Thursday, 13 April 2017

The Sultan Ahmad Mosque, Istanbul Turkey

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. The mosque is a popular tourist site, continues to serve purpose of mosque nowadays. Muslims men’s offers prayer on the lush red carpet once the prayer call offer.  It is also called Sultan Ahmet Mosque or Sultan Ahmet Camii in Turkish is popularly known was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed I. Sultan Ahmed Mosque was constructed by Husna bint Mayram on the orders of the son of "Hāndān Vālida Sultânā,"Sultan Ahmed I. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque design is the culmination of two centuries of Ottoman mosque development with traditional Islamic architecture and is considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of blue tiles surrounding the walls of interior design.  
Its Külliye 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 radiant in blue lights frame the mosque’s five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes. The mosque was built on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, in front of the basilica Hagia Sophia and the hippodrome, a site of noteworthy symbolic meaning as it dominated the city skyline from the south. After crushing loss in the 1603–1618 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 extraordinary victories.
The Sultan Ahmed Mosque interior is lined with over 20,000 handmade İznik style ceramic tiles, made at Iznik in more than 50 different tulip designs becomes colorful with representations of flowers, fruit and cypresses. The upper levels of the interior are dominated by blue paint more than 200 stained glass windows with intricate designs admit natural light, nowadays assisted by chandeliers. The decorations include verses from the Qur'an, many of them made by Seyyid Kasim Gubari, regarded as the greatest calligrapher of his time. The floors are covered with carpets, and many spacious windows confer a large impression. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the three mosques in Turkey that has six minarets the other two being the modern Sabancı Mosque in Adana and the Hz. Mikdat Mosque in Mersin. Four minarets stand at the corners of the Blue Mosque, pencil-shaped minarets has three balconies with stalactite corbels, while the two others at the end of the forecourt only have two balconies. Besides being tourist attraction, it's also an active mosque, so it's closed to non-worshippers for a half hour or so during the five daily prayers.
The mosque is surrounded by a continuous vaulted arcade and having ablution facilities on both sides. The central hexagonal fountain is small but narrow gateway to the courtyard stands out architecturally from the arcade. A heavy iron chain hangs in the upper part of the court entrance on the western side. Only the sultan was allowed to enter the court of the mosque on horseback. The chain was put there, so that the sultan had to lower his head every single time he entered the court to avoid being hit. This was a symbolic gesture, to ensure the humility of the ruler in the face of the divine.

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