Blue Mosque / Sultanahmet Mosque
After Zsitvatorok Peace (1606) and the unfavorable result of the wars with Persia, elSultán Ahmed I decided to build a large mosque in Istanbul. It would be the first major imperial mosque to be built in over forty years.His predecessors had paid for their mosques with their booty, Sultan Ahmed I had to withdraw funds from the treasury, because he had not won any notable victories over time. This angered the Ottoman Ulema, Muslim jurists.
The mosque was to be built on the site of the palace of the Byzantine emperors, facing the Hagia Sophia (at that time it was the most venerated mosque in Istanbul) and the hippodrome, a site of great symbolic importance. Large parts of the south face of the mosque rest on the foundation and vaults of the Grand Palace.
Several palaces was already built there, especially the palace of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha, so these first had to be purchased at considerable expense and demolished. Much of the
Sphendone (curved tribune with U-shaped structure of the hippodrome) were also removed to make room for the new mosque. Construction of the mosque began in August 1609 when the Sultan came to break the first sod. His intention was that this would become the first mosque of his empire.
He put his royal architect Mehmet Aga Sedefhar, a student and principal assistant of the famous architect Mimar Sinan to be in charge of building the mosque. Work organization described in meticulous detail in eight volumes, now in the library of Topkapi Palace. The opening ceremonies were held in 1617. The sultan could now pray in the royal box mahfil calling Hunkar. The building was not finished in the last year of his reign, as the last accounts were signed by his successor Mustafa I. Known as the Blue Mosque, the Mosque of Sultan Ahmed is currently one of the most impressive monuments in the world.