Embark on a journey following the legacy of Istanbul's famous ruler and conqueror, Fatih Sultan Mehmet, and visit ancient treasures of Istanbul as you learn more about the its history.
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The Blue Mosque together with the Hagia Sophia could represent the historic rivalry between Islam and Christianity. If only beauty of this magnitude is always the result… Built between 1609 and 1616 by the order of Sultan Ahmet I, the Blue Mosque was meant to eclipse the grandeur of the Christian Basilica just across the Sultanahmet Square. The youthful Sultan thought that by building such a mosque, he would appease Allah, who then seemed displeased with him, judging from unfavorable outcomes of the wars with Persia and Hungary.
Bu when the sultan ordered six minarets for the mosque, he caused a stir in Mecca—for only Mecca’s Kabba Mosque was considered holy enough for six minarets. The sultan refused to back down from his decision; instead he sent craftsmen to build another minaret for Kaba Mosque. This appeased Mecca.
The mosque’s exterior is not blue. It came to be called the Blue Mosque because there are 20,000 tiles with 999 shades of blue decorating the interior. There are also 300 stained glass windows, letting natural light in.