Rivaling the buildings of the European Renaissance, the Blue Mosque—built by Sultan Ahmet I in 1616—is a perfect example of Ottoman architectural design and beauty. Ahmet I was accused of trying to rival Mecca by building a mosque with six minarets. The sumptuous blue of the tiles that give the mosque its name swathes the interiors with the splendor of the great high period of the Iznik workshops. The nearby shrine houses the tombs of Ahmet I and his wife Kosem Sultan, whilst on the east side of the mosque is the Arasta Bazaar. During the summer months, the best time to visit is in the evening when a beautiful light show is performed at the Blue Mosque.
The sumptuous blue tiles that give the mosque its name swathes the interiors with the splendor of the Iznik workshops.