Thursday, May 15, 2014

Eyüp Sultan Camii - İstanbul's Most Holy Shrine.

I've been wanting to do this photo trek for so long that I am so glad I finally did it. I did not disappointed me, I enjoy every bit of it even if my photos were not so good.  If you have few days in Istanbul you might consider a morning worth visit.

Eyüp Sultan Camii
At the far end of the Golden Horn on the southern shore, there stands a site that might be  familiar to all Turks but less known to foreigners and that is the shrine at Eyüp, built to commemorate Eyüp Sultan, the standard bearer to the Prophet Mohammed who was killed during the Ummayad siege of İstanbul in 668-9.  The area around the shrine is richly endowed with mosques, dervish lodges and cemeteries full of beautifully carved headstones.  And at the top of the hill, accessible also by cable car, is the cafe associated with the French romantic novelist Pierre Loti, who inspired so many lovers. This cafe is famous also for it's views of the Golden Horn.

Eyüp İskelesi. View from the ferry boat.
 You can get to Eyüp by taking bus Nos. 36CE, 44B o 99 along the shore road from Eminönü or Nos. 55T from Taksim, but it is much more enhoyable to catch the Golden Hoorn ferry that you can take from both Eminönü or Karaköy.

 Eyüp Sultan Mosque
Ebu Eyüp el-Ensari was the standard bearer who accompanied the Prophet Mohammed on his many military campaigns and went to become his close friend.  So when Sultan Mehmed II's teacher Akşemseddin claimed to have found his remains in İstanbul immediatel after the conquest of İStanbul in 1453, the Conqueror was only too pleased that the first mosque built after his victory should be dedicated to this important man.
Eyüp Sultan Mosque view from the back.
 İnside the mosque itself honey-colored walls set off the perfection a huge chandelier that is suspended over a sea of turquoise flower carpet.  Of the mosque's complex only the hamam survives, the medrese and soup kitchen having been demolished long ago to create pedestrianized Eyup Square.  The hamam was recently restored.

  Mihrab and marble pulpit.


Turquoise flower carpet.

Marbre pulpit.

Flower chandelier.

Stairs to the Women Prayer section.

View from the women prayer section.

Women prayer section.

Women prayer section.

Women prayer section.


The mosque is approaced via double courtyard adorned with venerable plane trees.  It has one main duome and two minarets.  The original mosque was destroyed in an earthquake and the present one was constructed in its place in 1800. On Fridays, holy days for Islam, throngs of the faithful visit the mausoleum. The old trees, flocks of pigeons, the praying believers and the visiting crowds create a mystical and colorful atmosphere around the mosque and the mausoleum. The walls of the mausoleum in the courtyard are covered with tiles from different periods.

Eyüp Square.

Ablution fountain.

Ablution Fountain.

Ablution Fountain.

EbuEyüp El-Ansar's Tomb is being restored and this pannel covers restoration process.

İnternal patio.

Two Minarets.

Pedastrian Square.

Cemetery behind the Mosque.


The Cemetery

Once the mosque had been built, many dignitaries wished to be buried close to someone shom they believed could intercede for them after their death, ans so built their own mosques here too. Since the wealthy had much the same thought in mind, many of theme were buried here, and the local cemeteries now form outdoor museums of the fones Ottoman calligraphy and stone carving.

 Tomb of Sokullu Mehmed Pasha, Grand Vizir of the Ottoman Empire.

Amid the many large tombs to be seen around the Eyüp Sultan Mosque it's worht looking for that of Sokollu Mehmed Paşa, which was designed for the powerful Grand Vizir of Sinan in C.1572 and contains some wonderful stained glass.


Stairs to the main Square

Stairs that goes thru the cemetery to the top of the hill.

Eyup Cemetery view from the ferry boat.

View of Eyüp mosque from the cemetery.

Cemetery paths.

Cemetery watchers.


Pierre Loti Cafe

The famous Pierre Loti Cafe is also in this district. The well-known poet and author Loti was enraptured by Istanbul and he came here often to watch the beauties of the Golden Horn of those days. The view from this small cafe and the terrace, particularly during full moon, leaves long-lasting impressions on the visitors.

Pierre Loti Cafe

"There is a splendid view from my roof... the gloomy plain of Eyoub, its sacred mosque rising in marble whiteness from the mysterious depths of immemorial trees... the vast cemeteries that form a veritable city of dead" Aziyade by Pierre Loti, 1877.

View of the Golden Horn from the Teleferic.
View of the Golden Horn, Bahariye İslands. 

View of the Bahariye İslands.

  Lover's view from Pierre Loti Caffe

  If you are on your own this place is so peaceful.

 View of the Golden Horn from the Pierre Loti Café.

İ really feel I have to go back and spend more time at the top of the hill and walk more over the Cemetery perhaps doing the cemetery excursion that goes along the main tombs.  There is always something left to see.   As of now,  I hope you enjoyed the views!

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_

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