This one is an Official Postcrossing card from Turkey! Shown here is Sultan Ahmed Mosque, or the Blue Mosque, found in Istanbul, Turkey’s most populous city (located in the northeastern part of the country). This was constructed at the commission of Ahmed I, the Sultan of the Ottoman Empire in the early 1600s. Ahmed took the throne at the age of 13, and unlike previous Ottoman rulers, he didn’t really have much of a reputation to boast. Thus, one of his most notable actions was the creation of the mosque, which now serves as his tomb and as a tourist landmark, and yet still functions as a mosque. The Blue Mosque gets its name mainly from the 20,000+ bluish tiles lining the interior; additionally, blue light gets shed on it at night, yielding quite the immaculate sight. The mosque is built in an identical style as the Hagia Sophia, a Greek Orthodox church-turned-mosque that sits facing it. That was no accident, though – Ahmed built the Blue Mosque there in competition with the Hagia Sophia. It has five main domes, eight secondary domes (naturally, smaller ones), and six minarets, which are the pillars you see surrounding the building. Just a tidbit of Islamic background: minarets are typical for mosques to have, and it’s where the Muslim call to prayer is projected from (historically by a person called a muezzin; now many mosques have loudspeakers mounted to them). But, most mosques have either two or four minarets. It’s said that when Ahmed requested golden (altin) minarets, the architect misunderstood and made six (alti) minarets. Because this matched the number of minarets of the mosque in Mecca (implying that it was “equal” to it – a pretty brazen statement), Ahmed was pretty ticked off by the mistake. His solution? To add another one to Mecca’s mosque! Clear communication is key, folks… thank you lots for this awesome postcard!