Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture

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Turkey has been famous for its culture and architecture since ancient times. Combining Seljuk and Ottoman architecture, Turkey’s capital is home to over 3000 mosques. Turkey’s capital Istanbul was a capital of the Ottoman Empire since 1453. In a way Turkey has become a house for a vast architectural and cultural heritage.  

  1. Hagia Sophia
Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture
Picture Credits : Flikr.com

The ultimate house connected to many ancient tales, Hagia Sophia was once a church then a mosque and has been recently turned into a museum as it holds a great architectural and cultural importance. It is also a UNESCO world heritage site. Situated in the mystical city and capital of the Turkish empire that carries both Ottoman and Byzantine cultural remains, Hagia Sophia is an architectural marvel beyond imagination. After being rebuilt by the orders of Emperor Justinian in 537, it was a centre of christanity for 900 years until in 1453 it got acquired by ottomans and after 500 years it is still an important structure for the Muslims across the globe.

  1. Sehzade Mosque
Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture
Picture Credits : miniaturk.com

The Sehzade mosque was named after Sehzade Mehmed and was commissioned by Suleiman The Magnificent. It was designed by architect Mimar Sinan and this project is considered to be one of the best works of his career. The entrance of the mosque has a marble paved colonnaded forecourt with the same area to the mosque. The courtyards are finished with a border with five domed bays on each side which have arches in alternate shades of pink and white marble. It is the only mosque designed by architect Sinan with a pair of minarets and two galleries and is non sultanic. The mosque has a square plan covered with a central dome adjoined by four half domes. 

  1. Rustem Pasha
Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture
Picture Credits : miniaturk.com

Rustem Pasha Mosque is an Ottoman mosque named after Rustem Pasha who served as Grand Vizier of the Ottoman Empire. The mosque was designed by Mimar Sinan, who was claimed as the imperial architect during the era. A small mosque was built on a high terrace over a complex of vaulted shops, whose rents were used to support the mosque financially. A narrow series of internally twisted flights are the access to a spacious courtyard. The unique feature of this mosque is that it has a double porch with five domed bays that are projected with a row of columns.  

  1. Sancaklar Mosque
Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture
Picture Credits : Archdaily.com

Unlike the other mosques, Sancaklar Mosque is a modern piece of architecture built in the suburban neighbourhood on the outskirts of Istanbul. It is built on the principle that solely focuses on the essence of religious space. The site is located in a savanna landscape that is surrounded by suburban gated communities near a busy highway. The long canopy that has been stretching out from the park is the only visible element from outside. The structure seems to be completely submerged in the topography of the site. The landscape is a gated entry and on the lower part of this slope has the main prayer space. Contrasting the other mosques in the country, this mosque is unique with the contemporary architectural elements.

  1. Divrigi Grand Mosque
Mosques in Turkey : A depiction of Turkey’s evolution in architecture
Picture Credits : miniaturk.com

Situated on the slopes below the castle of Divrigi is a mosque that serves humanity with a two storey hospital building that includes a tomb. The monumental hypostyle mosque. It was founded by  the Mengücekide emir Ahmed Shah following the victory of the Seljuk Turks over the Byzantine army in the battle of Malazgirt in 1071. The mosque is influenced by hexagon shape with a pointed roof over its mihrab (prayer area) with a cupola over the ablutions basin in the centre of the prayer hall. The stone portals on the north and west are carved out elaborately. The Darush Shifa (hospital) was founded by Ahemad Shah’s wife Turan Melek and designed by the architect Hurrem Shah.

Written by Drashti Patel

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