Walking the Mosques of Istanbul, Istanbul

Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Dersaadet
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Istanbul has been a center of Islam for over half a millennium. Add to the fact that it was always growing in population and wealth, and we have the reason why there are so many dazzling mosques in the city.

Walk Route

Guide Location: Turkey » Istanbul
Guide Type: Self-guided city tour
# of Attractions: 9
Tour Duration: 3 hour(s)
Travel Distance: 7.2 km
Author: kane

1) Gül Mosque

Gul Mosque means “The Mosque of the Rose”. This famous mosque is present in the district of Fatih, in the Ayakapi (Gate of the Saint) neighborhood in Istanbul, overlooking the Golden Horn.

Originally known as “the Church of St Theodosia” the Gul Mosque was a former Eastern Orthodox Church in Constantinople. It was converted into a mosque by the Ottomans during the 14th century. The Gul Mosque is one of the most important religious Byzantine structures, predating the Ottoman rule in...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and A. Fabbretti

2) Fatih Mosque

The Fatih Camii translates to the “Conqueror’s Mosque” from the Turkish language. The Fatih Mosque is one of the largest examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture in Istanbul, and it was built over the original site of the Church of the Holy Apostles. It is an Ottoman Mosque, located in the Fatih district.

Constructed during 1462- 1470 by Sultan Fatih Mehmet (Mehmet the Conqueror), the Fatih Mosque is distinct in its construction. It consists of a hospital, a caravansary, kitchens, a...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Muscol

3) Şehzade Mosque

The Şehzade Cammi translates to the Prince Mosque from the Turkish language. This is an Ottoman Imperial mosque located in the Fatih district in Istanbul.

Sultan Suleiman I commissioned the mosque in memory of his son, Prince Mehmet, who died at the age of 21 of small pox. Hence the name of the mosque - Sehzade, or Prince. It was completed in 1548, and was the first major commission of the Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan. The mosque is still considered by historians as the first masterpiece...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Darwinek

4) Yavuz Selim Mosque

The Yavuz Selim mosque is an Ottoman Imperial mosque. The mosque is also called the “Selim I Mosque”. It is located on top of the fifth hill of Istanbul, and overlooks the Golden Horn. This mosque is the second oldest imperial mosque in Istanbul, and it was completed in 1522.

The Yavuz Selim Mosque was commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan, “Suleiman the Magnificent” and was constructed by the Imperial Architect of that time. Many scholars say it was built by the celebrated Imperial...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Muscol

5) Bodrum Mosque

Formally known as “The Church of the Monastery of Myrelaion” or “The Place of Myrrah”, the Bodrum Mosque used to be a cross-in-square designed church in Istanbul. Bodrum translates as “basement” from Turkish, and this probably refers to the crypt that is still present beneath the mosque. The church was converted into a mosque by Ottoman Grand Vizier, Mesih Pasa, in 1500.

The mosque was damaged by fire in 1784 and 1911 and it was also abandoned for some time, until the Istanbul...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and A. Fabbretti

6) Bayezid II Mosque

The Bayezid Mosque is an Ottoman Imperial Mosque located near the ruins of the Forum of Theodosius, at the Bayezid Square in Istanbul.

Commissioned by the Ottoman Sultan, Bayezid II, it was one of the largest mosque complexes to be erected after the conquest of Istanbul. The mosque complex consists of a madrassah (Islamic school) an imaret (public kitchen), shops and also a hammam (Turkish bath). The mosque’s architecture is that of the classic Ottoman style and unlike the Fatih Mosque,...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Zaparojdik

7) Süleymaniye Mosque

The Süleymaniye Mosque is a 16th century mosque built by Suleiman “The Magnificent” in Istanbul in 1557. The mosque was built by the famous Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan. The mosque is modeled in part on the Hagia Sofia, and in part on a Byzantine Basilica, in order to reflect the grandeur of the city’s past architectural monuments.

In 1660, the Süleymaniye Mosque was ravaged by fire, and was restored by Mehmet IV. The restoration work was commissioned by the architect Fossati....
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Johann H. Addicks

8) Rustem Pasha Mosque

The great Rustem Pasha Mosque is located in Hasircilar Carsisi, in Eminonu, Istanbul. This mosque is an Imperial Ottoman mosque of great significance. It was designed by the famed Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan for the Grand Viziar Damat Rustem Pasha, husband of Princess Mihrimah, daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman “the Magnificent”. It was built during 1561-1563.

The mosque has a large number of Iznik tiles (decorated ceramic tiles) that make it distinct from others. The tiles are...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Simm

9) Blue Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque is also called Sultanahmet Camii in Turkish, and is one of the most frequently visited and famous tourist spots in Istanbul. The mosque is popularly known as the “Blue Mosque” due to the blue tiles that adorn the walls of its interior.

The Blue Mosque was built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmed the First. It contains a tomb of the Sultan, a madrassah (religious school) and also a hospice. The Blue Mosque is a very famous tourist attraction, but it...
Image Courtesy of Wikimedia and Kamiox


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