Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque
Kılıç Ali Paşa Mosque was built in 1581 by Architect Sinan on the orders of Admiral Kılıç Ali Paşa in Istanbul and has been a tourist attraction in the city since then.
Situated in Tophane Square, this is a small complex consisting of a mosque, a religious school, a tomb, a public fountain and a hamam. It was built in 1581 by Architect Sinan on the orders of Admiral Kılıç Ali Paşa. It is one Architect Sinan‘s last projects. Sinan was the most famous of all Ottoman architects.
According to folklore, Kılıç Ali Paşa asked Sultan Murat III to give him land on which to build a mosque. The Sultan replied he should build a mosque in the sea because Kılıç Ali Paşa was such a great admiral. This explains why landfill was used to create a promontory on the coast and the complex was built in that position. A large courtyard surrounds the mosque and a sloping roof covers the assembly area, with ornate carvings on the three doors of the inner garden. There are Quranic verses painted on ceramic panels over the windows.
In the garden is a fountain with eight marble columns and a covering dome. The mosque is based on a rectangular design and is an enlarged plan of the Haghia Sophia Mosque. The tops of the windows are adorned by tiles and the largest dome is resting on four elephant-leg shaped marble columns. This is supported in the east and the west by two half domes. In each of the four corners a small dome is located and colored tiles with flower motifs decorate the mosque’s interior. The largest dome has twenty-four windows bringing the building’s window total to 147. In 1948, the 16th century ship’s lantern – which hung from the main dome – was moved to the Istanbul Naval Museum. On the right hand side a minaret rises with the balcony. The tomb of Kılıç Ali Paşa is located in the garden facing east. By the garden wall facing the street is a fountain. The hamam on the right hand side of the mosque is still in use today. The school is located on the seaside of the hamam.