Mihrimah Mosque (European side)

External view of the European Mihrimah mosque

External view of the European Mihrimah mosque

This is the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, an Ottoman mosque located in the Edimekapi neighbourhood in the European side of Istanbul. It is one of many early works of the architect Sinan that were commissioned by Princess Mihrimah, the favourite daughter of Sulayman the Magnificent, and her husband Rustem Pasa.

  • This Mihrimah Mosque is situated on the sixth and highest of Istanbul’s seven hills, at around 77m above sea level.
  • The building work took place between 1562 to 1565 CE. It has recently been restored to its former grandeur after being damaged by several earthquakes.
  • The mosque has a large courtyard with a surrounding madrasah (school) formed by the interior porticos. A large fountain for ablution is situated in the centre courtyard. There’s only one minaret, which actually crashed through the roof of the mosque during the 1894 earthquake.
Ablution fountain in the courtyard of the Mihrimah mosque

Ablution fountain in the courtyard of the Mihrimah mosque

  • The interior is a cube under a dome 20 metres in diameter and 37 metres high. A large proportion of the internal surface area is covered by windows, making the mosque one of Sinan’s brightest lit works. The stencil decorations are all modern but the white marble carved mimbar is from the original construction.
Mehrab and mimbar of the European Mihrimah mosque

Mehrab and mimbar of the European Mihrimah mosque

  • This mosque is regarded as one of Sinan’s great works, perhaps because the architect was said to be infatuated by the beautiful Mihrimah. Raised on a platform, it can be seen from all over the city, with the area beneath occupied by shops. Although domed as per the standard Ottoman pattern the building is strikingly different in design to many of Sinan’s other mosques, being very tall (37m) in comparison to the ground area it covers. 
Stencil work in the Mihrimah mosque

Stencil work in the Mihrimah mosque


References: The rough guide to Istanbul, Wikipedia

Location map:

Search by: