View from Süleymaniye Camii

view of Beyoğlu from Süleymaniye camii (14) 1000x750Here is a view from the grounds of the Süleymaniye Mosque, which sits atop one of Istanbul’s seven hills. The view across the Halıç (or the Golden Horn) to Beyoğlu includes Galata Tower (upper right). This mosque, completed in 1557, is another work of master Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. To read more about Sultan Süleyman (the Magnificent), look here and here.

Mihrimah Sultan Camii (2)

Mihramah Sultan Camii (Edirnekapı) dome 1000x750

The Mihrimah Sultan mosque in Edirnekapı (in the Fatih district) is one of two mosques built for the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent. The other is in Üsküdar, on the Asian side of Istanbul. Both mosques were designed by Mimar Sinan, the master Ottoman architect. Note the large number of windows in this mosque. Read more in this earlier post. The exterior looks like this.

One of the interior windows looks like this:Mihramah Sultan Camii (Edirnekapı) window 300x508

Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque

Kılıç Ali Paşa Camii window 1000x505Kılıç Ali Paşa Camii 350x591

This is one of the 247 windows in the Kılıç Ali Paşa Camii, another creation of Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. The complex (mosque, medresse, türbe, hamam, and fountain) was completed in 1587. This mosque is located in the Tophane neighborhood of the Beyoğlu district, very close to the Bosphorus. You can see an image of the exterior here.

Rüstem Paşa Mosque (Iznik tiles)

Rüstem Paşa Camii tile detail (2) 250x341Rüstem Paşa Camii tile detail (7) 250x333Rüstem Paşa Camii tile detail (8) 250x344 Rüstem Paşa Camii tile detail (3) 250x333


















The Rüstem Paşa Camii is yet another Ottoman mosque, completed in 1563, and located in the Fatih district (the historic peninsula) by the Golden Horn (Haliç). Designed by Mimar Sinan (our old pal) for Grand Vizier Rüstem Paşa (husband of Mihrimah Sultan, who was the daughter of Süyleman the Magnificent). This mosque is not at street level, but built over a series of shops connected to the Egyptian Bazaar (Mısır Çarşısı). You would miss the entrance stairway if you weren’t looking for it. This mosque makes extensive use of Iznik tiles, the most of any mosque in Istanbul. These photos are from the exterior of the building, under the domed arcade, but Iznik tiles are used throughout the interior, as well.

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

Mihrimah Sultan Camii Üsküdar 500x667

Mihrimah Sultan Camii is in Üsküdar (a district of Istanbul on the Asian side). Another grand Ottoman mosque designed by Mimar Sinan, completed in 1548 (and recently restored). This is the first of two mosques built for Mihrimah Sultan (Ottoman princess, an interesting character in Ottoman history), daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent. More info here and here.

Minarets and moon

moon and suleymaniye camii 269x750 moon and yeni camii  262x750

These minarets are from two different mosques (same evening, same moon). The one on the left is the Süleymaniye Camii, the one on the right is the Yeni Camii. Both of these mosques are on the historic peninsula. The Süleymaniye Mosque was built in 1550-58 by Mimar Sinan. The New Mosque (Yeni Camii) was built in 1660-65 by Davut Ağa, an apprentice to Sinan. (There will likely be pictures of the interiors of these mosques at a future date, so stay tuned. I know you will).

Piyale Paşa Mosque

Piyale Paşa Camii six-dome interior

This is the interior of the six-domed Piyale Paşa Camii, designed by master Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, and constructed from 1565-1573 (although there has been some restoration since). The multiple-dome layout is unusual for a mosque, as they most commonly have a single, large central dome. This mosque has a nice courtyard, affording a little green space to the ultra-urban Istanbul landscape, as well as extensive vegetable gardens next to the mosque complex (which look like what we call community gardens, but I have no idea how this works in Istanbul). An exterior shot and more information can be found here.

Şemsi Paşa Mosque

Şemsi Ahmet Paşa mosque interior

This is a window in the Şemsi Paşa Mosque on the Üsküdar waterfront, on the Asian side of Istanbul. This mosque was built in 1580 under the architect Mimar Sinan, who was also responsible for the Sultan Ahmet Mosque (Blue Mosque) and hundreds of other structures throughout the fifty years he acted as chief civil engineer for the Ottoman sultans. Üsküdar is another good place to get lost in.