16 Mayıs 2014 Cuma

From Suleiman the Magnificent for his Father

Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque - Fatih

This week we bring you Yavuz Sultan Selim (Selim I) Mosque that Suleiman the Magnificent had it be made for his father.  This mosque is one of the seven “selatin” mosques that were built on the seven hills of Istanbul, and it is on the fifth hill.

Completed in 1529, the architect of the mosque is Acem Ali.  A special shroud from Mecca hangs on the wall facing qibla. Built as a an Ottoman social complex, the mosque grounds additionally housed a mausoleum part, an elementary school and a poorhouse, unfortunately the poorhouse did not make it to modern times. Alongside Yavuz Sultan Selim’s mausoleum, the graves of many famous historical figures reside here: Hanim Sultan’s, Hatice Sultan’s, Hafsa Sultan’s, Sultan Abdulmecit’s and even mausoleums of princes. Another interesting detail on the grounds is the entrance to a cistern through the mosque’s garden. To get more information on the mosque and do a 3D tour click here.

Behind the mosque lays a park that once was used as a cistern. The cistern was built during Byzantine times through the excavation of the ground and covering around the hole with bricks; basically building an underground room The name of the cistern, Aspar Cistern, came from the famous ethnically Goth Byzantine general Aspar and the cistern was built around 450 A.D. Ottomans used the cistern as a vegetable garden and named it Cukurbostan (holegarden). To this day this neighborhood is known as Cukurbostan. You can check out the modern usage of this historical site from here and perhaps try to reimagine what it once used to be.

And if you are wondering about how to get to Yavuz Sultan Selim Mosque, it is located in Fener neighbourhood of Fatih, on the left side of Tabakyunus street. We would also like to remind you that if you choose to reach the Mosque by the shore route you will have to walk up a quite steep hill. 
Take care of yourselves,
Tracer of Istanbul

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