Beyazit Mosque: An Important Early Mosque in Istanbul
A beacon of religious worship in the historical old city of Istanbul is the Beyazit Mosque, or Beyazit Camii, a traditional Ottoman style imperial mosque, the second to be constructed in Istanbul. This landmark lies near the ancient ruins of the Forum of Theodosius, located close to the Grand Bazaar. Understand the historical importance of the Beyazit Mosque and considerations for a visit.
The Architectural Significance of This Early Mosque
The Beyazit Mosque was built soon after the conquest of Constantinople and represents an earlier Ottoman and western architectural style as compared to the Fatih Mosque, the first mosque built in Istanbul but soon destroyed by fire and rebuilt in another style. Ottoman Sultan Bayezid II commissioned The Beyazit Mosque in 1501 and the architect Yakub Sah bin Sultan Sah designed the mosque. It was completed in 1506. An earthquake and fires required separate repairs to the structure.
It can be recognized by its two minarets and 24 domes and makes use of 20 ancient columns reused from ancient ruins and churches. The main dome is 44 meters high and 17 meters in diameter. The mosque is 40 meters long and 40 meters wide and composed of marble and granite. There are many similarities to the Hagia Sophia but on a smaller scale. There is a small garden behind the Mosque that contains the tombs of the Sultan Bayezid II, his daughter, Selcuk Hatan, and his Grand Vizier, Koca Mustafa Resid Pasha.
Preparations for Your Visit
A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. There also serve as a social center for communities. Muslims are required to perform prayer 5 times a day. When traveling in Istanbul, an Azan, or call for prayer, will be heard throughout the city and made by a muezzin, whose beautiful announcement invites followers to worship. If visiting as a tourist, it is best to avoid going to a mosque during these times. Friday at noon is the busiest time for prayer as Muslims are obliged to join in congregational prayer at a mosque. Please be respectful of traditions upon entering a mosque or any religious institution. Women and men can show respect by modest dress, covering arms and legs, when visiting the mosque. Women are also suggested to cover their head with a scarf while inside. All visitors are to remove shoes and place them in a designated area before moving into the main part of any mosque. Visitors can enter the Beyazit Mosque daily with opening hours that can change frequently so it is best to call the Mosque directly for the most current schedule. There is no entrance fee to the Beyazit Mosque.
The Beyazit Mosque allows visitors insight into a religious institution important to the sacred lives of the people of Istanbul. Its convenient location to the Grand Bazaar draws residents and visitors alike. The Beyazit Mosque is a structure of religious and historical significance in Istanbul.