Tuesday, January 17, 2017


Nuruosmaniye, Fatih - İstanbul Turkey

GPS : 41°00'36.9"N 28°58'13.4"E / 41.010250, 28.970389

A still-active cistern beneath Nuruosmaniye Mosque next to the Grand Bazaar. The oldest cistern was only discovered during renovations to the mosque, according. Built between 1748 and 1755 old cistern was only discovered during renovations to the mosque, according to Foundations Istanbul Provincial Director.

As the team dug down to eight-and-a-half meters, "we removed 420 trucks’ worth of slime from the cistern. Then the magnificent gallery, cistern and water gauge became visible. The Ottomans used a modern system according to contemporary earthquake regulations. This cistern is really a magnificent one, it is very special. All waters from the surrounding gather here. There is also a well under this cistern. After cleaning the mud, we saw that the system was still working," he said.

Restoration work on the cistern is nearing completion, and the structure is expected to open to visits within the year. Director said the construction of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque, which is located on one of the seven hills of Istanbul, started in 1748 during the reign of Sultan Mahmud I but that the construction was completed in the term of Sultan Osman III. "This is why the mosque is called Nuruosmaniye." He said the mosque depicted the transition in architecture from the classical Ottoman style to baroque with its 174 windows.

Foundations Istanbul Provincial Director said the mosque was very dirty before the restoration and that its wooden portions had been completely ruined. "This is why we started the mosque’s restoration in 2010. We first finished the main seraglio of the mosque and opened it to worship. It was very long and hard work but it was worth it. Even its doors, shutters and windows have historic value. It is one of first mosques built in the baroque style.

During the restoration work, a magnificent 18 meter-long cistern was discovered, which was used to drain rain water between the mosque and its foundation. The cistern, which is entered through a small gate in the mosque’s courtyard, has magnificent architecture and ambience. Members of the renovation team are elated with their discovery of the first bored-pile foundation under İstanbul's first baroque mosque, Nuruosmaniye, whose construction marked a milestone in Turkey's architectural history. After the discoveries, the team intensified its work at the mosque.

Two major discoveries have been made during renovations of the 255-year-old Nuruosmaniye Mosque in İstanbul's Çemberlitaş neighborhood : The oldest bored-pile foundation in Turkey and a 2,042-square-meter area - containing an 825-square-meter complex similar to the Basilica Cistern - were found eight-and-a-half meters below the building.

Built between 1748 and 1755 old water cistern has been discovered during the restoration of Istanbul’s Nuruosmaniye Mosque, the 18-meter long cistern was built between the mosque and its foundation in order to drain rain water. Foundations Istanbul Provincial Director also said they had conducted talks with the Scientific Council to turn the cistern into a museum. “We will decide on this after the restoration. But at least we can enable people to visit here by inserting steel platforms. The cistern is already active.”

Foundations Istanbul Provincial Director said that when the restoration started, the old cistern was filled with earth and debris, adding : "We have removed tons of mud from the cistern. It is said that all debris and rubbish from the restoration of the Grand Bazaar was packed here. We cleared the area of all rubbish and the cistern came to light. This system in the basement of the mosque functioned to send waste water out of the mosque."

The structure includes nearly 19 sections, 12 of which are chambers, over an area of 2,242 square meters. There are small rooms, galleries and niches.

Foundations Istanbul Provincial Director said "There is another Nuruosmaniye under the Nuruosmaniye Mosque. It is another group of structures similar to the mosque structure. A raft foundation was used there centuries ago to mitigate the risk of an earthquake. There are columns, divisions and a well. This is the first time we have encountered such a structure beneath a mosque. We can turn it into a museum, as well."

Mosque is built in the era of westernization started to be influencing in architecture. The construction is started by the order or Sultan Mahmud I and built by Mustafa Agha and architecture Simeon. Mosque is completed at III.Osman era and took the name as "The Light of Osman" - Nur-u Osman.  Mosque has one of the biggest dome according to other Ottoman mosques. At the end of the dome arch the conquest sura is written. And on the dome En-Nur sura’s 35 versicle takes place; "od is the light of sky and the earth".

Mihrab has many corners and closed by a half dome different from classical Ottoman mosques. First stone alems (the crescent and the star on top of a minaret)  firstly used in this mosque. Built as a complex mosque consists; library, fountain, hospice and mausoleum. There are some stores in the compex territory. Accepted as one of the authentic design of baroque architecture in Turkey, two story library is located in the inner yard of the mosque. There are more than 5000 manuscript and printed literary work.


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