Yavuz Selim Mosque

Front view of the Yavuz Selim mosque

Front view of the Yavuz Selim mosque

The Yavuz Selim Mosque (Turkish: Yavuz Selim Camii) was built in the 16th century during Ottoman rule. It was commissioned by the sultan Sulayman the Magnificent in memory of his father Selim I who is buried here.

  • The mosque is built on a terrace on the crest of one of Istanbul’s seven hills, in the neighbourbood of Çukurbostan. The views from the northeast of the complex, looking out over the Golden Horn, are magnificent.
  • The mosque architect was called Alaüddin. The famous Mimar Sinan designed one of the tombs in the garden.
  • It is more basic than the other imperial mosques with just a single large dome on top of a square room with a walled courtyard in front of it. The avlu ( courtyard) in front of the prayer hall is quite beautiful, with a central fountain surrounded by tall cypress trees. The floor of the portico is paved with a floral design and the columns made from a variety of marbles and granites.
Courtyard of the Yavuz Selim mosque

Courtyard of the Yavuz Selim mosque

  • The interior of the mosque is striking in its simplicity, the shallower-than-usual dome emphasizing the sense of space. Light floods in through a series of windows in the arches and from the twenty-four stained-glass windows piercing the dome. The interior is decorated with beautiful blue and white iznik tiles which fill the lunettes above the lower windows. Gilt work highlight the beautiful geometry of the stalactite carving above the mihrab.
Mimbar and mehrab of the Yavuz Selim mosque

Mimbar and mehrab of the Yavuz Selim mosque

  • Beside the mosque lies the tomb of Selim I, also known as Selim the Grim. It’s lost it’s original interior decoration but retains two beautiful tiled panels on either side of the door. Other tombs in the complex include that of four of Sulayman’s children, probably the work of Sinan.
Tomb of Sultan Selim I

Tomb of Sultan Selim I


References: The rough guide to Istanbul, Wikipedia

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