Mihrimah..Two Mosques,where the sun sets and the moon rises when your love was born.

Istanbul Travel Blog

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Mihrimah Mosque in Uskudar/Asian side of Istanbul

Architect Sinan (Mimar Sinan) was born in 1490 as a son of Armenian Christian family. He was one of the Christians who were converted to Islam and educated under Devsirme System of Ottoman Empire.He was trained as a Janissary Officer in his early ages. He was given an Islamic named "Sinan" instead of his real name "Joseph".While he was trained as a janissary ,he started to interested in architecture. He joined the wars, conquers during the reigns of Selim II (Yavuz Sultan Selim) and Suleyman I (The magnificent-Kanuni Sultan Selim) . He is the master of the most spectacular buildings around the empire and became the most important and talented architect of the Empire.

A view of Mihrimah Mosque in Uskudar
We can say that Sinan gave an identity to istanbul, which we have today. The most important works of him; Suleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul), Selimiye Mosque (Edirne),Mostar Bridge (Bosna)...He built over 90 mosques and countless Hamams (Turkish Baths),schools, hospitals around the empire. He died in Istanbul in 1588 after being the director of Architecture of the Empire (Mimarbasi) for 50 years.He got married two times,but he didn’t have any kids. Although he was prominent and got honoured ,he was broken when he died.

Mihrimah Sultan, Princess, was a  daughter of Sultan Suleyman (The Magnificent) ,was born in Istanbul in 1522. She travelled through the Empire with his father ,when he conquered  new places.

Mihrimah Mosque,in Edirnekap─▒/European side of Istanbul
When she was 17 years old, she got married with Damat Rustem Pasha,who was The Grand Vezier (Vezir-azam) under Sultan Suleyman. Although the marriage was going unhappily, she happily spent her time to help poor people of Istanbul,and funded architectural buildings.She was also a Valide Sultan (Queen Mother) to his younger brother.She died in Istanbul in 1578.

Well,most of you wondering why I gave this info about an architect and a sultan’s daughter.I think the history itself has lots of mysterious stories ..Lots of tourists strolling on the streets of Istanbul, get impressed when they see the beautiful old buildings,mosques ,churches …However, not many of us wonder that how the people were living in past time ?or what the buildings saying to us? Who closed her/his eyes and tryed to imagine Byzas or Byzantium or Roman or Ottoman time of Istanbul when you visited? Here is a love story which represented by two beautiful mosques of Istanbul.

The dome of Mihrimah Mosque on European side

Mihrimah Sultan was a fruit of a big love between Sultan Suleyman and Hurrem Sultan (Queen Mother).When she was born, Mihr-u-mah was given to her as a name. In Persian language Mihr means Sun, and Mah means Moon..so Mihrimah means Sun and Moon.When she got 17 years old , there were two people who wanted to marry her. One of them was Rustem Pasha who had a high position at The Ottoman Bureaucracy , the other one was the Chef architect of the palace,Sinan ….

However,Sultan Suleyman gave her daugher to Rustem Pasha…..and Mihrimah Sultan got married with Rustem Pasha when she was 17 years old…On the otherside,Architect Sinan was 50 years old ,and married man,but he was crazly  falling in love with Mihrimah Sultan. While he had this deeply passionate love to her, he never reached her to tell about his love,but he had a chance to tell this love to all istanbulian with his buildings about his love to Mihrimah Sultan.

Mihrimah Mosque on European side under restoration

Mihrimah Sultan after got married, she had an unhappy life,because her husband literally got married with her to get higher position and more properity and he was busy with politics. So she decided to spend her life to fund buildings of Istanbul.and soon She asked Architect Sinan to build a mosque on her name. Sinan started to built a mosque in Uskudar on Asian side of Istanbul by the bosphorus in 1540 and completed it in 1548.When he was building this mosque , he took Saint Sofia as an example for the structure of the mosque. Mihrimah Mosque with two minarets in Uskudar had a siluet looks like  a girl who wears a long skirt when you look at the mosque from the seaside.

After 14 years later, this time without the permision of Padisah (Sultan), Architect Sinan started to build anohter mosque in Edirnekapi which is on one of the seven hills of old Istanbul for a favourite of Mihrimah Sultan in 1562.

Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
This mosque was built as small, not so fancy but has a pure beauty with its 162 windows to enlighten inside of the mosque,and the mosque with one minarets symbolize the loneliness of Mihrimah. And you can see the hair siluet of Mihrimah when you look at the interior of the mosque.

Now if you come ever to Istanbul around 21st of March when the day and night time equal by timing, find a place where you can see two of these  mosques, one is on asian side by the sea in Uskudar district…The other one is one of the seven hills of Istanbul ,in Edirnekapi on European side…I think ,The Galata Tower will be the best place …get on the top of the tower before sunset…and watch sunsetting behind  Mihrimah Mosque in Edirnekapi and turn back to Uskudar district and watch the moon rising behind Mihrimah Mosque in Uskudar on 21st of march which was the birthday of Mihrimah Sultan…and do not forget Mihrimah means “Sun and Moon”    ….

Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
That is the love…



free08 says:
Beautiful story!
Posted on: Jan 03, 2013
Africancrab says:
You have some great photographs. Nice blog entry btw.
Posted on: Jan 07, 2012
suz001 says:
Beautifull story, and history lesson.
Posted on: Dec 14, 2011
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Mihrimah Mosque in Uskudar/Asian s…
Mihrimah Mosque in Uskudar/Asian …
A view of Mihrimah Mosque in Uskud…
A view of Mihrimah Mosque in Usku…
Mihrimah Mosque,in Edirnekap─▒/Eur…
Mihrimah Mosque,in Edirnekap─▒/Eu…
The dome of Mihrimah Mosque on Eur…
The dome of Mihrimah Mosque on Eu…
Mihrimah Mosque on European side u…
Mihrimah Mosque on European side …
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
Edirnekapi Mihrimah Mosque
photo by: Memo