One of the things Istanbul is famous for is its mosques and Ottoman architecture. As the capital of the Ottoman Empire since 1453 and the largest city in Turkey, Istanbul hosts around 3000 mosques. This makes it difficult to decide which to visit. We listed the top 5 of the most amazing mosques of Istanbul.
1. Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the last great projects of classical Ottoman architecture. With a construction period for 10 years, the mosque was completed in 1609 during the rule of Ahmed I. Located across Hagia Sophia, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is one of the symbols of Istanbul and a popular tourist attraction. Known as the Blue Mosque for the richly decorated blue tiles from Iznik, Sultan Ahmed Mosque is the only Ottoman mosque with six minarets.
One of the masterpieces of Mimar Sinan, the talented architect who shaped the classical style, Suleymaniye Mosque is one of the most monumental example of the classical Ottoman architecture. Decorated with Iznik tiles with stylized flowers, arabesque is the dominant motif of the mosque. Suleymaniye Mosque is a significant architectural complex with turbets, madrassas, a hospital, a public kitchen, a bath and many more.
3. Yeni Mosque
Also known as Valide Sultan, Yeni Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminonu district of Istanbul, close to the Spice Bazaar. Standing out with the elegant forms and rich interior the mosque’s construction started in 1597 and was completed more than half a century later in 1660.
4. Bayezid II Mosque
An Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Bayezid Square, Bayezid II Mosque represents the best-known mosque which preceded the classical style. Located right next to the Grand Bazaar, the mosque dates back to 1505.
5. Şehzade Mehmed Mosque
One of most important monuments of classic Ottoman architecture, the Şehzade Mehmed Mosque was built between 1543-1548 by the Sultan Suleyman I, the Lawgiver. However, it was dedicated to his son, prince Muhammed who died in 1543 at age 21. Located in the historic centre of Istanbul, Fatih square the mosque was designed and built by Mimar Sinan and was the famous architect’s first large mosque.