Istanbul, capital of the Ottoman Empire for centuries, shows its deep-rooted past and magnificence as a pricey bracelet of unique architectural frameworks. The most significant representations of Ottoman art, prosperity and esthetics can be seen in the mosques, each of which brings people on a spiritual path with its elegance.
First mosques of Istanbul were the ones converted from churches after Ottoman invasion. Through this way the desires of the Muslims were addressed in the short term, but the need of the mosque that was founded with the rise of the Muslim community contributed to the appearance of the Ottoman architecture’s most glorious works.
How many mosques are there in Istanbul? Over 3000. Of course not all are monumental, but there are many beautiful mosques to see.
Here you can find a few of the prettiest mosques of Istanbul
Built by Suleiman the Magnificent, the mosque was completed in 1557. Talented architect Sinan describes it as his “journeymen piece of work”. Courtyard has the best view of the city. Suleiman the Magnificent got Sinan the Architect built this mosque on the third hill of Istanbul. huge complex building has total 15 sections like schools, kitchen, hospital, watch house, etc. The complex building is such a compact town. Like the other works of Sinan, Süleymaniye Mosque is such a temple that transformed simplicity into magnificence. The decoration used in the inscriptions of the mosque are already aesthetic marvels of their own. You can’t find better acoustics anywhere else than inside the mosque .
For fantastic interior design with 24.000 blue tiles, Sultanahmet Mosque has a reputation as Blue Mosque all around the world. Blue mosque is an excellent example of Turkish-Islamic architecture, which brought an extra point of view to Ottoman mosque design. The mosque was completed in 1616 by the order of Sultan Ahmed I. The architect is a student of Sinan the Architect who was a genius from Suleiman the Magnificent’s era. Sultan himself worked in construction.
Sultanahmet mosque is the first and only 6 minaret mosque in Ottoman origin. Sultan was highly criticized for building exact same number of minarets with Makkah Mosque, thus he sponsored another minaret in there to solve the problem. Mosque is a vast complex with its bazaar behind, a madrasah, kitchen, royal tombs and more.
On the shores of the Bosphorus, Büyük Mecidiye Mosque is known as the Ortaköy Mosque, because of its location in Ortaköy Square. The mosque, near to the Bosphorus Bridge’s European leg, forms a background to one of Istanbul’s most stunning views, with its tiny yet elegant and classy look.
Sultan Abdulmecid had Nigoğos Balyan and Garabet Amira Balyan build the mosque in Neo-Baroque style in 1853. With its extraordinary gigantic windows it has a magnificent appearance and the colorful lights of the Bosphorus illuminate inside.
This is the first mosque of Istanbul which was built by an Ottoman sultan; Mehmed II. It’s a complex building with a school, hospital, caravansary, library and Turkish bath.
The mosque, built on the 4th hill of Istanbul where the Byzantine Emperors’ tombs were built, was designed as one of the greatest signs to show that Ottoman era started in Constantinople.
Unfortunately the mosque we see today is not the one Mehmed II built. Original building collapsed in 1766 earthquake and the restoration was over in 1771.
One of the most visited mosques of Istanbul, Eyup Sultan Mosque is in Haliç (Golden Horn). Muslims believe that Hz. Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, who was the flag-bearer of Prophet Muhammad, was martyred during the siege of Istanbul in the 7th century and was buried here. The mosque was built next to Eyup’s tomb in 1458 with the order of Mehmed II.
Tens of thousands of people visit the mosque which hosted the sword-worning ceremony of many Ottoman sultans, notably Mehmet II.
Even though it’s 400 years old just because the mosque was built after Süleymaniye and Blue Mosque, it’s called New Mosque. It’s one of the most popular mosques of Istanbul, with its location next to Spica Market and pigeons in front. To those on their way to Eminönü or Spice Market it has become a tradition to throw feed at the birds in front of the New Mosque.
Everyone visiting Cemberlitaş Column or entering Grand Bazaar from Gate 1 would recognize this mosque. Though it’s a little bit small compared to others, it’s still one of a must-see mosques in Istanbul with its elegance and eye-catching stained-glass windows.