Great Place Wednesday: Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is an historic mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built from 1609 to 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also contains a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. While still used as a mosque, the Sultan Ahmed Mosque has also become a popular tourist attraction.

The design of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the culmination of two centuries of both Ottoman mosque and Byzantine church development. It incorporates some Byzantine elements of the neighboring Hagia Sophia with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of theclassical period. The architect has ably synthesized the ideas of his master Sinan, aiming for overwhelming size, majesty and splendour. It has one main dome, six minarets, and other eight secondary domes.