Saturday, June 28, 2014

Büyük Mecidiye Camii - Ortaköy Mosque

This is my last photo trek before the summer break. I'll be leaving Istanbul for the summer and before I go I wanted to share this trek with you:  the Ortakoy Camii.  I've been wanting to visit this place for so long but it was closed for restoration for as long as I've been living in Istanbul.   

In June 2014, the restoration work on the Ortaköy Mosque was completed and it was again opened to worshippers and the public. 

Ortaköy Camii  view from the Ortakoy's Iskelesi window.

Ortaköy Mosque (Turkish: Ortaköy Camii), officially the Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Grand Imperial Mosque of Sultan Abdülmecid) in Beşiktaş, Istanbul, Turkey, is situated at the waterside of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the most popular locations on the Bosphorus.

You can get there by any bus that goes thru the coast road. You can also arrive by ferry from Besiktas and have a 20 min walk up the coast road towards the Bosphorus bridge.

Ortaköy Camii - Bosphorus Bridge.

The original Ortaköy Mosque was built in the 18th century. The current mosque, which was erected in its place, was ordered by the Ottoman sultan Abdülmecid and built between 1854 and 1856. Its architects were Armenian father and son Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigoğayos Balyan (who also designed the nearby Dolmabahçe Palace and the Dolmabahçe Mosque), who designed it in the Neo-Baroque style.


Main entrance.



Main Candelabrum.

Candelabrum and dome.


Marbel decoration.

Window facing Sultanhmet.

View from behind 

Islamic calligraphy view from the front entrance.

Within the mosque hang several examples of Islamic calligraphy executed by Sultan Abdülmecid himself, who was also a hattat (master calligrapher.)

Islamic calligraphy from one side of the mosque.

Back of the mosque.

Women's prayer section.


Two minarets.

Baroque structure.

Windows facing the Bosphorus.


Back structure.

Ortaköy's mosque view from behind. 


Entrance door's calligraphy.



Coffeehouses and tea terraces overlooking the water fill the seaside next to the mosque now as they have for decades—perhaps centuries—and are one of Ortaköy's prime attractions.
On weekends, vehicular traffic along the Bosphorus shore road can be extremely heavy and slow, so midday on weekdays is the best time to visit Ortaköy.

Pedestrian road to Ortaköy.

Colorful houses surrounding the Ortaköy Mosque.

Stores surrounding the mosque.

View from the window of the Ortakoy Iskelesi.

Ortaköy's mosque view from the esplanade.

Ortakoy Iskelesi.

Bosphorus bridge.

Fisherman at Ortakoy mosque.

Caffes and Restaurants outside the mosque.

Explanade plain of doves.

Flag vendors.

This is the last trek before I leave Istanbul for the summer, I am so excited to go back to my country and experience seeing the places that are so familiar to me but jet not explore thru the eye of my camera.

Happy Summer to Everyone, I hope you enjoyed the views!

Soreya Reyes

Monday, June 2, 2014

Atik Valide Camii

High up on a hill and with particularly tall minarets, Üsküdar's most important mosque is another work of Mimar Sinan, this time designed in 1583 for Nurbanu Sultan. the wife of Sultan Selim II and Mother of Murat III.  She was the first of all sultan's mothers that ruled over the Ottoman Empire from the harem.  
Atik Valide Mosque.

To find the Atik Valide Mosque you need to walk up Eski Toptaşi Caddesi (Old Cannonball Street), readily identifiable by a small monument in the middle of the road incorporating a cannonball said to have been used during the siege of İstanbul 1453.
The Mihrab.

The Atik Valide Mosque (name translation:Old Mosque of the Sultan's Mother) was one of the most extensive mosque complexes in Istanbul area. Mimar Sinan completed the mosque in 1583, and it was his last major work.

The mihrab is surrounded with İznik tiles but of  a late period when the colors tended to run.

Window next to mihrab.

İznik tiles.

It has a wide shallow dome which rest on five semidomes, with a flat arch over the entrance portal.

Main dome.

Five semidomes with arches upholds the main dome.

Chandelabre hanging from the main dome.

View of the dome thru the main chandelabre.
Flat arch over the entrance portal.

A narthex of tweelve arches filled with fine metalwork opens onto an interior that seems unexpectedly small after the grand exterior.

Tweelve arches sorrounds the narthex.


Window facing the cemetery.
The interior is surrounded on three sides by galleries.
This powerful complex of buildings was compose by the mosques, madrasas, lodge, primary school, caravanserai, a Turkish bath, a hospital and library.   This complex  made the Sultan  to reinforce the strength of Istanbul, the complex is one of the largest in terms of size

Two Minarets.

Back entrance.

Two minarets.

Tiles over the wondows.


Perfume vendor.

View of courtyard.

Wednesday at İstanbul's Group.

Ablutions fountain.

Ablutions fountain.

Described by John Freely as one of the half-dozen most impresive Ottoman monuments in the country, the Atik Valide Mosque has a delightful courtyard filled with plane trees and rosebushes, a place where old men while away the day over glasses of tea and their newspapers.

Courtyard sorrounded by arches.

Courtyard filled with plane trees and rosebushes.

Arched corridor.
Wednesday at İstanbul's Group.

View from the side entrance door.

Entrance door.

 Cemetery next to the mosque.

The guardian.

I found this 3D View of Atik Valide Camii and I thought to share it with you since it will give 360 degrees view of the  mosque's interior.

Unfurtunately, the surrounding complex is not being well maintained. İt is property of Marmara University's School of Fine Arts and it needs restoration.  The mekteb (School) at the back is also in ruins, as is the imaret (soup kitchen) with its graceful brick chimeneys.  This part of the complex can not longer be visited since is in ruins and is now under construction.  They are trying to built a hotel and congress as I heard.

As of now, I hope you enjoyed the views!

Soreya Reyes

Twitter:  @street_photos_