This mosque was built by Sultan Ahmet I during 1609-1616 in the square carrying his name in Istanbul. The architect is Sedefhar Mehmet Aga. It is the only mosque in Turkey with six minarets. The mosque is 64 x 72 m in dimensions. The central dome is 43 m in height and is 33.4 m in diameter. 260 windows surround the mosque. Due to its beautiful blue, green and white tiling’s it has been named the “Blue Mosque” by Europeans.
The interior furnishings of the Blue Mosque are typical of those of the other imperial mosques in Istanbul. The most important element in the interior of any mosque is the mihrab, a niche set in the center of the wall opposite the main entrance. The purpose of the mihrab is to indicate the kible, the direction of the holy city Mecca, toward which the faithful mast face when they perform their prayers. In the great mosques of Istanbul, the mihrab is invariably quite grand, with the niche itself made of finely carved and sculptured marble and the adjacent wall sheathed in ceramic tiles. To the right of the mihrab we see the mimber, or pulpit, where the imam stands when he is delivering his sermon at the time of noon prayer on Fridays or on holy days. The mosque is flooded with light from its 260 windows.
These were once filled with colored glass which would have tempered the too-crude brightness; now they are slowly being replaced with modern imitations. The painted arabesques in the domes and upper parts of the building are less good than examples of this type of decoration from the 16th and 17th centuries, when they were richly elaborate in design and somberly magnificent in color.