Sultan Ahmed Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii ) in Istanbul was given in 1609 by Sultan Ahmed I in order and until 1616, a year before the death of the Sultan, built by Sinan student Mehmet Aga. After the secularization of barely 500 meters away Hagia Sophia it is today Istanbul's main mosque and a masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. In Europe it is known as the Blue Mosque for its wealth of blue and white tiles that decorate the dome and the upper part of the walls, but are younger than the building itself. Art historically significant are the tiles on the lower part of the walls and the stands: They come from the heyday of Iznik pottery and demonstrate traditional plant motifs, where green and blue tones dominate. The decoration of the interior was changed to pink.


The mosque has six minarets; only the Prophet's Mosque in Medina with 10 and the main mosque in Mecca with 9 minarets have more minarets as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. According Hofchronisten the Sultan had in the procurement by the architect required to gild the minarets. Since the expended gold leaf but that it would have been perfectly within budget exceeded, " interrogated " Mehmet Aga and made from the Turkish word altın ( "Gold" ), the number altı ( " six ").

The prayer room is almost square with 53 m length and 51 m width. The main dome has a diameter of 23.5 m and is 43 m high. It is supported by four pointed arches and four pendentives flat, resting back on four huge, 5 m thick pillars. 260 windows illuminate the interior. The stained glass windows are modern replicas of the original from the 17th century.

Mosque and courtyard surrounded by a wall. Of these, only exists the northern part. It separates from the Mosque of the other buildings in the Kulliye that there are today. In the adjacent Türbe, which is open for visitors to rest Ahmed I., his wife and three of his sons: Osman II (1618-1622), Murat IV and Prince Beyazıt.

In the upper part of the Hofeingangs on the west side there is a heavy iron chain. This served to the Sultan, who entered the courtyard on horseback, had at this point tend his head if he did not want to come up against the chain. This served as a symbolic act, so that the Sultan not holding our heads so full in the pose of pride, could enter the mosque.

In parts of the grounds of the Byzantine Great Palace was built over for construction.

Visit of Pope Benedict XVI.

By visiting Pope Benedict XVI. in the Sultan Ahmed Mosque on 30 November 2006 on the occasion of his pastoral visit in Turkey entered the first time a head of the Roman Catholic Church, the Islamic house of worship. During prayer, the spiritual leader of Istanbul, the Pope remained in the manner customary for Muslims prayer position in a meditation. Many media spoke of a prayer of the Pope, for which he received much praise, especially of Turkish newspapers, but the Vatican has stressed that it was merely a meditation. Together urged the Muslim clergy and the pope to the peace of nations, as well as respect and tolerance between religions.


The main dome of the Sultan Ahmed Mosque

View from the lake side

The mosque at dusk