Located in Besiktas, Istanbul, Turkey, the Ortaköy Mosque (Turkish: Ortaköy Camii) or Büyük Mecidiye Camii (Turkish: Büyük Mecidiye Camii, “Great Mosque of Sultan Abdulmejid”) is a mosque on the waterfront of the Ortaköy pier square, one of the busiest spots on the Bosphorus. It was built in the 1850s and commissioned by Sultan Abdülmecid I of the Ottoman Empire.
This building represents Ortaköy because of the unique perspective it provides of the Bosphorus Strait and the Bosphorus Bridge in Istanbul. From Bosphorus cruises and ferries, the mosque can be seen.
History of the Ortakoy Mosque
Ortaköy Mosque stands on the site of an earlier, smaller mosque that was destroyed in 1720, during the Patrona Halil Uprising. The current mosque dates back to 1854 or 1856 when construction was commissioned by Ottoman sultan Abdülmecid I (the exact dates of construction vary between scholarly sources). It was designed by the Armenian father-and-son team of Garabet Balyan and Nikogos Balyan in 1853–1855. The pair also created the adjacent Dolmabahce Palace and Dolmabahce Mosque.
the original brick dome of the mosque. The original concrete dome, however, had developed cracks over the years and was on the verge of collapse, necessitating a replacement. The mosque was first damaged in an earthquake in 1894 and then again in a fire in 1984. As a result, the building has had numerous restoration and repair projects carried out on it over the years. It’s in reasonable condition right now.
Ortakoy Mosque’s Stunning Design
The Balyans, who also designed other Istanbul landmarks, created an eclectic look for the mosque by fusing elements of European revival styles like Neoclassicism with Ottoman Baroque ornamentation and general layout. Its elaborate stone-carved decoration, however, sets it apart from other mosques of the same era.
There is a U-shaped imperial apartment on the upper floors for the sultan and a square main prayer hall for the mosque below. Each of these rooms is topped by a single dome. Its “dynamic appearance” is due in large part to the carved stone reliefs that adorn the mosque’s facades, which feature engaged columns. It is lit by two rows of windows. While stone was used to construct the two tall, thin minarets, concrete was used to rebuild the dome. The minarets are capped with balconies that are reminiscent of Corinthian columns.
The mosque is relatively small when compared to other mosques on the other side of the Golden Horn. Even though it is relatively small on the outside, the interior is quite roomy thanks to the high ceilings and large windows that both reflect the surrounding landscape and let in plenty of natural light. The minbar and mihrab were crafted from marble and porphyry, among other precious stones. Abdülmecid I is credited with introducing trompe l’oeil frescoes to Ottoman architecture, which can be seen inside the dome. The niche-like windows with curtains and mihrab rows depicted in these trompe l’oeil paintings are reminiscent of traditional Islamic architecture and decoration, while the paintings themselves are executed in a Neo-Renaissance style. Abdülmecid I, who was also a calligrapher in addition to being a sultan, executed several panels of calligraphy for the mosque’s interior.
Ortakoy Mosque’s Exterior
In comparison to other well-known mosques in Istanbul, the mosque’s courtyard is relatively small. There is a single dome atop the mosque and two minarets, each of which has a single balcony (serife in Turkish).
There are four major columns at the corners of the square-shaped ground. Designed as a summer residence for the Sultan, this pavilion stands adjacent to the mosque. Pavilion-style architecture, rather than the traditional hunkar mahfili (a special area set aside for the Sultan within the mosque), reflects the passage of time.
From the ground up, the exterior of the mosque has three distinct sections: the first has two windows, the second has three, the third has weight towers, and then there is the dome (also check the different motifs on the columns).
The tughra (the sultan’s signature) can be seen above the doorway.
Ortakoy Mosque’s Interior
The mosque has an entrance hall called a narthex. You’ve probably seen these chandeliers before in Dolmabahce Palace’s main hall, which features one large and eight smaller versions. Magnificent calligraphy adorns large panels (including the names of Allah, the prophet Muhammed, and the first four caliphs), which was a collaborative effort between Sultan Abdulmecid and other artists.
Assuming it’s okay with the Sultan, you can ascend to the second floor and admire the view from the women’s and Sultan’s balconies (unfortunately, sometimes they are closed). For the upper floors, there is an elliptical staircase. As seen from the balcony below, the dome’s opening features a motif of the sky. The walls are painted in a rainbow of hues, including pink, blue, orange, green, and many more.
Unsurprisingly, there is a Mihrab that shows the way to Mecca and a Minbar for imams to use when they preach.
There are plenty of round windows for natural light to enter. The vistas available through these glass panels are breathtaking. Remember to take one last look at the outside of the mosque before you leave.
In addition, the cleanliness of the interior gives the impression that it is cleaned regularly.
Location and Visiting Times for the Ortakoy Mosque
During times of prayer, it is not possible to search the interior. Furthermore, anyone is welcome to visit the mosque at any time to pray. Most large mosques adhere to a standard procedure for greeting visitors (e.g., from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.). But you can’t shut down a mosque, and people will always be able to pray there.
Each week on Friday at noon, there is a special sermon and a time of communal prayer. Thus, we advise you to visit the mosque on Friday after 2 p.m. or early in the morning.
The views, especially at sunset and sunrise, are fascinating. It’s important to keep this in mind for a more satisfying journey. In addition, taking good photographs when the sun is overhead can be challenging.
What’s Around the Ortakoy Mosque
The Turkish baked potato, or kumpir, and the Belgian waffle both have a strong following in Ortakoy. In theory, you could give it a shot. The area around the mosque has some excellent cafes where you can enjoy a cup of coffee, Turkish coffee, or Turkish tea. Don’t just choose a cafe because you might be disappointed with the service. If you’re interested, there are also a few cafes where you can smoke hookah (nargile in Turkish).
You can go window shopping on the quaint little streets. You can also see kermesses that you can check for modesty in small pieces.
Q: What is the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque is a historic mosque located in the Ortaköy neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey.
Q: Where is the Ortaköy Mosque located?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque is located in the Ortaköy neighborhood of Istanbul, Turkey.
Q: How old is the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque was built in the 19th century, during the Ottoman Empire era.
Q: What is the history of the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque was built as a symbol of Ottoman power and architectural prowess and has been an important place of worship for the Muslim community in Istanbul for centuries.
Q: What is the significance of the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque is an important religious and cultural landmark in Istanbul and is known for its intricate tile work, calligraphy, and unique architectural style.
Q: What can I see at the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: Visitors to the Ortaköy Mosque can see the mosque itself as well as the surrounding grounds, including a courtyard and a small park.
Q: How do I get to the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: The Ortaköy Mosque can be reached by public transportation or by car and is located near the shore of the Bosphorus Strait.
Q: Is there an entrance fee to visit the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: There is no entrance fee to visit the Ortaköy Mosque.
Q: Are there any restrictions for visiting the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: Visitors are required to dress modestly and remove their shoes before entering the mosque. There may also be restrictions during prayer times; it is best to check ahead of time.
Q: Are there any facilities at the Ortaköy Mosque?
A: There are limited facilities at the Ortaköy Mosque, including restrooms and a small café, but visitors are encouraged to bring their food and drinks.
You can book an Istanbul city tour with our licensed tour guides. The links are below:
Private Guided Istanbul Tour I Private Guided Bosphorus Cruise Tour I 3 Days Private Guided Istanbul Tour Package I Istanbul Food Tour I Istanbul Asian Side Tour I Istanbul Layover Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Old City Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Bosphorus Cruise I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Tour I Private Half-Day Guided Istanbul Historical Tour I Istanbul Islamic Heritages Tour I Istanbul Jewish Heritage Tour I Gallipoli Tour I Edirne Tour from Istanbul I Bursa Tour
Istanbul Tour Guide Baris I Istanbul Tour Guide Sanem I Istanbul Tour Guide Semih I Istanbul Tour Guide Ozgen I Istanbul Tour Guide Cem I Istanbul Tour Guide Hulya I Istanbul Tour Guide Murat I Istanbul Tour Guide Duygu
Map of Ortakoy Mosque