The Yeni Cami Mosque is located in Eminonu neighborhood of Istanbul, right next to the Spice Market and Galata Bridge at the entrance of the Golden Horn. Yeni means "New" in Turkish because it was a new mosque when it was built. The mosque was ordered by the Queen Mother (Safiye Sultan, mother of Mehmet III) but its construction lasted for 66 years between 1597-1663 because of interruptions such as financial problems, earthquakes, fires, and engineering problems in its foundations for being built just next to the water. During this long period, three different architects were in charge of the construction. Finally the construction was completed during the reign of sultan Mehmet IV.
The Yeni Mosque complex included also a madrasa (theological elementary school) which doesn't exist today, an octagonal fountain in the inner court, Sultan's kiosk, and a mausoleum for the sultans. Unfortunately the outer courtyard was demolished during the widening of the road in the 50's and 80's, cutting off the mosque from the waterfront. The inner courtyard is surrounded by a portico with small domes and columns, with the ablution fountain in the middle. There are two minarets with three balconies on each.
Inside the mosque, the main dome is 36 meters (118 feet) high and 17.5 meters (57 feet) wide in diameter, surrounded by semi-domes. Four huge pillars (called as Elephant Legs) support the roof and are decorated with Iznik (Nicea) tiles. Many stained glass windows, Quranic inscriptions and floral designs, doors and window shutters inlayed with mother of pearl are the most remarkable arts in the mosque. The Minbar and Mihrab are made of white marble.
In the mausoleum, five sultans and some members of the Imperial family are buried. These sultans are Mehmed IV, Osman III, Mustafa II, Ahmed III, and Mahmud I.
Today, restoration works are being made at the surrounding structures of Yeni Mosque. If you're visiting Spice Market, you can also have a quick look at the Yeni Mosque, just don't forget to take your shoes off before entering the mosque.
Eminönü Meydani - Istanbul
Open daily except prayer times
Hope to see you soon in Istanbul.