The Eyup Sultan Mosque was the first mosque built by the Ottoman Turks after their conquest of Constantinople in 1453. Completed in 1458, it is located on the European side of Istanbul, near the Golden Horn and outside of the old city walls.
Mehmet the Conqueror ordered the construction of the mosque next to the place where Eyup Sultan, the standard bearer of the Islamic prophet Muhammed, was said to have been buried when the Arabs attacked Constantinople in the year 670. Some personal items of the prophet are preserved in Eyup Sultan’s tomb, which is the holiest site in Istanbul and one of the most sacred sites in the Islamic World, attracting masses of pilgrims throughout the year.
The original mosque was the coronation site for Ottoman princes until an earthquake destroyed it in 1766. The rebuilt mosque that stands on the same place today is a popular place for Muslim boys to visit on the day of their circumcision and is typically buzzing with visitors on Fridays and major religious holidays.
Located in the Eyup district, the mosque is best reached by taking the ferry to Eyup. From the ferry, cross the road and walk up the main shopping street, called Iskele Caddesi. The tombs are open daily from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Visitors should dress conservatively and remove their shoes before entering.