The Blue Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) was built by Sedefkar Mehmet Aga in the sultan 1. Ahmet’s time between (1609-1616) years. It is located on the site of the Great Palace of Byzantium, on the southeastern side of the Hippodrome. The mosque is popularly known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior.
The Blue Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Ahmet I when he was only 19 years old. It was built near the Hagia Sophia, over the site of the ancient hippodrome and Byzantine imperial palace (whose mosaics can be seen in the nearby Mosaic Museum). Construction work began in 1609 and took seven years.
The mosque was designed by architect Mehmet Aga, whose unfortunate predecessor was found wanting and executed. Sultan Ahmet was so anxious for his magnificent creation to be completed that he often assisted in the work. Sadly, he died just a year after the completion of his masterpiece, at the age of 27. He is buried outside the mosque with his wife and three sons.
The original mosque complex included a madrasa, a hospital, a han, a primary school, a market, an imaret and the tomb of the founder. Most of these buildings were torn down in the 19th century.