8 Haziran 2014 Pazar

Blue Mosque with Six Minarets

Sultan Ahmet Mosque - Fatih

Following Sultan Ahmet I’s order, Sultan Ahmet Mosque was built by architect Sedefkar Mehmet Aga, pupil of famous Architect Sinan.  The land that the mosque stands on today was expropriated through paying large sums to Pashas whose villas stood on the way. 

The sixth ‘selatin’ mosque of the city, Sultan Ahmet I himself swung the first pickaxe blow symbolizing the start of the construction, and this pickaxe is still in Topkapı Museum. Built in the 17th century, the mosque has been appropriately nicknamed “Blue Mosque” for being decorated with more than twenty thousand pieces of porcelain, mostly in shades of blue.  

One of the most unique features the mosque holds is its six minarets. While Mecca Mosque was the only other mosque with six minarets in the world, after the completion of Sultan Ahmet, another minaret was added to Mecca Mosque.

Sultan Ahmet I’s mausoleum can be found in the graveyard in the mosque’s grounds. You can find 3D visuals of the mosque here.

The easiest route reach Sultan Ahmet Mosque would be to take either the ferry, bus or Marmaray to Karakoy, Eminonu or Sirkeci and then take to tram from here. 

Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul

6 Haziran 2014 Cuma

From Port to Emperor’s Palace

Dolmabahce Palace - Besiktas

Where Dolmabahce Palace stands today was once a port that later turned into a swamp and then filled in  the 17th century. The palace was ordered to be built by Sultan Abdulmecit, its architects were Garabet and Nigogos Balyan, and the construction started in 1843 and ended in 1856. The palace is known for its aesthetically pleasing details and it attracts tens of thousands of tourists each year.

With the completion of the construction, the former headquarters of the empire Topkapi Palace was abandoned (You can read our entry on Topkapi Palace here)

Once again taking pictures are not allowed inside the palace, so instead you can click here to view photos of the palace.

Dolmabahce houses world’s largest ballroom, and the crystal chandelier in this room weighs 4.5 tons. Radiators were added and electricity was connected to the Palace in 1910. The palace is famous for being the spot Sultan Vahdettin boarded the ship that took him away from the Ottoman Empire, and that it was where Mustafa Kemal Ataturk passed away. As Ataturk passed away at 09.05, the clocks in the palace permanently stay at this hour. 

Another important landmark, Dolmabahce Clock Tower stands in between Dolmabahce Palace and Bezmi Alem Valide Sultan Mosque. Ordered to be built by Sultan Abdulhamit II, this clock is the most famous clock tower in the city.

To get to Dolmabahce Palace, just head towards Kabatas from Besiktas and the palace will be on your left. 

Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul