teradesa.com The Blue Mosque / Sultan Ahmed Mosque above has marble pillars and more than 200 stained glass windows of various designs that radiate light from outside. the name of the building is one of the most attractive tourist destinations for foreign tourists in the Land of a Thousand Mosques of Turkey. In addition to the beauty of the interior, the attraction of this building is also obtained from its historical value. Turkey does have a million charms. No wonder millions of tourists keep coming to this two-continent country. Yes, Turkey is in Europe, but its territory is very close to Asia. One of the stunning beauties in Turkey is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque.
People know it as the Blue Mosque. This magnificent mosque is a symbol of the glory of Islam through the Ottoman Empire of Turkey in the past. Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is a mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923).
The mosque was built by order of Sultan Ahmed I, he is buried in the courtyard of the mosque. The mosque is located in the oldest quarter of Istanbul, which before 1453 was the center of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. It is near the ancient site of the Hippodrome, as well as adjacent to what was once the Christian Church of Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia) which is now a converted museum.
It is located in the city of Istanbul near the shores of the Marmara Sea. The largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). It is known as the Blue Mosque because in the past the interior was indeed blue. However, the blue paint was not part of the original decoration of the mosque, so it was removed. The color of the dome does not appear blue from a distance, but the bluish color will be visible up close.
The beauty of the Marmara Sea will be seen while in this mosque. Especially when the sky starts to dusk. Because of its beauty, this mosque has become a mascot or characteristic of the city of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is currently the largest mosque in Turkey. It is quite close to Topkapı Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans until 1853 and not far from the Bosporus coast. Viewed from the sea, its dome and minaret dominate the skyline of Istanbul.
History of Blue Mosque Blue Mosque of Turkey
The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 by order of Sultan Ahmed I, after whom the mosque is named. He mandated an architect named Sedefhar Mehmet Aga to build the mosque. Sedefhar was also asked by the Sultan to spare no expense in the construction of this large and beautiful Muslim place of worship. The basic structure is almost a cube, measuring 53 by 51 meters. As in all mosques, it is oriented so that the praying person faces Makkah, with the mihrab in front.
Sedefhar Mehmet Aga himself was a student and assistant of the famous architect Mimar Sinan. According to information, Sultan Ahmed I wanted the minaret to be made of gold. The word for gold in Turkish is ‘Altin’. But the architect understood it as ‘Alti’, which in Turkish means 6. So it became a mosque that has 6 minarets. But even Sultan Ahmed was amazed by the six unique minarets. The construction of this mosque took 7 years or was completed in 1616. Reportedly, due to the same number of minarets as the Grand Mosque in Makkah at that time, Sultan Ahmed I was sharply criticized so that he finally donated the cost of making the seventh tower for the Grand Mosque.
A heavy iron chain is installed above the west gate of the mosque. In the past, only Sultan Ahmed I was allowed to enter the mosque courtyard on horseback. The chain was installed so that Sultan Ahmed I would bow his head as he passed through to avoid being knocked down by the chain. This was meant to symbolize the ruler’s humility before divine power. Sultan Ahmed I died at the age of 27, one year after the completion of the mosque. He was buried in the courtyard of the mosque, as were his wife and three sons.
The Blue Mosque was built by Sultan Ahmed I to rival the Hagia Sophia (Holy Wisdom) built by the Byzantine emperor of Constantinople. It used to be a Byzantine church before it fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 AD. It is now converted into a museum. Hagia Sophia is one block away from the Blue Mosque.
The basic structure of the building is almost a cube, measuring 53 by 51 meters. As is the case in all mosques, it is oriented so that the person performing Salat is facing Makkah, with the mihrab being at the front. The Blue Mosque has 6 minarets, a dome diameter of 23.5 meters and a dome height of 43 meters, concrete columns 5 meters in diameter. It is quite close to Topkapı Palace, the residence of the Ottoman Sultans until 1853 and not far from the Bosporus coast. Viewed from the sea, its dome and minaret dominate the Istanbul skyline.
The interior of the mosque is decorated with 20,000 Iznik ceramics in blue, green, purple and white. The ornamentation of flowers and plants with tendrils looks very beautiful, reflecting the blue color of the sunlight coming in through the 260 stained-glass windows.
There are marble pillars and more than 200 stained glass windows of various designs that emit light from outside with the help of chandeliers. Ostrich eggs are placed in the chandeliers to prevent spiders from making nests there. Another decoration is the calligraphy of Qur’anic verses, most of which were made by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, one of the best calligraphers of the time.
An important element in the mosque is the mihrab made of chiseled marble with stalactite decoration and a double incremental panel on top. The surrounding walls are covered with ceramic tiles. The mosque is designed so that even in the most crowded conditions, everyone in the mosque can still see and hear the Imam.
Activities inside the Mosque
To this day, the Blue Mosque continues to be used as a place of worship. Every Friday or Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha, this mosque can accommodate up to 10 thousand worshipers. Then, around the blue mosque also built schools, resting palaces for the Sultan, baths, fountains, hospitals, and rooms that were rented out at that time.
This blue mosque is also one of the main destinations for tourists visiting Istanbul. During prayer times, tourists are not allowed to enter, and they are only allowed to enter through the north door from the direction of the Hippodrome. Non-Muslim foreign tourists are directed to enter and exit through the north door, while the main door or west door is more reserved for Turks and people who want to pray at this mosque.
Out of respect for the mosque, tourists should dress modestly when entering. Women should wear a headscarf. A guard is always ready to remind you at the entrance. Once inside, a number of Muslim guests perform the mosque’s sunnah prayers. Others view the mosque from the back row. This is because the front is only allowed for those who want to pray.