Located on the shore of Bosphorus in Dolmabahçe, Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque -also called Dolmabahce Mosque (Dolmabahçe Camii)- has to have one of the most unique architecture among all of the Ottoman mosques in Istanbul. The mosque was commissioned by Bezmialem Valide Sultan in 1852, who was the mother of Ottoman sultan Abdülmecid I. Bezmialem Valide Sultan passed away in 1853 and the mosque was finished in 1855 with Abdülmecid I’s financial aid.
The original name of the mosque is Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque, but it is known as Dolmabahçe Mosque (Dolmabahçe Camii) for neighboring Dolmabahçe Palace which was built only a year after the construction of the mosque.
The architect of the Dolmabahçe Mosque was Garabet Balyan, who also supervised the construction of the Dolmabahçe Palace. The mosque’s architecture is a successful and classy blend of Baroque and Empire architectural styles. The main chamber of the mosque is relatively large and square in shape, each edge is 25 meters in length. Dolmabahçe Mosque has two long minarets with one şerefe (minaret balcony) each and they make them look like marble columns.
What makes the Dolmabahçe Mosque unique and different that its circular window design. Such a circular window design was used for the first time in Ottoman architecture at the Dolmabahçe Mosque. Cihangir Mosque dating to 1889 is another Ottoman mosque with a similar circled window design.
Dolmabahçe Mosque was first planned as the mosque of the Dolmabahçe Palace and was built by the same architect (Garabet Balyan); however, due to its monumentality and uniqueness, it became separate from the palace.
Between 1948 and 1961 the Dolmabahçe Mosque served as Naval Museum.
By the time it was built the mosque had a large courtyard, muvakkithane (timekeeping house), and fountain. Its courtyard and fountain were destroyed in the 1950s due to road construction and muvakkithane was moved to shore.
Dolmabahçe Mosque is located in Dolmabahçe that is very close to Kabataş. It is only five minutes walk distance from Kabataş tram and funicular stations as well as Kabataş pier.
Located between Beşiktaş and Kabataş, there a number of other sights in the area worth seeing, such as the Dolmabahçe Palace, Dolmabahçe Clock Tower, Palace Collections Museum, Sinan Paşa Mosque, and Istanbul Naval Museum.