Sultan Ahmed Masjid
Sultan Ahmed Masjid is one of the most impressive monuments in the world. It is also now as the blue Masjid because of the blue tiles that embellish its interior. Situated in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and the capital of the Ottoman Empire of 1453 to 1923, it has become the most popular tourist attraction.
It was constructed between 1609 and 1616 during the rule of Ahmed as we the custom, this Masjid Like the Other Masjid of the time comprises a Tomb of the founder, a madrassah, and a hospice.
The construction of the Masjid started in 1609. The royal architect Sedefhar Mehmet Aga was appointed by the Sultan as in-charge of the project. The opening ceremony was held in 1616. Unfortunately, the Sultan could not see the completion of the in his life. It was completed in the reign of his successor Mustafa I.
The Blue Masjid reflects the architectural style of both the Ottoman Masjid and Byzentine church. Hagia Sofia, a Masjid one of the wonders of the Muslim architecture was also kept in view as a model. The Blue Masjid even today is considered to be unmatured in splendor, majesty, and size.
The Masjid has a spacious forecourt surrounded by a continuous vaulted arcade. It has ablution facilities on both sides. In the center, there is a fountain which is rather small in contrast with the magnitude of the Courtyard. A heavy iron chain in his at the upper part of the court in the entrance at the Western side. The side was meant for the Sultan alone. The chain was put there so that the Sultan had to lower his head every time he entered the court. It was the symbolic gesture to ensure the humility of the ruler in the face of the divine power.
The entire of the Masjid at the lower level is lined with more than 20,000 handmade ceramic tiles in more than 50 difficult tulip designs. At the gallery level, the design becomes flamboyant with the representation of flowers fruit, and cypresses.
The upper level of the entire is adorned with blue paint more than 200 stained glass windows with intricate designs allow natural light brighten and up its entire and the chandeliers further illuminate it with their glow. The decoration includes A’yat from the Holy Quran. The floors are covered with carpets.
The most important element in the interior of the Masjid is the Mehrab, which is made of finely carved marble. To the right of the Mehrab is a richly decorated pulpit. The Masjid is so decorated that even when it is most crowded, everyone in the Masjid can listen to and look at the Imam.
The royal room is situated at the southeast corner it has it’s on the pulpit that used to be decorated with jade and roses.
The Blue Masjid has 6 minarets. Four minarets stand one each at the four corners of the Masjid. Each of these pencil shaped mean minarets has three balconies, while the other two at the end of the forecourt, have only two balconies.
In the evening a large number of tourists and gather in the park facing the Masjid to listen to the Azan to the evening Namaz. The masjid is flooded with lights and so are the hearts of the believers with divine love. Through much has been lost of the Blue Masjid over the year yet it has not lost the love of its visitors. The Masjid is still one of the most visited monuments in the world.