Istanbul Mosques

Steven Dutch, Professor Emeritus, Natural and Applied Sciences, Universityof Wisconsin - Green Bay

Arab Mosque. The building behind the trees is the Arab Mosque, the oldest mosque in town, built in 717.
Atik Ali Pasa Mosque. Built 1497.
Azapkapi Mosque, built 1578.
Bayezit Mosque. Built from 1479-1505.
Left and below, Mosque of Bayezit in the snow.
Cerrahpasa Mosque
Cihangir Mosque, built in 1553
Cihangir Mosque
Davut Pasa Mosque, built 1485.
Dolmabahce Mosque, built 1853.
Dolmabahce Mosque
Eski Valide Mosque, built in 1583
Faience Mosque, built in 1640. So called for its elaborate ceramic tile decoration.
Fethiye Mosque, Mosque of the Conquest, originally the Church of the Blessed Virgin, built around 1100-1200. Was the seat of the Greek Orthodox Patriarchate from 1455 to 1591 (after the church at St. Sophia had been converted into a mosque). In 1591 this church became a mosque. The main part is still a mosque, but a side hall is a museum with some nice mosaics.
Hekimoglu Ali Pasa Mosque, built in 1735.
View of the dome
Imrahor Mosque, originally a church built in 1264, turned into a mosque in 1500, and abandoned after an earthquake in 1894.
Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque
Mahmut-Pasa Mosque, built in 1476
Maseki Mosque, built in the 1500's. Unusual in that it has no minaret.
Mihrimar Mosque, built in 1548. Main dome is 120 feet high.
Molla Celebi Mosque
Molla Celebi Mosque
Mollazeyrek Mosque, the former Church of St. Saviour Pantocrator, built about 900-1000.
Mosque of Roses. Originally the Church of St. Theodosia, built in the 8th century.
Mosque of the Conqueror. Built 1463-70, destroyed by an earthquake in 1677, rebuilt 1767-1771.


Mosques are very bare inside, the only furnishings being prayer rugs (which cover the whole floor) and a pulpit for the reader. In spite of this mosque's large size, it has few foreign visitors, and I stood out like a sore thumb the day I went there. I was approached by a shriveled old man who was a teacher at the mosque and who was learning English. We got into a somewhat halting conversation, during which he asked if there were any mosques in the U.S. I said that for the most part we had churches instead. He said "Ah, yes, churches - very dark inside. Mosques are very light." I was somewhat surprised, as I (and my camera's light meter) had always thought it was the other way around. After thinking about it, I suddenly realized he was right. Mosques admit a great deal of natural light. Churches are better lighted, but they need artificial light. It's all in the way you look at it, I guess. He reminded me of Sam Jaffe in "Gunga Din" By the way, that was not at all an unusual experience. I often had Turks who spoke a little English or German come up and strike up a conversation.
Mosque of the Princes. Built from 1544 to 1548
Mosque of the Princes
Murat Pasa Mosque
Murat Pasa Mosque
New (Yeni) Mosque. Built from 1597 to 1663
Nuruosmaniye Mosque, built from 1748 to 1755.
Nuruosmaniye Mosque.
Nusretiye Mosque, built in 1873.
14~30 Istanbul Nusretiye Mosque
14~31 Istanbul Nusretiye Mosque
Ortakoy Mosque
Rumi Mehmet Pasa Mosque, built in 1481.
Rumi Mehmet Pasa Mosque
Rustem Pasa Mosque, built in 1550 and hard to get to because it's surrounded by a maze of narrow alleys.
Semsi Pasa Mosque, Built in 1580
Semsi Pasa Mosque
Sinan Pasa Mosque, built by the great Turkish master architect Sinan for the Turkish admiral Sinan Pasa, so it's named for the admiral, not the architect.
Sisli Mosque
Sisli Mosque
Sokullum-Mehmet Pasa Mosque, built in 1571.
Sokullum-Mehmet Pasa Mosque
Sultan Selim Mosque. Built in the mid 1500�s.
Sultan Selim Mosque
Tulip (Laleli) Mosque, built in 1760-63.
Tulip Mosque, built in 1760-63.
Valide or Aksaray Valide Mosque. Built in 1873, and in my opinion one of the most beautifully decorated mosques in town, although guidebooks dismiss it as a hybrid of Islamic and Victorian kitsch.
Valide Mosque
Yeni Valide Mosque. Yeni Valide Mosque, built in 1707-1710. Eski means old, Yeni means new and Valide, to complete the Turkish lesson, means a Sultan's mother. Our title for it would probably be Queen Mother
Yeni Valide Mosque
Yildiz Mosque

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Created 19 December 2003, Last Update 24 May 2020