The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish) is an historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. To reassert Ottoman power following the loss of the Persian war (1603-1618), Sultan Ahmet I commissioned the construction of a large mosque. Unlike his predecessors who had paid for their mosques with the spoils of war, Sultan Ahmet removed the funds from the Treasury. The mosque was built between 1609-1616 on the site of what was once the Great Palace of the Byzantine emperors. Positioned in front of the Hagia Sophia (formerly a Byzantine church), the site held significant symbolic meaning. Large parts of the south section of the mosque rest on the foundations of old Great Palace. The mosque features a cascade of domes and six slender minarets. The mosque is known as the Blue Mosque because of the thousands of blue tiles lining the interior.
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