Istanbul’s New Mosque is actually over 400 years old. Sitting at the southern end of the Galata Bridge, construction of the mosque began in 1597 but was not completed until 1663. It was originally commissioned by the mother of Sultan Mehmet III but when the sultan died and his mother lost her position and income, construction ceased. After a fire destroyed much of the unfinished structure, the mosque was finally finished on the orders of Turhan Hadice, the mother of Sultan Mehmet IV.
Based on the dome plan of the Sehzade and Sultan Ahmed Mosques, the New Mosque features sixty-six domes and semi-domes arranged in a pyramid. The main dome is 36 meters high and is flanked by four semi-domes. Like other Ottoman mosques in Istanbul, the mosque is preceded by a large courtyard, which features an ornamental ablution fountain in the center. The interior of the mosque is decorated with blue, green and white Iznik tiles and features colonnades of marble columns connected by diverse arches. In each corner, where the dome meets the supporting pillars, are large plates with the names of first four khalifahs.
The New Mosque was built as part of a larger complex that included a hospital, primary school, public baths and a market. The market survives today as the popular Egyptian Bazaar.
The New Mosque is located on Yenicami Meydani Sokak, within walking distance of the Galata Bridge and the Eminonu ferry port, making it easily accessible from almost anywhere in the city. Take a ferry to Eminonu, walk across the bridge from Beyoglu or take the tram to the Eminonu stop. Visitors to the mosque should dress conservatively and remove their shoes before entering.
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