Sultan Ahmed Mosque (photos)
The Blue Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the main attraction of historical Istanbul's silhouette. From each corner of the city you will see it, regardless of the season, weather and time of day.
Built in the 17th century by Sultan Ahmed to glorify Allah, it has not become any less relevant. Entrance to the monument of the Ottoman and Byzantine architecture is free - people pray there, and the mosque is open to people of all faiths.
The most famous legend about the mosque is associated with the number of its minarets. Sultan Ahmed ordered minarets to be made from the gold (altın), but the architect, being a creative person, misheard him, but was afraid to ask again. Instead of "altın" he heard "altï" (six). And a mosque with six minarets was built in the city, and everything would be fine, but it turned out that the main temple of Muslims in Mecca have six minarets. Opponents of the Sultan took equating of the newly erected church to the recognized shrine as a signal of Sultan's pride and an attempt to humiliate the value of the sacred mosque in Mecca. But an elegant solution was found - another minaret was added to those already built. So there were seven of them.
The construction was conducted for seven years and completed in 1616. People started to call the Sultan Ahmed Mosque as the Blue Mosque because of its interior blue tiles.
For the mosque construction they also used black and green Syrian and Saudi marble. As they say, in the prayer niche - mihrab - you can see a fragment of black stone from Mecca.
The dome and the central hall of the mosque are huge. Due to this, rooms of the Blue Mosque seem bright and spacious, despite the huge number of believers from the local ummah, pilgrims and ordinary tourists. The main hall can accommodate several thousand people.
Due to 260 windows, some of which frame the central dome, you've got the feeling of the divine light pouring down from the skies and floating in the airspace.