The Sultan Ahmed Mosque built by Ahmet I between 1609 and 1616, only in seven years inclding its complex. The mosque used to be part of a large complex, including a covered bazaar, Turkish baths, public kitchens, a hospital, schools, a caravanserai, and the mausoleum of Sultan Ahmet. Some of these social and cultural buildings have not survived to our day. Istanbul is viewed best from the sea and the mosque is part of this magnificent scenery.
From the gate opening to the inner courtyard one can view the domes, rising above one another in perfect harmony, over the symbolic ablution fountain in the middle and the surrounding porticoes.
There are three entrances to the mosque interior. The wealthy and colorful vista inside created by the paintings, tiles and stained glass complements the exterior view. The interior has a centralized plan; the main and side domes rise on four large columns that support broad and pointed arches. The walls of the galleries surrounding the three sides of the interior chamber are decorated by over 20,000 exquisite Iznik tiles. The areas above the tiles and the inside of the domes are decorated with paintwork. The 260 windows flood with light the interior space, which is covered by a dome 23.5 m in diameter and 43 m high from ground level.
Blue Mosque on Google Maps