The Tomb of Sultan Ahmed

This tomb for Sultan Ahmed Khan I, the 14th Otto¬man Sultan, was started to be constructed by Musta¬fa Khan I, and completed by Osman II (Osman the Young). The architect of the tomb was Sedefkar Mehmet Agha, who was also the architect of Blue Mosque. Construction of tomb took 3 years, and completed in 1619. Besides Sultan Ahmed Khan I, the tomb is also the resting place of Sultan Osman Khan II, the 16th Ottoman Sultan, and Sultan Murad Khan IV, the 17th Ottoman Sultan.

Valide-i Muazzama (Great Queen Mother) Mahpeyker Kosem Sultan, the favourite of Sultan Ahmed Khan I, mother of Sultan Murad Khan IV and Sultan Ibrahim Khan, and grandmother of Sultan Mehmed Khan IV, also lies here. Moreover, 32 more people lie in this tomb, including children of Sultan Ibrahim Khan.
Sultan Ahmed Tomb brings together the finest examples of tile, pen-works and woodworking. The tomb is covered with tiles from the floor to the top of lower-row of windows. These tiles, using under-glaze technique prevailing in the late 16th and early 17th centuries, mainly depict floral compositions. Surah Mulk (The Sovereignty) was inscribed using white thuluth (Turkish: Sülüs) calligraphy on navy blue back¬ground on tiled panels. This band of verse surrounds the entire tomb.

The section above the tiles displays rich pen-work adornments. 41st verse of Surah Fatih was inscribed in the medallion in the middle of the dome, and there are some names from Esma-i Hüsna inscribed in the medallions on the pendentives.

The magnificent double-wing gate of the tomb was made from ebony tree, adorned with mother-of-pearl, ivory and tortoiseshell. Upper parts of the gate wings, made using “kündekari” technique, reads the prayer: “Yâ müfettiha’l-ebvâb, iftah lenâ hayra’l-bâb (Oh My Lord who opens the gates, open auspicious gates for us)” inscribed using mother-of-pearl.

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