8 MOSQUES NOT TO MISS WHILE IN ISTANBUL
Istanbul is famous for its Mosques and Ottoman architecture. As the capital of the Ottoman Empire since 1453 and the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul is home to over 3000 mosques. This makes it overwhelming to decide which ones to visit, but here are seven of the most important mosques in Istanbul you should see based on their architectural character and historical context. Istanbul also is an exciting mish mash of yesteryear decadence and dazzling urban innovation. This half Asian half European city of over 15 million, indulges travellers with astounding Byzantine relics, enchanting markets and a diverse array of architecture. Some of the most beautiful mosques in Turkey reside here. With over three thousand to choose from, which ones are worth the visit?
The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque)
Finished in 1616, this ancient mosque is famous for its 20,000 intricate Iznik tiles adorning its inner walls that are, you’ve guessed it, awash with blue. Sultanahmet Mosque stands out from its Turkish cousins by having six slender towers instead of two or four. Legend claims that a misunderstanding is to blame for this unusual amount of minarets. This caused great controversy at the time due to Mecca being the only temple to possess six. Sultan Ahmet I, was even forced to add an extra tower to the capital of Islam. Gazing out to the Sea of Marmara, this gigantic temple is still in use today. During the five daily prayer times it is closed to the public, so keep this in mind before you visit. Head to Sultanahmet Park for the best views of one of Istanbul’s most beautiful mosques. You can check out our Istanbul Packages or Islamic Muslim Tour Packages to see all these beautiful mosques with your own eyes.
This mosque Pierces the skies on the Golden Horn with an impressive dome of 53 metres. A stone’s throw away from the gates of Istanbul University, this spectacular structure is an emblem of the city skyline. Commissioned by the Sultan, Suleiman the Magnificent, Suleymaniye Mosque was one of the most important of the Ottoman empire. Built in the 16th century by the great Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan, Suleymaine Mosque served as much more than a place of worship. A hospital, library, madrasa (Islamic college), kitchen and hospice for the poor all featured within its grounds. A stroll around the grand courtyards and regal gardens, give you a real taste of imperial life. Keep your eyes peeled for the ivory-inlaid panels in Suleiman’s tomb, and the intricate tiling surrounding its entrance. Check out the Islamic Packages to see these beautiful Mosques.
Relatively modest in design compared to its grand counterparts peppering the city, the beauty of this more modern structure works under the age-old mantra: location, location, location. Nestled on the very edge of the glimmering waters of the Bosphorus and with a backdrop of the Bosphorus Bridge, the placement of Ortaköy Mosque is truly breathtaking. The impressive design was carried out by Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigoğayos Balyan in 1856. The Armenian father-and-son architects also designed the incredible Dolmabahçe Palace. Check out Istanbul & Istanbul Islamic Packages to explore Ortaköy mosque.
Hagia Sophia Mosque
One of the oldest examples on this list started life as a Greek patriarchal cathedral of Constantinople. In 537 AD it was converted into a mosque by the Moors. To this day Hagia Sophia is considered one of the greatest houses of worship. Every year thousands flock to this museum to see the pinnacle of 6th century Byzantine culture. Meander through its vast interior, illuminated by 40 arched windows, to savour what was once the biggest dome structure in the world. This title was taken by the Florence Cathedral 900 years later. This feat of Byzantine engineering is truly unmissable when on a trip to Istanbul. Check out our exquisite range of extremely low-priced tour packages to Turkey, to see the most beautiful mosques of Istanbul.
Çamlıca Republic Mosque
One of the largest Istanbul Mosque in Turkey, Çamlıca was inaugurated on 1 July 2016. The mosque has the ability to accommodate a huge mass of people. 63000 to be precise. It’s one the megaprojects built by the Turkish government to display the strength of the economy. And, also for providing the legacy for the governing AK Party. The mosque premises includes a museum, an art gallery, library and conference hall. Bahar Mızrak and Hayriye Gül Totu are the two female architects behind the designing of this new Istanbul Mosque. It was just a month back when this mosque officially opened it’s doors to the public with a dawn prayer. The mosque also features special accommodation for the disabled, i.e., a platform. And, that platform would be the place from where visitors would be able to offer prayers. This newly built Istanbul mosque can be viewed from all parts and corners of the city. Magnificent and grand on its own. Check out our daily Camlica Mosque visit tour or explore other Islamic Muslim Package tours.
Rüstem Paşa Mosque
Built by the famous architect Mimar Sinan, this Istanbul Mosque is a secret gem of Ottoman architecture. Located in the Strawmat Weavers Market or the Hasırcılar Çarşısı, the construction was done around in 1563. The renowned architect had designed this Ottoman architecture for the grand vizier Rüstem Pasha. He was the husband of one of the daughters of Suleiman the Magnificent. Post Rüstem Pasha’s death at the age of 61, the mosque had been built around 1561 to 1563. Currently, the mosque premises hosts a religious school. Built on a high terrace over a complex of protected shops, their rents were intended to support the mosque complex. Check out most enjoyable Istanbul & Islamic Tour Packages.
New Mosque Istanbul
Constructed in the name of Valide Sultan, New Mosque is not exactly new. Although the name suggests otherwise, this Istanbul Mosque is 350 years old. Does it sound new now? In Turkish, the translation would be Yeni Camii (New Mosque). Located at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, it is one of the famous architectural landmarks of Istanbul. This Istanbul Mosque also acts as a landmark for the Golden Horn and vice versa. The interior of the mosque has great examples of Ottoman tile work, known as İznik tiles (blue tiles that bear the name of the town from where they are made) – but, the best samples of İznik tiles can be seen in Rüstem Pasha. Similar to the others, New Mosque Istanbul was designed as a complex with adjacent structures to cater to both religious and cultural needs. Today, the large L-shaped market within the mosque survives as the Spice Bazaar. Check out our Istanbul dailt tours & packages OR Islamic Istanbul tours to see these beautiful muslim heritage.
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