Built in the 1560s, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Complex (Mihrimah Sultan Camii) in Edirnekapı was commissioned by the famous Ottoman sultan Süleyman I (Süleyman the Magnificent) for his favorite daughter Princess Mihrimah.
The structure was built by talented chief architect Mimar Sinan and similar to other Ottoman imperial mosques, this structure was built as a mosque complex including a madrasa (religous high school), hamam, tomb, and a row of shops underneath the mosque. Other important structures built by Mimar Sinan are Süleymaniye Mosque Complex, Rüstem Paşa Mosque, Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque Complex, and many others. Unfortunately, shops are not surviving. In terms of architecture, Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı is unique, because the whole mosque is covered with a monumental dome 37 meters in height and 20 meters in diameter. In addition, the surface area of the mosque is decorated with hundreds of windows and these characteristics of the mosque make it one of the brightest Ottoman mosques.
There is another Mihrimah Sultan Mosque located in Üsküdar (Asian side of Istanbul) built in 1548. According to a myth Mimar Sinan, who admired the beauty of Mihrimah Sultan, built the second mosque in Edirnekapı without the prior notice to Süleyman the Magnificent.
According to a myth, Mimar Sinan built the second mosque at Edirnekapi where exactly the sun disappears in Istanbul in March. With this, Mimar Sinan, famous with his symbolism, built two mosques in Istanbul and dedicated them to Mihrimah Sultan whose name means “sun and moon” in Persian. On March 21st - the birthday of Mihrimah - while the sun goes down from Mihrimah Sultan Edirnekapi Mosque, the moon rises from the other Mihrimah Sultan Mosque located in Uskudar.
Different from other Ottoman imperial mosques, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı has only one minaret.
Original mother of pearl decorations are still surviving on the main gate of the mosque, please make sure to see it.
Located in Edirnekapı, the easiest way to get to the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı is to take bus either from Taksim or Eminönü passing by Edirnekapı and get off at Edirnekapı Bus Stop. The mosque is only five minutes walking distance from Edirnekapı Bus Stop.
Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı is in the west of Istanbul’s historical peninsula and there are a number of important landmarks of Istanbul close to the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque including Chora Museum,Tekfur Palace, Land Walls of Constantinople, and Fethiye Museum. In addition, there are several traditional and affordable pricy restaurants close to the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapı such as Öz Kilis Kebap Salonu, Sedef Döner, and Fatih Dürüm
*Images above belong to Flicker users Guida Istanbul and Charles Roffey.