The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

Sultanahmet was built in the place of Ayşe Sultan Palace, which covers a large area facing the sea
The Blue Mosque (Sultan Ahmet Camii)

The Blue Mosque Sultanahmet in Istanbul

Although the Blue Mosque gives its name to the square where it is located, erasing all traces of the past, this area was known as the Hippodrome during the Byzantine period, and as Horse Square during the Ottoman period. A part of the Byzantine Imperial Palace was also located in the same area. Palaces belonging to senior Ottoman officials were found in the area during the 16th century.
However, Sultan Ahmet had other plans for this region. Known for his religious devotion, his greatest desire was to build a mosque that would symbolize the love of God within him and would surpass the glory of Hagia Sophia (Figure 1). After a prolonged period of indecision, he finally decided to realize his dream.

The area was prepared for the construction of the mosque that would take the name of Sultan Ahmet I himself, using the financial capacity of the Ottoman Empire, which was then rich enough to meet all the Sultan’s wishes (Figure 2). According to Evliya Celebi, the land was purchased, and five palaces, including those of Semiz Ahmet Pasha and Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, were destroyed together with Arslanhane to make way for the construction of the Sultan Ahmet Complex.

Blue Mosque at summer evening

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