The Blue Mosque, Istanbul


Sultan Ahmed Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque, was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. It contains Ahmed’s tomb, a madrasah and a hospice. Hand-painted blue tiles adorn the mosque’s interior walls, and at night the mosque is bathed in blue lights.

After the Peace of Zsitvatorok and the crushing loss in the 1603–18 war with Persia, Sultan Ahmet I decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul to reassert Ottoman power. It would be the first imperial mosque for more than forty years. While his predecessors had paid for their mosques with the spoils of war, Ahmet I procured funds from the Treasury, because he had not gained remarkable victories.

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has five main domes, six minarets, and eight secondary domes. The design incorporates many Byzantine elements of the Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The architect, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa, synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan.

Besides being tourist attraction, it’s also a active mosque, so it’s closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.

Here below is the names of the calls-prayers in Turkish and Arabic.

1) Imsak / Fajr – Two hours before dawn
2) Güneş /Tulu – Dawn
3) Ögle / Zuhr – Midday
4) Ikindi / Asr – Afternoon
5) Aksam / Maghrib – Sunset
6) Yatsi / Isha – Right before last light of the day


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