Vefa Kilise Mosque (also known as Molla Gürani Camii) is located in Vefa which is a historical neighbourhood surrounded with old monuments and landmarks such as Valens Aqueduct, Kalenderhane Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque and Vefa Boza Shop. Vefa Kilise Mosque is located right at the centre of Vefa neighbourhood.
The origin of the structure is not certain, but it is very possible from its architecture and architectural features that it was first built in the eleventh century and then expanded in the fourteenth century during the Palaiologan Dynasty. It is believed that the church was dedicated to St. Theodore (Hagios Theodoros), therefore it is also known as Hagios Theodoros Church.
Similar to Kalenderhane Mosque - five hundred meters away from Vefa Kilise Mosque - Vefa Kilise Mosque functioned as a Roman Catholic Church after the Latin Conquest of Constantinople by the Fourth Crusaders in 1204.
Right after the conquest of Constantinople by the Ottomans in 1453, the church was converted into a mosque and dedicated to Molla Gürani, tutor of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed II (Mehmed the Conqueror).
The plan of the Vefa Kilise Mosque is cross-in-square and it was made mainly from bricks. It is one of the best examples of Byzantine brick architecture and from exterior the mosque looks like a full brick structure.
It is one of the earliest Byzantine structures that was converted into a mosque after the conquest of Constantinople in 1453.
The mosaics that it contains are crucial, yet they are unfortunately decaying day by day. Turkish Republic Directorate of Foundations had announced a restoration project in 2011, which eventually never materialized.
The easiest way to get the Vefa Kilise Mosque is to take M2 metro and get off at Vezneciler station. Vefa Kilise Mosque is on the northwest of Vezneciler metro station and it is only ten minutes walk distance from Vezneciler metro station. It is also only a hundred meters far from Süleymaniye Mosque.
Located in Vefa neighborhood, surrounded with several historical monuments and public spaces, the Vefa Kilise Mosque is also close to important landmarks of Istanbul including Kalenderhane Mosque, Süleymaniye Mosque, Pantokrator Monastery (Zeyrek Mosque), Valens Aqueduct (Bozdoğan Kemeri), Şehzade Mosque, and Vefa Boza Shop.