Yeni Cami, The New Mosque of Istanbul
Yeni Cami, (often referred to as the New Mosque) is a famous mosque in Istanbul (the largest city in Turkey). Located opposite the Spice Bazar near the Galata Bridge Yeni Cami is a symbol of local culture and religious beliefs. A definitive feature of Istanbul’s skyline Yeni Cami is as popular among tourists as it is with the locals.
Yeni Cami Customs
It is a practice to cover your head with a cloth while entering the mosque. Those who do not have anything to cover, scarves are available. You have to remove your shoes as well. They can be stored in a plastic bags available there.
- Opening Hours: Yeni Camii is open daily from 7am – dusk.
- Entrance: Free. If you wish to donate there is a donations box at the exit
The architect Da’ud Aga, designed the mosque and the construction of the Yeni Cami began in 1597 commissioned by Valide Safiye mother of the then Sultan Mehmet III. Due to several obstacles the construction had to be stopped for several years and later completed by another queen mother in 1663.
Yeni Cami Architecture
Yeni Cami`s beautiful exterior architecture is defined by of 66 domes and semi domes cascading like pyramid and dropping down from a central dome. The mosque’s grand courtyard has an ornamental fountain in the centre, two minarets and the main dome at the centre measures 18 metres in diameter. Majestic and bold the architecture and design as unique as it comes. Hundreds of pigeons perched on the domes adds natural beauty to its architecture .
The mosque interior begins with a square decorated with Iznik tiles of gold, blue and marble. Akin to other Ottoman imperial mosques Yeni Cami has four beautiful pillars on the corners and is held to the ceiling where the main dome stays. Calligraphic plates are fixed there with the names of first four Khalifas or rulers (Abu Bakar, Umar, Uthman and Ali).
Yeni Cami Complex
The Yeni Cami Complex consists of a hospital, primary school, hamam, library and a market. The large market exists today as an Egyptian market also known as “spice Bazaar”. There is a Turbe (mausoleum) which holds the tombs of sultans and many members of the court.
This makes one of the best sights of Istanbul. The fully illuminated Mosque at night is another impressive sight to see.