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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