Istanbul's Blue Mosque to undergo vital renovations to foundations

Istanbul's Blue Mosque to undergo vital renovations to foundations
The world famous Sultan Ahmed mosque was last renovated thirty years ago, but essential foundations to the buildings foundations are now required.
2 min read
08 July, 2017
The Blue Mosque was last renovated 30 years ago [Anadolu]

Istanbul's Blue Mosque will undergo a major three-year renovation project from next week to renovate the building's exterior and interior.

The 400-year old Sultan Ahmed Mosque will also undergo vital works to its foundations, as levels of underground water had become excessively high.

"We took x-rays of the ground beneath the mosque and realised that there are some issues with the discharge of underground water," said Adnan Ertem of the directorate general of foundations.

Ertem added that renovation work on the mosque had been completed thirty years ago, but essential works on the foundations were now required to protect its stability.

Government officials announced that general renovation work, including cleaning and maintenance work on the mosque's tiling, plaster and woodwork, would be completed by 2020.

"May God grant us the privilege to see the finalization of this project that we are starting 400 years after," said Deputy Prime Minister Veysi Kaynak.

Many tiles on the outside of the building containing Quranic inscriptions have been stolen over the years and replicas will be installed in the renovations, Daily Sabah reported.

"In the past, nothing was done to replace the stolen tiles. We now have the authority to replace the missing tiles with reproductions," said Ertem.

No financial details related to the restoration works were officially published.

The Blue Mosque was built over an eight-year period between 1609 and 1617 under the Ottoman Sultan, Ahmed I.

Located next to Istanbul's Hagia Sophia mosque, it was built on the site of a Byzantine palace after Turkey suffered a crushing loss in a war against the Persians.

It is customarily referred to as the Blue Mosque only by westerners, due to the stunning blue tiling work on the outside of the building, while most Turks refer to it only as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque.