Once the capital of a Muslim Ottoman Empire for many hundreds of years, Istanbul hosts variety of beautiful and glorious mosques that worth a visit and see. Most of the beautiful mosques with important historical heritage are situated on the historical peninsula, in the districts and neighborhoods of Fatih, Sultanahmet and Eminonu, as well as on the Bosphorus shoreline in Tophane, Kabatas, Besiktas and Ortakoy. Here, we put together the most important, historical and beautiful mosques in Istanbul that you won’t want to miss.
Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet
The Blue Mosque (Sultanahmet Mosque) is one of the most beautiful mosques and landmarks in both Istanbul and the world. It was built in the 17th century (1603-1617) with the order of Sultan Ahmet I.
Its name comes from the very beautiful blue interior “Iznik tiles”. It is a great sample of the Turkish and Islamic architecture and one of the most visited sights and mosques in Istanbul. Continue reading…
Suleymaniye Mosque in Fatih
The Suleymaniye Mosque is one of the most spectacular mosques in Istanbul. It was built for the honor of the magnificent Kanuni Sultan Suleiman by the famous architect Sinan between the years 1550-1557.
The decoration of the mosque is outstanding with colored tiles, stained glass windows and antique columns. And it dominates the ancient city skyline and standing on the highest hill on the region. Location >>
Ortakoy Mosque (Buyuk Mecidiye) in Ortakoy
Ortaköy Buyuk Mecidiye Mosque, with an elegant architecture, is one of the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. It was built by Sultan Abdülmecit in the 19th century and gives an impression of standing on the water. It is also one of the most important symbols of Istanbul. Location >>
Eyup Mosque in Eyup
The 15th century Eyup Mosque is located over the tomb of Eyup, the bearer of the Prophet Mohammed, who died during the siege of Istanbul in the year of 670. There is also a beautiful cemetery and tourist facilities by the mosque. It is located in Eyup, by the Golden Horn. Location >>
Fatih Mosque in Fatih
The Fatih Mosque is named after the Fatih Sultan Mehmet, the conqueror of Istanbul and was built in 1463, 10 years after the Sultan’s conquest of Istanbul. It is a mosque of monumental proportions with its dependencies that include a hospice, medrese, hospital, caravanserai, library and baths. Location >>
Beyazit Mosque in Beyazit
Beyazit Mosque is a beautiful one located in the Beyazit square. It was built in 1505 during the Sultan Beyazit II period.
It has a typical Ottoman architecture and has a complex including a madrasah (religious school), a Turkish bath, a caravanserai, a hostel and a primary school. Location >>
Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque in Kucuk Ayasofya
Sokullu Mehmet Pasa Mosque is one of the best works of famous Ottoman architect Sinan, very well settled and located in Kucuk Ayasofya, downwards Sultanahmet. Location >>
Sehzade Mosque in Fatih
Sehzade Mosque (Sehzade Mehmet Mosque) was built between 1544-1548 and for the memory of Mehmet, the son of Kanuni Sultan Suleiman who died at a very young age. The mosque has a large and plain look inside, as well as the tomb of Mehmet in the garden with very beautiful tiled decoration. Location >>
Yeni (New) Mosque in Eminonu
The Yeni Mosque, which means “New” in Turkish, is one of the popular landmarks on the Eminonu coast. The mosque is worth a see with its big courtyard and the turquoise, blue and white Iznik tiles. Location >>
Rustem Pasa Mosque in Eminonu
Rustem Pasa Mosque was built in 1561 by the architect Sinan and located in Eminonu, by the shore, and Suleymaniye Mosque at the backwards.
The colors and patterns of the Iznik tiles adorning the interior is outstanding. It is also considered as one of the best Ottoman Masterpieces. Location >>
Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque in Tophane
Kilic Ali Pasa Mosque is a lovely mosque located on Tersane street, on Tophane Square. The mosque was built by the architect Mimar Sinan in 1580. Kilic Ali Pasa was the grand admiral of the Ottoman Navy.
The mosque complex consist of a tomb, a public fountain, a religious school and a hamam. It is believed that the mosque was a better example of the architectural aesthetics of the Hagia Sophia. The interior is decorated with Iznik tiles from the 16th century workmanship. Location >>
Dolmabahce Mosque in Kabatas
An elegant mosque located nearby the Dolmabahce Palace, was built in 1985 for Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, the mother of the Sultan Abdülmecid. Location >>
Yildiz Hamidiye Mosque in Besiktas
Built in between 1885-1886 by the Sultan II. Abdülhamid, has an elegant architecture and interior ornaments. Location >>
Museums that are formerly Mosques
Hagia Sophia Museum in Sultanahmet
Dating back to 325, Hagia Sophia is a former church and mosque and declared as one of the world’s greatest architectural works and accepted as the 8th wonder of the world. Hagia Sophia is also one of the most visited landmarks and museums in Istanbul and in the world. Continue reading…
Chora Museum in Edirnekapi
Located in the Edirnekapi neighborhood, and being part of a monastery which dates back to the 6th century, the Chora Museum (formerly Church-Mosque) is one of the most impressive museums in Istanbul. Chora Museum houses very beautiful examples of Byzantine mosaics and frescos. Continue reading…
Mosques that are formerly Churches
Arab Mosque in Galata
Arab Mosque is a lovely Gothic style mosque located on the Kalyon street of Galata. The mosque was built by the Arabs during the siege of Istanbul. It is the only mosque in Istanbul that doesn’t look like a mosque. There was a church Mesa Domeniko on the current foundation during the Byzantine period, and later on it was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Istanbul and called as “Galata Mosque”. And than in 1942, when the Andalusian Arabs have expulsed from Spain into Istanbul, they settled around the mosque and it is called Arab Mosque. Location >>
Kalenderhane Mosque in Fatih
Kalenderhane Mosque is a nice one that was built and allocated for the dervishes during the Ottoman era. It is located between Fatih and Beyazit, around the 12th century Bozdogan Aqueduct. Location >>
Hazrat Jabir Mosque in Balat
Located in the Cember Street, the mosque takes the attraction of the visitors with its cute brick structure. This is an old church from the 9th century that was first named Aya Thekla. In 1490, it was converted into a mosque by Atik Mustafa Pasha. Later, it took the name of Hazrat Jabir, believed to be a holy man that have lived between 604-697. Location >>