Monday, April 17, 2017


Üsküdar - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'33.6"N 29°00'39.8"E / 41.026000, 29.011056

 photo semsi_madrasa124.jpg


Şemsi Ahmed Pasha had Mimar Sinan build Şemsi Pasha Madrasa (Üsküdar) which consists of mosque, tomb, and Ottoman elementary-primary school and forms some part of Şemsi Pasha Complex and is in Şemsi Pasha Neighborhood, Üsküdar district, Istanbul province with a complex in 1580. Its precinct is enclosed by an L-shaped madrasa to the west and south, and a seawall with grill-windows to the north, giving the impression that one is in a picture gallery looking at framed Bosphorus seascapes.

The L-shaped madrasa has twelve domed cells and a large classroom, all fronted by an arcade whose shed roof is carried by nineteen columns. Cells are placed all in a row except at the northern end, where a single cell encloses the arcade before the seawall. The classroom, which is seven meters squared, occupies the centre of the western wing of and projects beyond the madrasa wall. It is surmounted by a dome carried on squinches and raised on an octagonal drum.

There are six windows on three of the classroom's walls, leaving the western wall for a furnace and two shelving niches. Each madrasa cell has two windows, a furnace and one or two shelving niches. The arcade was enlarged following the restoration and the madrasa was refurnished to house a Library in 1953 with the classroom use as the reading room. An additional room with privy cells is attached at the end of the southern wing.

A gate along the seawall opens into the precinct courtyard, which is shared by the mosque and the madrasa. A secondary gate along the cemetery wall to the east also leads to this courtyard via a narrow passage. The mosque portico, which envelops the prayer hall to the northwest and southwest, is faced across the courtyard with the madrasa arcade, at a smaller scale.


The madrasa was damaged in the earthquake of 1894 with Şemsi Pasha Complex and restored by Istanbul Head Management of Foundations, in 1940. Madrasa has been used as Şemsi Pasha Public Library since 1953.

The madrasa was recently restored, and behind the arcade columns, the library space is closed off by a full-length tinted glazing system. The image of glass panes behind the historical arcades makes for an interesting contrast between historical and contemporary architectural features although some details, such as the air conditioners against the glass and certain junctions, could have been carried out more carefully. The domed spaces of the madrasa are now used as a part of the storage space of the library.


WEB SITE : Şemsi Pasha Public Library

E-Mail :
Phone : +90 216 553 1119
Fax : +90 216 495 8848

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