Istanbul is the central cultural, economic, and historic central of Turkey. It is also the country’s most populous city. Thanks to its rich history, vibrant food scene, and stunning architecture, Istanbul attracts about 12.56 million tourists each year! The city is best known for its fantastic mosques. If you are visiting Istanbul and you’d like to check out various mosques, add these ones to your list of must-see mosques in the city:
1. Rüstem Pasha Mosque
Rüstem Pasha Mosque is a beautiful, 16th-century mosque located in Hasırcılar Çarşısı on Tahtakale. The mosque was built by grand vizier Rüstem Pasha. Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan designs this impressive structure. Unfortunately, Rüstem Pasha died before he saw the completion of the mosque. However, the structure became one of the most recognizable landmarks in the entire Fatih district of Istanbul!
The mosque is renowned for its incredible tile work. Stepping inside the courtyard of the Rüstem Pasha Mosque is like being transported back in time! The tile work is just as amazing! From intricate floral to geometric patterns, you will have a ball taking pictures of this historic mosque. We also recommend exploring the pillars, and arches with pearl or carved wood inlays. The craftsmanship is just extraordinary.
2. Yeni Cami
Yeni Cami, which literally translates to “New Mosque” is a 17th-century mosque located in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul. The mosque, which is one of the most important landmarks in the city, was formerly known as the Valide Sultan Mosque.
This mosque is very popular among photographers for its glowing façade during the “golden hour.” As the sun hits the mosque, the entire structure gives off a mesmerizing golden glow. Yeni Cami features 66 domes and semi-domes arranged in a pyramid. Two minarets flank the domes. The expansive courtyard features purification sections. The facade of Yeni Cami features gorgeous Iznik tiles.
3. Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is a historic mosque regarded as the last great mosque of the classical period. The structure was designed by Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa. According to historians, Sedefkâr Mehmed Ağa’s inspiration for the mosque’s design is the size, majesty, and splendor of his master Sinan.
Sultan Ahmed Mosque is also known as the Blue Mosque because of the vivid blue tiles that adorn its interiors. This grand structure features five main domes, six point three spires, and eight secondary domes. The architecture features a mix of Byzantine Christian, Hagia Sophia, and Islamic architecture.
4. Eyüp Sultan Mosque
Eyüp Sultan Mosque is a mosque complex located in the Eyüp district of Istanbul. According to mausoleum markings, the mosque is the tomb of Eyüp (Job) al-Ansari. Eyüp (Job) al-Ansari is the friend and standard-bearer of the Islamic prophet Muhammad.
The mosque is renowned for its intricate architecture. It features several minarets, balconies, as well as impressive inner and outer courtyard. The façade features beautiful Iznik tiles.
5. Mihrimah Sultan
Mihrimah Sultan mosque is a 16th-century mosque located on the highest point of Istanbul. Apart from gorgeous façade and impressive size, the mosque dominates the Turkish landscape. The mosque features stained and regular glass windows that light up the entire place at various points of the day.
A large courtyard features an ablution fountain. The imposing porch features marble and granite columns. The mosque’s dome is supported by four massive towers.