Today's photo trek is going to take us to another one of Mimar Sinan's Mosques: the Mihrimah Sultan Camii. This mosque is located in the district of Üsküdar at the Asian side of İstanbul. This mosque has been recently restore and re-open to the public. İt can be easily reach from the European side of İstanbul by taking the ferry to Üsküdar. The Mosque is in front of the ferry station. Mihr-î-Mah means Sun and Moon.
View of Mihrimah Sultan Camii from the hill at the back of the mosque.
The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is one of Üsküdar's best-known landmarks and takes its nicknames from the ferry landing near which it stands. It is the first of two mosques built by Mihrimah Sultana, daughter of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and wife of Grand Vizier Rüstem Pasha. It was designed by Mimar Sinan (the great Architect in the Ottoman Empire) and built between 1546 and 1548.
The historical complex was located against the port side of Uskudar in 1548. It was built by Sinan in the same period with the Şehzade Mosque (Prince Mosque). It contained a mosque, a school for children, a fountain, a medresse consisting of sixteen rooms, a guesthouse of eight rooms, a stable, a larder, a store house and a caravanserai. It now consists of five sections: mosque, madrasah (theological school attached to a mosque), the tomb of Sinaneddin Yusuf Paşa and the tomb of İbrahim Ethem Paşa.
It is a massive structure on a raised platform and already shows several hallmarks of Sinan's mature style: a spacious, high-vaulted basement, slender minarets, a single-domed baldacchino flanked by three semi-domes ending in three exedrae and a broad double portico.
Mihrab and marble pulpit.
The diameter of the dome of the mosque is 10 m. There are two huge minarets having one balcony (sherefe) each. The decorative niche (mihrab) and the marble pulpit (mimber) reflect the formats of the Classical Ottoman Architecture. It is one of the few premier structures preserving the traces of the past on the Anatolian side of Istanbul.
Window facing cemetery.
View of Mihrab from the upper level balcony.
Mihrab iluminated by the lamps.
Stairs to the balcony.
Window facing the patio.
While the structure offers a distinct aesthetic view with a porch that covers the last prayer section, there is a twenty-cornered fountain located on the seaward side of the mosque. The other sections of the mosque could not be reached until today.
The Madrasah (religious school) is composed of 16 rooms that is being used as a health clinic today, the tomb of the two sons of Mihrimah Sultan, the tomb of the Osman Aga, son of Rustem Pasa-Grand (Grand Viziers of the Ottoman Empire), and the tomb of Sinan Pasa, Admirals of the Navy (Kaptan-ı Derya) are the structures that have stood until today. The other building in the complex is a Quranic primary school (Sıbyan Mektebi), which consisted of a domed porch and classroom. The tabhane (hostel) disappeared during the fire in 1772 and the inn and kitchen have also been completely cleared away.
Porch (last prayer section).
Connection between the mosque and the Madrasah.
The tomb of the Osman Aga, son of Rustem Pasa-Grand.
Back street door.
Back street with restaurants and caffee shops.
Stairs back street Mosque. The neighborhood.
I found a link of how the mosque look before its restoration and I though to share it with you since the change is amaizing:
The first time I saw a mosque it was in Paris, it was a turistic visit and I was so intrigüe by the way the mosque was structure and ornamented. İt was interesting for me as a Christian trying to understand the rituals and the beliefs but I never though I would live in a Muslim country. Things have change so much since then and here I am learning to take pictures of all this beautiful places I never thought or even imagine I would be in. I have to admit there is so much beauty on them in spite of the fact that I don't agree with their religion and I can only hope to be fair on my way of sharing them with you.
Thanks for being part of this journey I hope you enjoy this trek!
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