With history of 8 thousand years and landing on two continents, Istanbul was considered worthy of being capital of two empires. The both empires left great residuals on almost every corner of the city, but especially seaside mosques are breathtaking.
Historian Saffet Emre Tonguc says Istanbul is hostess of the most beautiful water path viewing mosques. Istanbul was built on seven hills in Byzantine era and Ottomans remained to expand city through Bosphorus. On the first hill to resident a civilized city erects Blue Mosque, in which lights reflecting from the sea dances 260 days of the year.
Second hill of the Istanbul Nuruosmaniye Mosque stands with glory and tranquility. Suleymaniye Mosque is the monument of third hill which rules both Golden Horn and Bosphorus like an ancient ancestor.
In Bosphorus line we initially welcomed by New Mosque (Yeni Cami) which has the longest contraction time; from 1597 to 1663, almost 70 years. On the west side of the glorious mosque, sultan pavilion stands in which sultan rested before Friday prayers. After restoration the mosque awarded as “best restoration of the Europe”. It is definitely worth to see and spend some time in front of caged windows and pray.
When you pass across the Galata Bridge Kilicali Pasha Mosque will be on your first stop. If you would climb to minarets balcony the breathtaking view of Bosphorus would amaze you. Architect of the magnificent era, Mimar Sinan gifted almost 100 monuments to Istanbul one of them is Molla Celebi Mosque, and it will be waiting for you to visit with great view and spiritual aura.
Kilicali Pasha Mosque
Dolmabahce Mosque, right beside the Dolmabahce Palace and actually named Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque, named after Sultan Abdulmecit’s mother. It is one of the baroque mosques stand in the city and demonstrates the Ottoman interpretation on Baroque. On the corner of Barbarossa Boulevard another classical monument of the Empire; a Mimar Sinan work salutes you; Sinanpasha Mosque.
Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque
The Most Photographed Mosque
If you would walk to Ortakoy, you will see a Balyan Family residual; Ortakoy Mosque. The mosque rises into prominence with Baroque style architecture and compiles great narrative uniting with Bosphorus. Thus with Sultanahmet it hold the title of being the most photographed Mosque.
In Ottoman Empire Bosphorus Mosques called water mansion Mosques and of them stands in Kurucesme with traditional alcoves. With Bebek Mosque both of them were used by governers of late Ottoman Era and elites of Early Republic.
Let’s continue our little trip to Bosphorus and we will stumble upon Kayalar Mosque in Asiyan which means bird nest. The mosque is parted from others with wooden work and called Emirgan Mosque after it was built by Abdulhamit first.
Across the Bosphorus
Uskudar has always been a famous residential place since first man steped on Istanbul territory. Starting with Marmara Sea shores, just behind The Maiden’s Tower you will see Ayazma Mosque. Ayazma means holy water fountain for Greeks of Istanbul and patronized by Mustafa the 3rd near a holy place with splendid view. The Rum-I Mehmet Pasha Mosque is a near neighbor of it which was built during an early era, Fatih Sultan Mehmet. Thus we see Byzantine traces in the architecture.
Rum-I Mehmet Pasha Mosque
Just in front of that, spectacular Mimar Sinan Mosque, one of the pearls of the Bosphorus erects; Semsi Pasha Mosque. It stands with grace on shores and you can actually smell the winds from the south and weeds of the sea. However you don’t sip a glass of tea under the sheens of Valide Atik Mosque an Istanbul visit wouldn’t count a good one. Walk down the hill and have a rest at the beautiful garden of Mihrimah Mosque, another Mimar Sinan work. Mihrimah Sultan was daughter of Suleyman the Magnificent and it is told that Mimar Sinan was in love with her. According to romantic story when sun sinks on to other Mihrimah Mosque in Edirnekapi moon rises above Uskudar. Mihirmah means sun and moon in Persian, so Sinan cherished her name in city. Rumors might be misleading but the mosque has such a spiritual air, your eyes will be moist after salaah.
Equal Domes, Church and Mosque
Kuzguncuk Mosque is rather newly erected and has a feature; it is at the same height with Armenian Church of the neighborhood as a symbol of tolerance and equality.
In Beylerbeyi district a Sultan Mosque stands, publicly called Beylerbeyi Mosque, done by Abdulhamit anc actually named Hamid-i Evvel Mosque. It has the serenity and quietness of the neighborhood and the most beautiful view you may ever see. The across of the Bosphorus is very near in this area, you may even hear a man shouting from other side.
Hamid-i Evvel Mosque
One of the prominent examples of water mansion mosques is Vanikoy Mosque. If you can visit the mosque in Ramadan late prayers, stay for the Kur’an reading of the muezzin.
Mimar Sinan built one the latest monuments of his in Anatolian Fortress; Iskender Pasha Mosque. It lies right near the Bosphorus shores and has great interior work.
Iskender Pasha Mosque
Istanbul is, in deed an interesting city. It has history of 8 thousand years and was capital of three empires. You can Rome, Byzantine and Ottoman somehow still lives in the monumental walls of the city and interwoven together through years.