Tour Information

Nearly all the an­cestors of Sultan Ahmed I going back until Osman Gazi have built charity works and hoped to gain benevolence of believers after their death. Some of these dedicated big social complexes to Bursa which was the first important center of Ottoman Em­pire, and then they turned their generosity to Istanbul after the conquest and built complexes like Fatih, Bayezid, Yavuz Selim, Süleymaniye. Mehmed III the fa­ther and Murad III the grandfather of the young sultan couldn't build structures which will both make their names live lor-ever and gain good deeds for them. How­ever, the Young Sultan didn't want to be late in this matter. In order to make the wish of the sultan come true, first thing to be done was location scouting.

After dis­cussing various different areas, emphasis was put lastly on the place of  Rüstem Pasha Palace in Cagaloglu, yet this option was also canceled due to the need of de­molishing some religious and civil buildings. Thereupon, the area at the south of the Hippodrome, over the southern slopes looking at the Marmara shores of Istanbul, facing the me most monumental structure of the city Hagia Sophia, was chosen. The foundation digging process has started after Sedefkar Mehmed Aga presented the painting of the building he will build and obtained approval.

High ranked statesmen leading the Grand Vizier Murad Pasha, Shaykh al­islam Mehmed Efendi and Aziz Mahmud Hudai and lead scientists attended the cer­emony of foundation digging.In fact, the Young Sultan came to the ceremony from his mansion and worked with a velvet handled digger until he got tired. (This digger is guarded in Topkapi Palace.) This activity started on November 9th 1609 and carried out for 3 months; timber stakes were grounded in the foundation halls and strengthened the foundation. Then an aus-picial date was chosen and a ceremony was held on January 4th 1610. Nobles put stone blocks prepared for them down the foundation at the direction of the kiblah (the direction of Mecca) wall. The activity carried on for 7 seven years without any interruption, until June 9th 1617, when key Stone of the dome of the mosque was put into its place with a ceremony. After a while from the ceremony, before the com plex was fully finished Sultan AhmedI died at the age of 27.

The Young Sultan known by his religiousness and benevo­lence yet considered to have died after see­ing his biggest wish come true. Sultan Ahmed I prepared his foundation certifi cate-charter with a literary style in 1613 (Hijri 1022) when the construction of the complex was halfway through. He de­scribed the function and operation of each building and donated rich incomes to these places. However, even if the bazaar and outer atrium walls were completed with the mosque, completion ofother parts like hospital, madrasah, public kitchen and whole complex took some more time. To­tally it took 10 years for the whole process. Sultan Mustafa I approved the construc­tion book of te complex.

Thus, the construction process of the magnificent mosque dubbed as Blue Mosque by the westerners, Sultanahmed Mosque by Turks which is the most well-known building of the area known as Hippo­drome in Byzantine period, Horse Square in Ottoman period and called Sul­tanahmed Square nowadays was com­pleted.

10 years is definitely a short period for a complex of this size andyet the construc­tion activity come across a period when there were riots in Anatolia and wars were being carried on at east. This activity at­tracts the attention by being animpressive activity that showed the continuity ol fi­nancial and organizational power.