've seen many pictures of it, this one is different just because of these. Your note is also very innformative.
Kind regards, happy new year!
leo61 (0) 2006-12-29 15:37
Good architecture shot with good perspective.I like the row of arches followed by the domes and the nice little towers.The quality for a nearly 10 years old scanned image is OK and there are nice deatails to see.
My best wishes for 2007,
emjleclercq (15780) 2006-12-29 19:02
Very different from Budapest and a bit older, but still a very nice serie of domes.
All the best,
Wanda1 (15000) 2006-12-29 23:52
This shot is taken from a nice point of view. I like the details, especially that you have managed to get in some interesting detail and colour inside the archways.
Happy New Year!
pablominto (53744) 2006-12-30 2:09
A fine point of view, where you go comparatively close on the structure!
Good colours and details, well framed!
atus (15838) 2006-12-30 9:27
mint ahogyan a tobbi tag ìrta, nekem is furcsa volt a perspektìva mert nem ìgy szoktuk làtni a Kèk Mecset-et fènykèpeken. Azonban pont ezèrt is sikeres a kèp, vagyis ùjat tudtàl mutatni egy jòl ismert helyszìnrol.
Gratulàlok ès tovàbbi jò fotòzàst kìvànok!
isabela_sor (47724) 2006-12-30 14:58
This architecture is very impressive,fascinating
And thanks for your informative note,too
Wish you a world of love, peace, prosperity, health and happiness at the New Year and always.
capthaddock (28790) 2007-01-02 5:12
Hi George - what a feast of domes, the low perspective makes an interesting illusion on the minarets, making them apper diminutive, this is one of very few mosques I've ever been been inside.
c_rapp (254) 2007-01-07 20:40
Very informative note to go with a great picture. I like your pov here. TFS
berek (42352) 2007-12-07 20:21
you took this one in 1997. you should come back to Istanbul again my friend. very good point of view and blue sky. take care. have a nice weekend.
paura (47166) 2008-07-31 12:23
The shapes are really interesting in this shot from the beautiful mosque. The POV is great to show that. well done, friend.
- Copyright: George Rumpler (Budapestman) (82620)
- Genre: Places
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 1997-08-15
- Categories: Architecture, Artwork
- Camera: Konica Aiborg Super Zoom
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): Magnificent architectural memories from Europe [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2006-12-29 10:52
- Favorites: 1 [view]