Photo. Beyazıt Mosque - Istanbul’s oldest Sultan Mosque. © Travel Explorations.
The Beyazıt Mosque, also known as the Beyazıt Camii, is an iconic and historic mosque located in Istanbul, Turkey. It holds a significant place in the city's architectural and cultural heritage. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Bayezid II and was built between 1501 and 1506 by the renowned Ottoman architect Yakup Şah Bin Sultan. One of the notable features of the Beyazıt Mosque is its distinctive classical Ottoman architectural style, characterized by its large central dome and multiple smaller domes and semi-domes. The mosque is adorned with intricate decorations, calligraphy, and stunning tilework, which adds to its grandeur.
The Beyazıt Mosque is not only a place of worship but also a historical and cultural landmark. It has been the site of important events and ceremonies throughout Turkish history. In addition to its religious significance, the mosque's courtyard and surroundings are often bustling with activity, including students from Istanbul University, which is located nearby. Today, the Beyazıt Mosque stands as a symbol of Istanbul's rich history and the enduring legacy of Ottoman architecture.
My first view of the mosque was from the rooftop terrase of Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul. The huge building was beautfully lightened up in the dark evening. The Beyazıt Mosque is situated on the historic Beyazıt Square, across from the Old Palace (Eski Saray) of the conqueror of Constantinople: Fatih Sultan Mehmed II (1451-1481). It is considered the prototype and epitome of Ottoman mosque architecture. More precisely you find the mosque in the Old City of Sultanahmet, just 230 metres from Grand Bazaar and 160 metres from Beyazit Tram Station.
At my hotel Radisson President Beyazit Istanbul in the old town, I got a wonderful panoramic view: from here I could admire Marmara Sea both from the indoor pool and rooftop terrace of the hotel, also Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Topkapi Palace (just 1 km from the hotel). Cemberlitas Hammam is just 500 metres away. The closest I could observe was the Beyazıt Mosque. This magnificent mosque was built between 1500 and 1506 by architect Hayrettin on behalf of Sultan Beyazıt II, the son of the conqueror. Its architecture is stylistically reminiscent of the Hagia Sophia and marks the beginning of classical Ottoman architecture, which dominated for over two centuries. The main dome of the Beyazıt Mosque is supported by smaller half-domes. The minarets are highly visible and make the building even more beautiful. Like many historical buildings in Istanbul, the Beyazıt Mosque has undergone several renovations and restorations over the centuries to preserve its architectural and cultural heritage.
This Beyazıt Mosque is still an active place of worship and might be closed to visitors during prayer times. Visitors are allowed to enter should dress modestly and be respectful of prayer times and worshippers. The call I heared for praying was amplified by loudspeakers, and was very loud. It was impossible to miss it. According to the tradition, the imam climbs to the top of a minaret to call the faithful to prayer. I could see people rushed to the mosque when they heard the call. Hundreds of visitors go to this daily to pray and also pay their respects to sultans. Islam praying, especially in the evenings in Istanbul, was an extraordinary adventure.
Whether I admired Beyazıt Mosque from the rooftop or the hotel or on my walking trips, it was a enlightening experience that left me with unforgettable memories of Istanbul's captivating history, culture and architecture.
Stein Morten Lund, 25th May 2023
Beyazit Mosque (Istanbul Tourist Information)
No other building reflects the soul of Istanbul and its turbulent past like the world-famous Hagia Sophia. Once the most powerful church of early Christianity and called the eighth wonder of the world, the iconic monument is one of the greatest structures in the world in terms of art and architectural history.
Dominating the skyline of Istanbul, the Sultanahmet Mosque, better known as the Blue Mosque, is one of the finest examples of Ottoman architecture. This iconic landmark ownes its nickname to the wealth of blue ceramic tiles that adorn the majestic interior.
Read more about these amazing wonders and other historical site in Istanbul.