Kilic Ali Pasha Complex, Istanbul

Kilic Ali Pasha Complex, Istanbul

Consisting of a mosque, a madrassah (Islamic school), a hammam (Turkish bath), a türbe (tomb), and a fountain, this vast complex was designed and built between 1580-87 by celebrated architect Mimar Sinan, who at the time was in his nineties.

The complex is named after Italian-born Kılıç Ali Pasha (Ali the Sword), who, after being pressed into service as a galley-rower in the mid-16th century, rose through the ranks of the Ottoman navy to become Grand Admiral of the Ottoman Empire. Like other Grand Admirals, he built his mosque complex in the area of the Ottoman naval docks and arsenal known as Tophane-i Amire, the surviving 15th-century portion of which is right across the street. The mosque itself was designed as – quite obviously, despite some slight differences – almost a scaled-down replica of the Ayasofya (Hagia Sofia). It's a wonderful place to visit; much less crowded, yet as impressive as other famous mosques – so if you have limited time and want to see one of Istanbul's houses of worship, then this would be a good choice.

A 21st-century update on the Turkish bath, the Kılıç Ali Paşa Hamamı (8am–11pm) is housed in a very clean historic building, with nice staff that speaks fairly good English and is very accommodating. The scrub and wash down is completely relaxing and the massage afterward is a great way to finish the experience. As in other hammams, gender-segregation applies (i.e. men are not allowed before 4pm), but regardless of gender, think about making a reservation through their website.

Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Istanbul. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from iTunes App Store or Google Play. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Kilic Ali Pasha Complex on Map

Sight Name: Kilic Ali Pasha Complex
Sight Location: Istanbul, Turkey (See walking tours in Istanbul)
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Istanbul, Turkey

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