Mosques of Istanbul

“Things are not worth by long they last, but by the traces they leave”

(Arabian proverb)

 

 The city of Constantinople (now Istanbul) was the capital of the Ottoman Empire for almost five centuries, since in 1453 the Sultan Mehmet II conquered the city in the Byzantine Empire. From that moment the Christian Orthodox religion was supplanted by Islam, and therefore most of the churches were converted into mosques. Mehmet II the Conqueror built the Eyüp Mosque to honor the conquest of the city, built in 1458 over the tomb of the standard bearer of Mohammed, Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, instigator of the conquest. Later he built the Fatih Mosque that rivaled in size with Ayasofya, without success. He was buried in it.

 But the period in which more mosques were built was under the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent. Its architect Mimar Sinan, considered the Ottoman Leonardo Da Vinci,was the architect of many of the most beautiful mosques of the Ottoman Empire, between those Süleymaniye Camii, Sehzade Camii, Rustem Pasha Camii, Ortaköy Camii, Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Camii, Mihirimah Sultan Camii, Laleli Camii, Pertevniyal Valide Camii, Yeni Camii or Semsi Pasha Camii among others.

 Another of the great mosques of Istanbul is undoubtedly the Blue Mosque or Sultanahmet Camii built by Mehmet Aga, a disciple of Sinan, under the sultanate of Ahmed I in 1616. Its interior is decorated with blue Iznik ceramics, hence its name (see video).

 

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