Ortaköy Mosque (Büyük Mecidiye Camii) in Istanbul
Ortakoy Mosque is one of the truly great landmarks found in Istanbul. Located on the shores of the Bosphorus River, Ortakoy Mosque provides visitors with a picturesque, relaxed setting. The famous mosque has a distinguished view of the Bosphorus Strait and tourists exploring the river via cruises can take in the religious building as they sail by.
The mosque is situated in the Ortakoy District on the European side of Istanbul. The city has two types of mosques: classical and modern. The more modern style mosques are situated along or near the Bosphorus Strait, offering a different feel and ambiance to those more classical structures. Ortakoy Mosque is one of those beautiful modern religious buildings, and it provides further luster to the city.
Ortaköy Mosque History
Ortakoy Mosque was completed in 1855 and was built in the Baroque style. The mosque’s architects were influenced by the designs of the time which included both Baroque and Neo-Classical architecture. Thus, with the popularity of these styles, the Ortakoy Mosque was constructed using the architecture of the time.
In the 1800s, members of the Baylan family were regularly chosen by the sultans to construct the most important buildings in Istanbul. Their influence can be seen across the city. The Ortakoy Mosque was no different as Garabet Balyan, and son Nigoğayos Balyanl, were selected to construct the religious building. The duo had also overseen the construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace nearby.
Ortaköy Mosque Features
The mosque has an elegantly designed, ornate exterior. Large windows allow floods of light into the mosque. The dome-shaped ceiling is covered in pink colored mosaics. The mosque has two minarets and each of the minarets comes with a single sherefe. Attached to the mosque is the Sultan’s summer palace which is two-storeys tall.
The windows of the mosque let in incredible amounts of sunlight. They also allow for amazing views of the Bosphorus Strait to those inside. The views of the water make the Ortakoy Mosque one of Istanbul’s most unique structures of any kind.
The inside of the mosque is vibrant with decorations and colors. The interior features Baroque period decor along with vivacious color on the walls and ceilings. The interior and floods of daylight provide an atmosphere of life and love inside the mosque.
What Food to Try in Ortaköy area?
If you came to visit Ortakoy mosque it’s impossibole to miss local street food called Kumpir. It’s a huge potato stuffed with different fillings: fresh or pickled vegetables, cheese, sausages, olives and etc. Near kumpir kiosks there are some benches so just sit on one of them and enjoy you meal!
Also here in Ortakoy you can try sweet waffles with fruits, chocolate, jam or another toppings. The best choice will be to find cafe with terrace so you can enjoy your kumpir or waffle with great view of Bosphorus strait.
There are some restaurants in this area but the closest to the waters is The House Cafe. It’s a good choice to spend nice evening here with the glass of wine.
Visiting the Ortaköy Mosque
The mosque is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Visitors cannot explore the mosque during prayer times as it is closed at those periods. Mosques around Istanbul typically close one hour prior to the call to prayer.
This allows the mosque to be prepared for worship. After the prayer ends, the mosques reopen. In most cases, the Ortakoy Mosque will be closed for around one and a half hours. The price to enter the mosque is free, but donations are more than welcome to support the mosque.
Public transport links will connect you to the Ortakoy Mosque. From Taksim, you can take the 40, 40T, or 42T bus to reach the mosque. If you are starting from Kabatas, the 22, 22RE, and 25E bus will take you to the landmark.
Ortakoy Mosque is one of several Ottoman-era built mosques in the city of Istanbul. Due to Ortakoy Mosque’s location, Baroque design, and features, it is one of the city’s most outstanding landmarks.