Sultanahmet Imperial Mosque
The Blue Mosque (Called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) was built by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga in the sultan 1. Ahmet’s time between (1609-1616) years. It is located on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium, on the southeastern side of the Hippodrome. It is called by Europeans as Blue because of its interior blue tiles which was used more than 20.000 pieces.
The mosque is also popularly known as a fascinating structure its six minarets because it is only six minarets mosque in Turkey.
There are many legends about this mosque; one of them is about minarets. Sultan ordered minarets to be made from the gold to create a different style but there was no money enough. Instead of this Sedefkar Mehmet Aga decided to build six minarets to see its uniqueness. The mosque is lightened by 260 windows. It’s part of the worship sizes 64x72 meters and its diameter is 23,5. There is a heavy gateway made from iron in the entrance of the west yard. The shape of this gateway shows the importance of the mosque because at the time even sultan had to be careful when he came in this gateway. The mosque has a rectangular shape.Also there is a central dome supported by 4 half-dome ,4 different ways.
Blue Mosque has a feature like social complex by including madrasa, Sultan Resting Mantion, Turkish bath, fountain, hospital, Mekteb-I Sıbyan, rental rooms and homes except from mosque. The other important structure of Blue mosque’s social complex is Sultan Resting Mansion which is a place built for Sultan in order to rest after and before pray. Within this place there are many tombs including Sultan 1. Ahmet, his wife Kosem Sultan, and their sons 4.Murat and 2. Osman in the northwest.
Besides being tourist attraction point, it's also an active mosque, so it's closed to non worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers. Best way to see great architecture of the Blue Mosque is to approach it from the Hippodrome. (West side of the mosque) As if you are non-Muslim visitor, you also have to use same direction to enter the Mosque.
Today, there is a place named ‘Arasta’ in the back of the mosque, surrounded by Mosaic Museum, the shops selling touristic materials. Blue Mosque is one the most popular tourist attraction that also welcomes the famous people including The leader of Catholic Church and USA’s Old President, Bill Clinton visit this mosque two times.