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Mihrimah Sultan Mosque
Among the first things you see upon arriving by ferry at Uskudar are the two mosques on either side of the ferry port, both designed by Sinan. The larger one is the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, sometimes called the Iskele (Dock) Mosque, built by a daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent; the smaller one is the Semsi Pasha Mosque, built by a vizier of Suleiman's.
The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque built between 1546 and 1548 and 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 exedra and a broad double portico.
- Religious Travel
- Historical Travel
Commissioned in 1562 by Princess Mihrimah, the daughter of Soliman the Magnificent, her namesake mosque occupies the top of highest among the seven hills of Istanbul. Mihrimah was the wife of Rüstem Paşa, the corrupt government official whose name is eternalised by his mosque near the Egyptian Market. Both mosques were designed by the famous imperial architect Mimar Sinan, though Mihrimah's came later, after the death of her husband. Here, Sinan built a square-shaped mosque with a large central dome and a single minaret. The minaret later had to be rebuilt twice after collapsing in earthquakes, most recently in 1894. Mihrimah Camii is located near the Theodosian Wall, in the north-western section of the city. When I visited the area in Jan 2010, the mosque seemed about to undergo restoration work.
Mihrimah Sultan Camii
Another of Sinan's contributions to Istanbul's architecture, we were very disappointed to arrive only to find that it was closed for renovations. After seeing Sinan's Sehzade Mehmet Camii earlier in the morning, we were excited to see more of Sinan's work and because of what our Lonely Planet guidebook said:
The great Sinan put his stamp on the entire city and this mosque, constructed in the 1560s next to the Edirnekapi section of Theodosius' great wall, is one of his best works. Commissioned by Suleyman the Magnificent's favorite daughter, Mihrimah, it was undergoing renovations at the time of research . The mosque is noted for its delicate stained-glass windows and its large interior space, made particularly light by its 19 windows in each arched tympanum. The mosque occupies the highest point in the city and its dome and one slender minaret are major adornments to the city skyline; they are particularly prominent on the road from Edirne.
We will definitely try to visit again when we return to Istanbul.
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