Built in 1755, the Nuruosmaniye Mosque (Nuruosmaniye Camii) was commissioned by Ottoman sultan Mahmud I in 1749. However, Mahmud I passed away before the construction of the mosque. The mosque was completed in 1755 during the reign of Osman III and was named Nuruosmaniye “the light of Osman” due to large numbers of windows allowing a lot of light inside the mosque.
The structure was built as a mosque complex (külliye) consisting of the mosque itself, a madrasa (religious high school), imaret (soup kitchen), tomb, public fountain, and library with very rich book and manuscript collection. The mosque complex was built by two architects: Mustafa Ağa and Simeon Kalfa. The complex is considered the earliest example of Ottoman Baroque architecture due to its Baroque architectural elements such as exaggerated ornamentation, a large dome, focus to light, a lot of windows, niched mihrab looks like a church apse, and polygonal courtyard.
Dome of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque
The dome of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque is one of the largest domes in Istanbul and prayer hall of the mosque is completely covered with the dome. It is 25 meters in diameter and 43 meters in height. Today, the Nuruosmaniye Mosque Complex, which is situated next to the Grand Bazaar, is in very good condition and make sure to see this unique Ottoman mosque that was inspired from the Baroque churches in the west.
Amazing facts about the Nuruosmaniye Mosque
Literally meaning “the light of Osman”, the Nuruosmaniye Mosque has 174 windows allowing enough light inside the mosque.
Interior of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque’s dome is decorated with “verse of light” from the Quran.
- Different from the other Ottoman mosques, the crescents on top of the minarets of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque are made from stone, instead of bronze.
How to get to the Nuruosmaniye Mosque?Located in Çemberlitaş, the easiest way to get to the Nuruosmaniye Mosque is to take tram and get off at Çemberlitaş tram station that stops very close to the mosque. The mosque is only two-minutes walking distance from Çemberlitaş tram station.
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Opening hours of the Nuruosmaniye Mosque
The Nuruosmaniye Mosque is open from 9am-6pm every day, but closed at prayer times. There is no ticket price of the mosque, but donations are welcome.