New Mosque

Immediately after crossing the Galata Bridge, on the left side of the historic peninsula, is the New Mosque (Yeni Valide Camii), which has taken sixty-six years to complete.

The architect Davut Ağa began construction in 1597 by order of Safiye Sultan, wife of Selim II and mother of Mehmet III. However, when Davut Ağa died shortly after the start of construction and it came to additional financing problems, the work on the New Mosque had to be stopped. It was only in 1661, six sultans later, that construction was resumed under Valide Sultan Turhan Hatice and completed in 1663 by the architect Mustafa Ağa.

The monumental building with the New Mosque marks the end of traditional Ottoman architecture. Many details are reminiscent of the structures of the great Mimar Sinans. The general construction plan of a central dome plan was very similar to that of the Prince’s Mosque (Şehzade Camii). The 36-meter-high main dome is surrounded by four half-domes, framed by many small domes. The harmony of the smaller and larger domes gives the impression of a pyramid rising into the sky. The interior is adorned with abundant gold and marble and has an impressive prayer niche. However, the faience used does not match the quality and rank of other Sultan mosques, as the quality in the workshops of Iznik had decreased significantly at that time. The craftsmanship of mother-of-pearl inlays on the New Mosque’s windows and doors, however, are still the greatest examples of the elegance of Ottoman art. Verses from the Koran can be found above all windows.

Tip: There are especially lots of great opportunities for beautiful photos on the square of the New Mosque. You can really capture the energy of the city here.

  • Rüstem Paşa Mahallesi Yeni Cami Caddesi No: 3 Eminönü/Fatih

Istanbul Mosques