The New Queen Mother Mosque (Yeni
Valide Camii), commonly called the New Mosque (Yeni Cami), dominates the ferry
docks in Eminönü at
the southern end of Istanbul's Galata
Bridge over the Golden
It's not new, having
been constructed between 1597 and 1663.
Its common name is an abbreviated version
of its proper name.
Begun on orders
of Valide Sultan Safiye,
mother of Sultan Mehmet III (1595-1603),
work stopped when the sultan died and
his mother lost her powerful position
as the Queen Mother (Valide Sultan).
unfinished building was abandoned for
more than a half century, and
the derelict structure even caught
fire in 1660.
That same year the mother of Sultan
Mehmet IV, Queen Mother Turhan
decided to complete the mosque. Three
years later (1663) it was finished,
having been constructed following the
original architectural plans drawn
up by a student of the great Mimar
Although viewed by architectural historians
as a lesser of the great imperial mosques
of the classical Ottoman architectural
period, the Yeni Cami (YEH-nee
jah-mee) is still a beautiful
building worthy of a visit, particularly as
it is uncrowded by tourists.
as you don't visit at prayer
you can enjoy its peace, tranquillity
and splendid decoration.
Like all of Istanbul's imperial mosques,
the Yeni Cami was
the center of a külliye,
or complex of other buildings, including
a hospital, Turkish
bath, school, library,
astronomer's office, public fountains
and a market—the Egyptian
Most of these buildings are gone,
but the market remains, as does the tomb (türbe) of
the mosque's founder, Turhan Hatice
Hanım, which also contains the remains
of her son Sultan Mehmet IV, as well
as the later sultans Mustafa II, Ahmet
III, Mahmut I, Osman III and Murat
In April and May 2012, the James
Bond movie Skyfall was
filmed around this area and the Spice Bazaar. More...
|Above, sumptuous decoration of the Yeni Cami.