Tuesday, November 27, 2018


Eyüp - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'54.5"N 28°56'03.5"E / 41.048472, 28.934306


This baroque complex, which was built for Mihrişah Sultan, wife of Sultan Mustafa III and mother of Sultan Selim III, near to Bostan Pier of Eyüp in between 1792 - 1795, is quite broad. The complex was built by Arif Ağa the chief architect in between 1792 - 1794.

The inscription on the baroque - rococo style fountain, which dates to 1795 and is in the southeast direction of the complex, belongs to Galip who was the sheikh of the Galata Mevlevihane. The tomb, which was built in 1792 for Mihrişah Sultan who died in 1805, is a quite beautiful example of the Ottoman baroque style. The names of the Prophet Muhammad and four caliphs were inscribed on the roundels between the window arches.

Leaving Eyüp Mosque by the north gate, one finds oneself in a narrow street that leads down to the Golden Horn. Most of the left side of this street is occupied by the enormous külliye built in 1794 by Mihrişah Valide Sultan. This is one of the largest and most elaborate of all the baroque complexes and includes the türbe of the foundress together with a mektep, an imaret, and a splendid sebil and çeşmes.

The türbe is round, but the façade undulates turning it into a polygon, the various faces being separated by slender columns of red or dark grey marble; in general it recalls the türbe of Nakşidil at Fatih, though it is not quite so flamboyant.

The entrance is in a little courtyard filled with tombstones and trees, along one side of which runs the columned portico of the mektep or primary school.

Farther along the street another monumental gateway leads into the vast courtyard with more and tombstones and surrounded on three sides by the porticoes of the huge imaret or public kitchen. This is one of the very few imarets in Istanbul which still fulfil their function as food kitchens for the poor of the district; some 500 people are served daily at 11 o’clock with food to take away.

In leaving you should notice the magnificent sebil at the end of the garden wall on the street side. Continuing towards the water, one passes on the right the türbe and on the left the library of Hüsrev Paşa, dated 1839 and both in heavy Empire style; but the domes of the library reading-rooms contain a good example of that horrendous Italianate comic opera painted decoration of garlands, draperies and columns, which is so distressing when it occurs in classical buildings but is quite appropriate here.


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Küçükpazar, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'12.8"N 28°57'47.8"E / 41.020222, 28.963278


The Üç Mihraplı Mosque or Kazancılar Mosque (mosque with three mihrabs), or the Üç Mihraplı Hoca Hayreddin Mosque, is located in the neighborhood of Küçükpazar, Unkapanı, İstanbul. This mosque built in the 1475 is the only mosque in İstanbul that has three mihrabs. Situated on the Unkapanı Road, in a place called Küçükpazar, Üç Mihraplı Mosque with the features it possesses is a quite interesting mosque. The benefactor of the mosque is Hoca Hayrettin Efendi who tutored Fatih Sultan Mehmet in time.

The mosque was built in 874, and its second mihrab was added by Sultan Mehmed II (the Conqueror) and the third one by the wife of Hayreddin Efendi’s son Ahmed Efendi, who died when he was the kadı (judge) of Damascus. The mosque’s last mihrab was added when the bride of Hoca Hayreddin Efendi added her house to the mosque.

The main body of the building, which seems to be original in form though heavily restored, consists of a square room covered by a dome resting on a high blind drum, worked in the form of a series of triangles so that pendentives or squinches are dispensed with.

In the dome are some rather curious arabesque designs, not in the grand manner of the sixteenth or seventeenth centuries nor yet in the degenerate Italian taste of the nineteenth; they are unique in the city and quite attractive both in design and colour.

The deep porch has three domes only, the arches being supported at each end by rectangular piers and in the centre by a single marble column. The door is not in the middle but on the right-hand side, so as not to be blocked by the column; this arrangement, too, was common in the preclassical period, but there are only a very few such examples in the city.

To the south of the main building is a rectangular annexe with a flat ceiling and two mihrabs; it is through this annexe that we enter the mosque today. According to one authority this section is wholly new; possibly, but as far as form goes, it might well be the dwelling house added by Hayreddin’s daughter-in-law.


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Karaköy, Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'23.1"N 28°58'24.8"E / 41.023074, 28.973552


There are conflicting reports on the history of this mosque. Some say the original building was built on the order of Haci Ali Bereketzade, the castellan of the nearby Galata Tower, in 1453. Others say it dates from circa 1702 and was built by Bereketzade Mehmed Efendi.

It was completely destroyed in 1948 and the current building dates from 2006. The old drinking fountain once onsite has been moved to a location close to the Galata Tower.


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Sunday, November 18, 2018


Saraçhane, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'53.4"N 28°57'22.6"E / 41.014833, 28.956278


A pretty little mosque, recently restored, called Burmalı Cami. It was built about 1550 by the Kadı (Judge) of Egypt, Emin Nurettin Osman Efendi. Although of the very simplest kind - a square room with a flat wooden ceiling - it has several peculiarities that give it a cachet of its own. Most noticeable is the brick minaret with spiral ribs, from which the mosque gets its name (burmah = spiral); this is unique in Istanbul and is a late survival of an older tradition.

Then the porch is also unique: its roof, which is pitched, not domed, is supported by four columns with Byzantine Corinthian capitals. The reuse of ancient capitals also occurred in the earlier architecture of Bursa and among the Selçuks, but it is very rare indeed in Istanbul.

The architect who so ably restored the mosque, found the original Corinthian capitals so decayed and broken as to be unusable in the restoration, but architect was able to find in the Archaeological Museum four others of the same type with which she replaced the originals.

Finally, the entrance portal is not in the middle but on the right-hand side. This is usual in mosques whose porches are supported by three columns only - so as to prevent the door being blocked by the central column - but here there seems no reason for it. The interior of the mosque has no special features.


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Unkapanı, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'17.6"N 28°57'43.8"E / 41.021556, 28.962167


The mosque, which was built by Yavuz Er Sinan, banner bearer of Sultan Mehmet II, in 1455, is the oldest surviving mosque in İstanbul. It was restored in 1905 after the earthquake of 1894. However, it remained as a ruin for a long time after the fire of 1918. Renovated in 1960, the mosque measures 8.22 x 8.24 m. The fountain next to the mosque was restored in 1882.

When Horoz Dede, woke up soldiers by his imitating a rooster’s crow during the siege of Constantinople, passed away in the final assault, he was buried into the tomb behind the mosque, where Yavuz Er Sinan was also buried. In 1943, during construction works of Atatürk Boulevard, the tomb of Horoz Dede was moved next to Vakıf tombs.

The building is of the simplest type, a square room covered by a dome, the walls of stone. It was restored in 1960 with only moderate success. But although the mosque is of little interest architecturally, its historical background is rather fascinating. For one thing, this is probably the oldest mosque in the city, founded in 1455 by Yavuz Ersinan, standard-bearer in Fatih’s army during the final siege of Constantinople.

This gentleman was an ancestor of Evliya Çelebi; his family remained in possession of the mosque for centuries, living in a house just beside it. Evliya was born in this house in about 1611 and there, 20 years later, he had the dream which changed his life (and immeasurably enriched our knowledge of the life of old Stamboul).

The founder himself is buried in the little graveyard beside the mosque. Beside him is buried one of his comrades-in-arms, Horoz Dede, one of the fabulous folk-saints of Istanbul. Horoz Dede, or Grandfather Rooster, received his name during the siege of Constantinople, when he made his rounds each morning and woke the troops of Fatih’s army with his loud rooster call. Horoz Dede was killed in the final assault and after the city fell he was buried here, with Fatih himself among the mourners at his graveside. The saint’s grave is venerated to this day.


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Eyüp - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'31.5"N 28°56'01.3"E / 41.042083, 28.933694


It is located on the corner where Haydar Baba Avenue and Baba Haydar Cami Street meet. It has doors opening to both streets. The stairs that open to the Haydar Baba Avenue leads you to the courtyard of the mosque.

Behind the necessity window on the right side, there is the tomb of Haydar Baba. The large fringe of the wooden late comers’ area is supported by the props.

Its minaret is on the right hand side and its bastion (şerefe) is enclosed by a metal railings. The square-planned temple located on a set considering the avenue, has a wooden roof and pulpit.


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Sunday, November 11, 2018


Emirgan, Sarıyer - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°06'16.4"N 29°03'22.5"E / 41.104560, 29.056260


Emirgan Mosque (Turkish: Emirgan Cami), officially Emirgan Hamid-i Evvel Mosque (Ottoman Turkish: Emirgan Hamid-i Evvel Cami‎) is an 18th-century Ottoman mosque located in the Emirgan neighborhood of the Sarıyer district in Istanbul.

The mosque was built in 1781 by Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid I (reigned 1774–1789) in memory of his early-died son Mehmed and the mother of his son Hümaşah Kadınefendi. The mosque is officially named after the sultan's name in Ottoman language. Originally, it was part of a complex consisting of a still-existing square fountain, and non-existent structures like a Turkish bath, a bakery and a mill. The complex was constructed on the place of a former coastal palace owned by Emirgüneoğlu Yusuf Pasha. The current mosque was rebuilt by Sultan Mahmud II (r. 1808–1839), the son of Sultan Abdul Hamid I.

The architectural style details and the decorations of the mosque comply with the architecture of Empire Period (1808–1876) of the Sultan Mahmud II era rather than with the Baroque Period (1757–1808) architecture of the Sultan Abdul Hamid I era. Apparently, no part of the mosque building is original except the inscription dating the first construction by Sultan Abdul Hamid I in 1871, which is kept on place as a sign of respect.

The square-plan mosque was built in a courtyard in ashlar masonry with a wooden roof. The big windows in two rows on each side bring natural lighting into the mosque. A cylindrical slim minaret with one balcony erected on a square base is situated south of the mosque. The Acanthus-type foliage ornaments and other decorations on the minaret, typical of 19th-century minarets, indicate that it underwent modifications.

A two-story sultan's pavilion is attached to the mosque's eastern wall with a separate entrance. A bay window, supported by six columns, served as relaxation room for the sultan. According to a two-line poetic inscription written in Thuluth on top of the shadirvan situated at the northern corner of the mosque's courtyard, it was endowed by Rebgigül Hanım, the head of female servants in the house of Mümtaz Kadın, a spouse of Wali and Khedive of Ottoman Egypt Kavalalı Mehmet Ali Pasha (r. 1805–1848).


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Atikali, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'25.2"N 28°56'47.0"E / 41.023667, 28.946389


It is situated in the District of Fatih, at the junction of Yavuz Selim Road and Mustakimzade Street. It was built for Mimar Sinan-i Atik who passed away in 1471. Even though it is called with the name of its benefactor, it got the name of “Kumrulu Mescid” (The Masjid with Doves) from the bird reliefs situated on the ornamental slab of the now dry fountain i located in the corner of the structure which depicts birds drink ng water out of a bowl.

Kumrulu Mescidi, takes its name from a fragment of Byzantine sculpture used in the adjoining çeşme, showing two turtledoves drinking from the Fountain of Life. This mosque is of interest principally because its founder and builder was Atik Sinan, the Chief Architect of Sultan Mehmet II and the designer of the original Mosque of the Conqueror. Atik Sinan’s tombstone is to be seen in the garden of the mosque, with an inscription which tells us that he was executed by Fatih in 1471.

The mosque was the work of a less well known Sinan, Atik Sinan (Sinaüddin Bin Yusuf), about whose life we know almost nothing. As the almost certainly apocryphal story goes, he was rewarded for his efforts by having his hands chopped off in 1471 when the sultan realized that the dome of Hagia Sophia still outstripped that of his new mosque. He was buried in the grounds of the Kumrulu Cami in nearby Karagümrük.

After the architect’s death in 1471, the same year the mosque was finished, his entire estate was donated to a mescit (small mosque), zaviye (sufi lodge) and a school that he had built in the Fatih district. His grave is in the section of the Sinan-ı Atik Mosque cemetery known as the Kumrulu Mescit. It’s a nice story but whether it’s true or not is for you to decide.

The structure, which was lastly repaired in the years 1963-64 has a plain architecture with an oblong design. Its mihrab is ornamented with encaustic tiles. it a building made of bricks and stones that has a roof covered with tiles. It has got a single minaret with a single balcony.


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Kandilli, Üsküdar - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°03'51.5"N 29°03'18.8"E / 41.064306, 29.055222


Vaniköy Mosque is one of the few Bosporus mosques that has regular attendants who visit at times other than during Friday prayers. There has always been sycamore tree in its courtyard. The mosque, which gave its name to the neighborhood around it, is only unlocked at prayer times.

On the seafront next to the quay is the unassuming Vaniköy Mosque, built in 1665 by Vani Mehmet Efendi. Sultan Mahmut I (1730-1754) added a royal gallery to the rectangular mosque, which has masonry walls and a pitched roof. Now we come to Göksu, a favourite picnic and excursion place in the 19th century.

Vanî Mehmed Efendi (b.?- d.1685), who lived during the era of Ottoman empire Sultans called Mehmed IV and Sultan Ibrahim, is one of the distinguished scientists raised by the 17th Turkish period. After completing his education in Van he worked as a hodja and preacher in Erzurum, Istanbul and Bursa. Furthermore, he served as a sultan preacher and hace-i sultan in İstanbul.


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Thursday, November 8, 2018


Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'36.9"N 28°56'43.9"E / 41.026917, 28.945528


Close to Manyasizade Street, the Mehmet Ağa Mosque was built by Architect Davut Ağa in 1584-1585 for Mehmet Ağa, the chief eunuch of black eunuchs brought from Ethiopia as slaves. In addition, it is shown as one of the work of Sinan the Architect in some references. He was a high rank officer in the palace responsible from harem and the commander and the palace halberdiers.

The construction which was a Mimar Sinan monument was built according to topography as we encountered in many works of the master. The construction which has alcoves opened to a rectangular planned courtyard and alternative wall masonry still serves as cultural centre.

In the square planned mosque, which has a central dome measuring 11 m in diameter and very beautiful tiles of İznik, 16th century tiles of Kütahya and 18th century tiles of the Palace of the Porphyrogenitus can still be seen today.

A square room covered by a dome, with a projecting apse for the mihrab and an entrance porch with five bays. But unlike most mosques of this simple type, the dome does not rest directly on the walls but on arches supported by pillars and columns engaged in the wall; instead of pendentives there are four semidomes in the diagonals. The mosque is about 380 m2.

Even though the name of the architect Davut Ağa is mentioned on the inscription panel, this mosque is listed among Sinan’s architectural works in Tuhfetü’l Mimaran. Since Sinan is credited as the architect, we assume that he greatly contributed to the design of the mosque. In general, it displays well-preserved architectural characteristics of the period of Sinan.

The tile rosettes on the pendentives in the interior are interesting and highly refined. Mehmet Ağa had been brought to the Palace as a slave from Ethiopia and had risen to the level of Chief Eunuch of the Harem.

Madrasa which was the part of a small complex was built by Hacı Mehmet who was one of the Darüssade aghas of Topkapı Palace in 1580. The madrasah, having 10 rooms and one big classroom, was later converted into a home for women. This madrasah, was given to the Society for the Protection of Children from the beginning of the Turkish Republic until 1986. It later was assigned to the Authors Association of Turkey in 1989.

As understood from the inscription on his tomb that is situated in the threshold of the mosque, he is known to have died in the 1590. There ara two morc mosques in Üsküdar, a madrasa, a school, and a water fountain on the Divan Road, in front of Hoca Rüstem Mosque built for Mehmed Aga. Architect of the mosque is Davut Ağa.

lts mihrab and minbar are made of marble and the tile panels crowning the lower windows and the tiles embracing thr mihrab from both sides ara thr ornamentation apparatus which ara 16th century Kütahya or Iznik tiles and or ara the tiles belonging to 18th century Tektur palace.

Dated to 1586, the bath built by the architect of the complex, Davut Ağa, can be seen near the mosque. The Bath House, which still continues to serve the public, is next to the mosque and the tomb, and open to public. Just to the south outside the precincts stands a handsome double bath, also a benefaction of Mehmet Ağa and presumably built by Davut Ağa.

The general plan is standard: a large square camekân, the dome of which is supported on squinches in the form of conches; a cruciform hararet with cubicles in the corners of the cross, but the lower arm of the cross has been cut off and turned into a small soğukluk which leads through the right-hand cubicle into the hararet; in the cubicles are very small private washrooms separated from each other by low marble partitions – a quite unique disposition. As far as one can judge from the outside, the women’s section seems to be a duplicate of the men’s.

The square planned tomb of Mehmet Ağa in the complex is relatively plain. The Mehmet Ağa Tomb is nearby, next to the mosque. Its square plan is original, yet it has lost some of its 16th century features. The Tomb can be viewed from the outside; it is closed to visitors at this time.


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Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'18.5"N 28°56'51.3"E / 41.021806, 28.947583


It is located between Fatih Avenue and Hafiz Pasha Street in Küçükkaraman in Fatih. It was constructed along with Madrasah, Daru’l Kurra and Public Fountain in 1595 upon the order of Hafiz Ahmet Pasha who was the Sadaret Governor and Grand Vizier of Sultan Murat IV.

Hafız Ahmed Pasha (1564 in Plovdiv, Bulgaria – 10 February 1632 in Istanbul), also known by epithet Müezzinzade ("muezzin's son"), was an Ottoman grand vizier. Born as son of a Pomak muezzin, he went to Istanbul at the age of 15 and was an employee in the sultan's palace for many years. From 1609 on, he became Governor of Damascus (Syria), Van (Turkey), Erzurum (Turkey), Baghdad (Iraq), and other Anatolian eyalets.

The kulliye consisting of the mosque, madrasah, Daru’l Kurra, public fountain and the fountain had been ruined during the 1918, Fatih fire and all the parts of it except 14 madrasahs, collapsed and some part of the walls could stand. The kulliye which was damaged heavily during the earthquake of 1648, fires of 1782 and 1918 was restord for many times.

There were baroque decorations on the balcony of the minaret and inside the dome of the mausoleum. In the kuliyat which stayed as ruined for a long time after the fire of 1918, the public fountain compietely burnt out, and the most parts of the mausoleum, mosque, darulkurra, and madrasah porticos burnt out.

The restoration of the kulliye was initiated by the chamber of foundations in 1976 and the madrasah was partly restored while the mosque was left unfinished. Beginning from 1990 with the support of Selam Foundation the mosque was restored with its minaret and opened to worshipping.

The mosque on the south of the kulliye has a transverse plan with a square place in the middle and sub-places smaller in size and having a square plam again on both sides. Marble covered mihrab niche which was restored is heptagon and its top was ended with muqarnas veil.

The minaret which has sixteen bodies over the original concrete square base was covered leaded cone. In the old pictures the elliptical transition of 18th century baroque style on the balcony and girlant decorations on the parapets are seen.


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Eminönü, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'00.0"N 28°58'25.6"E / 41.016666, 28.973786


The Hidayet Mosque located on Yalı Köşkü Street in Istanbul’s Eminönü district, was built in 1813 (Islamic Calendar 1229) under Sultan Mahmud II. Originally of wood construction, it was reconstructed by the French architect Alexander Vallaury in 1887 under the direction of Sultan Abdülhamid II, as described by the inscription on the entrance to the courtyard.

Hidayet Mosque was built for Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839) in 1813 from in wood. When it was entered from the South side, on the threshold gate is the inscription written with the lettering of Yesarizade Mustafa Izzet, When the wooden mosque built for Sultan Mahmud II had become ruined time, the mosque was rebuilt for Sultan Abdülhamid II (1876-1909) in 1887 in its today’s outlook.

The design of the two-story mosque can be described as Orientalist. There are two large pointed-arch windows on the Eastern and Western sides of the mosque and 21 windows in the dome. The mosque built over 500 m2 appears as a two-floor building it its original. Stairs lead to the second floor, where there is a prayer room and a domed sanctuary.

The mosque built over 500 m2 appears as a two-floor building it its original. The last section is the main praying space. Its design is close to square. There is the room fort he imam in the symmetry of the steps to upstairs. The main space is in square design. There are two large operable windows on itse ast and west walls and the mosque is illuminated with 21 windows situated on the dome.


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