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10/50.- Istanbul, Blue Mosque inner courtyard

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Sultanahmet Mosque is set on a square plan, surrounded by an outer courtyard having eight gates. The access to the inner courtyard of the mosque is through three gates, into a large rectangle with marble pavement and an off-center hexagonal sardivan - fountain for ritual ablution before prayer. You can also notice in the photo taken in the inner courtyard the porticos along the sides of the mosque supported by marble, granite and porphyry, and surmounted by semi-domes.

The reason why this mosque is also known as the Blue Mosque are the Iznik tile decorations of the galleries, predominantly blue, turquoise, which seemed to have been a fascination with Sultan Ahmet I, who died of typhus fever only a few months after the opening ceremony in 1617, at the age of 27, and was buried here.

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