Saturday, August 27, 2011

New Mosque (Yeni Camii) - Istanbul, Turkey

Iznik tiles work
Interestingly, New Mosque (Yeni Camii) in Istanbul is not that new after all. The construction of Yeni Camii also known as Valide Sultan Camii (Mosque of the Queen Mother) had begun under the instruction of Valide Safiye, mother of Sultan Mehmet III, in 1597. Work on the mosque ceased when Valide Safiye died. Daud Aga, a student of Sinan (the great Ottoman architect) was the architect of the building and after more than half a century, it was completed in 1663. Regarded as a work of piety, it was the queen mother of Sultan Mehmet IV, Valide Sultan Turhan Hadice who completed this mosque.

It is easy to reach this mosque, from Sultanahmet, we took a tram and alighted at the EminönĂ¼ tram station. The mosque is adjacent to the Spice Bazaar and overlooking the harbour next to Galata Bridge. You will be amazed with hundreds of pigeons on the yard between the Spice Bazaar and Yeni Camii. Like any other Ottoman mosques the exterior has a huge courtyard, two tall minarets and cascades of domes (66 domes), whilst the interior is decorated with blue, green and white Iznik tiles and marble. Although the tiles decorations are considered to be somewhat inferior to other mosques during the period, but to me, the rustic calligraphy is still impressive. 

We spent some moment sitting on a bench near the mosque to sip our coffee and enjoy the huge giant ‘pretzel’ while admiring the exterior of the mosque,  watching people passing by and the pigeons flocking every space for the thrown morsels. 

Huge giant pretzels
You can buy the pigeons' feed from the folks 
The pigeons pecking their morsels
Ornamental ablution fountain in the center courtyard
Exterior of Yeni Camii
Remind me of Cordoba Mequita
Tiles work in blue and white
Decorative ornament with beautiful calligraphy
Yeni Camii from Eminonu 
One of the two minarets

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