The Original name is Sultan Ahmet Camii but since the dominant color inside is blue ,it is called Blue Mosque now.It was built by Sultan Ahmed I. in 1616 as one of his charity works for public.Sultan Ahmed is the 14th. sultan,ascended to throne when he was 14 years old and died of malaria 14 years after he became a sultan.Interesting numbers:) The architect was Sedefkar Mehmed Aga, one of the students of famous Architect Sinan.
During my tours everybody asks why he built his mosque right next to Hagia Sophia,good question. I think it is just the location...If you come to Istanbul by a cruise ship you understand what I mean;the first thing you see will be The Blue Mosque. Anyway he wanted it to be that way and it is now..And they completed the whole complex in just seven years.Amazing,right? In many European countries they built cathedrals in hundreds of years....but the Turks could build huge and beautiful mosques in a few years...How? Passion and money...if you can put these two things together ,you can make anything in a short time.
As you can see in the pictures it has six towers,we call them ''minaret''.They are used to call people for prayers.In the good old days somebody''müezzin'' used to go up and call for prayers without any loud-speakers. Nowadays we have microphones and loud-speakers, so nobody climbs the stairs:)
Once you get in, you will be amazed with the Iznik tiles in different colors but mostly blue. We have 21046 pieces of them.. Imagine in 1600s a tile shop could make only one or two pieces a day. And they needed 21000 of them, so sultan ordered the tile-shops to work for him only. So they could finish the work in a shorter time but this caused something bad...Tile-shops lost their market, customers.. so after the Blue Mosque most of them closed their shops. And the ones in the Blue mosque are the last beautiful Turkish tiles from Iznik, the tile center of the Ottoman Empire.
In Turkish tiles you will see some certain things such as tulips, roses, plum trees, and some other flowers, mostly floral designs. Tulip represents God''Allah'', Rose represents ''Mohammad'' the prophet of Islam, and the other flowers and trees represent Heaven.