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Blue Mosque, Istanbul

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (in Turkish Sultanahmet Camii) is a mosque in Istanbul. It is regarded as one of the greatest masterpieces of Islamic architecture. The Mosque is famously known as the "Blue Mosque" for its appearance.

The mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 by order of the Sultan Ahmed I, after whom it is named. He is buried in the mosque's precincts. It is located in the oldest part of Istanbul, in what was before 1453 the centre of Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire. It is next to the site of the ancient Hippodrome, and a short distance from the great Christian Church of the Holy Wisdom (Hagia Sophia).

It is within walking distance of the Topkapi Palace, residence of the Ottoman Sultans until 1853 and only a short distance from the shore of the Bosphorus. Seen from the sea, its domes and minarets dominate the skyline of the old part of the city, as was its builders' intention.

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