Blue Mosque, a masterpiece of classic Ottoman architecture

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Facing its Byzantine model, Agia Sofia, the Blue Mosque is a landmark of Istanbul. The Blue Mosque is the only mosque in Istanbul with 6 minarets. Since minarets (the towers of a mosque) are a rank sign, the sultan was criticized for choosing an equal number of minarets to that of the Ka’aba Mosque in Mecca. His solution was to pay for the building of the seventh minaret in Mecca.
Though 400 years passed since Sultan Ahmed ordered for it to be built, and although its decorations turned it into a tourist attraction, the mosque is still a place of worship and not just a museum. The locals call it Sultanahmet Camii (The Mosque of Sultan Ahmed), the emperor who commissioned it. The place he chose was no other than the ruins of the Byzantine Imperial Palace, where the rulers of the Eastern Roman Empire lived, and the legendary hippodrome of the Roman era is now a part of its courtyard.
The shape of the building is influenced, like the entire Islamic architecture, by the neighbor Agia Sofia, while the beautiful decorations on the inside own a lot to the earlier Suleymaniye Mosque, a few blocks away. These delicate blue ceramic decorations gave it the name of Blue Mosque.

Mai multe despre: Religious architecture, Turkey
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