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Ottoman Empire

The majesty of the SultanAhmet Camii (Blue Mosque) is evident. The mosque is the only one outside of Medina that has 6 minarets. It was completed in 1616, and was built and designed by Mehmet Aga during the reign of Sultan Ahmet I. It has the most splendid exterior of all Istanbul's imperial mosques, with an unusually large courtyard. At the centre of the courtyard, there is an abulution fountain, or sadirvan, which is not used any longer. The interior of the mosque is bright, with 250 windows allowing in ample sunlight. The mosque takes its European name from the multitude of Iznik blue tiles that decorate its interior walls. (Press here for 46K jpg)

Ablution fountains at the Suleymaniye Camii. The Suleymaniye is the second largest imperial mosque in Istanbul, surpassed in size by the Fatih Camii. The architect of the Suleymaniye was the incomparable Mimar Sinan, an Armenian from Anatolia, possibly from Kayseri. The mosque was completed in 1557, and was built at the instructions of Suleyman The Magnificent (1520-1566). (Press here for 34K jpg)