While Istanbul has no shortage of historic mosques the Ortakoy Mosque is among the most beautiful. Situated directly before the Bosphorus, the Ortakoy Mosque has an absolutely gorgeous view. This is why the Ortakoy Mosque sunset and sunrise provide its visitors with the most photogenic opportunities imaginable. Because of the mosque's unique location, the Ortakoy Mosque and Bosphorus Bridge are very close. The Ortakoy Mosque is located in an open-air square in Ortakoy, one the most quaint and historic neighborhood of Istanbul. The mosque is as historic as it is picturesque and therefore an absolute must-visit.
A Mosque of Many Faces
You might be wondering why the Ortakoy Museum is so important. Perhaps some Ortakoy Mosque facts will help you understand; The Ortakoy Mosque was built in the 19th Century, in place of an older, 18th Century mosque that did not quite stand the test of time. The mosque was built by the Armenian architect Garabet Balyan and his son, Nigogayus Balyan on the orders of Sultan Abdulmecid to serve as the Grand Imperial Mosque. The two architects created a grand, truly impressive structure and no wonder, for they were also the architects who designed the spectacular Dolmabahce Palace. The mosque was built in the new-Baroque style. Its ornate exterior lets plenty of natural light in which serves to highlight the captivating calligraphy you can encounter inside, made by Sultan Abdulmecid himself. The small main chamber of the mosque is in the shape of a square whose edges are 12.25 meters each. The ceiling of the mosque is typically dome-shaped and is covered in incredible pink mosaics. Finally, the mosque has two tall minarets but only one sherefe or minaret balcony.
Important Tips and Tours
Attached to the sultan's summer palace, the Ortakoy Mosque faithfully served as a place of worship for many years and still continues to do so. That's part of the reason for the Ortakoy Mosque restoration which was quite extensive when it took place. It's also why while the mosque is open to visitors every single day, it cannot be visited during prayer times. As such, the Ortakoy Mosque visiting hours are as follows: 9 am to 11.15 am, 12.35 pm to 2.15 pm and 3.25 pm to 4.15 pm. Additionally, the Ortakoy Mosque is not open to visitors on Fridays, which is a holy day in Islam, between 10.30 am and 1.45 pm. Aside from these, visitors are welcome to take a tour of the mosque whenever they want.
Getting to the Ortakoy Mosque is luckily very easy. For instance, to get from the Ortakoy Mosque to Taksim all you have to do is catch either the bus 40, 40T or 42T. Similarly, if you want to get from Sultanahmet to the Ortakoy Mosque all you have to do is hop over to Kabatas via subway and then catch the bus 22, 22RE or 25E. Luckily, you can easily plan your trip to Ortakoy with the Istanbul Tourist Pass. Aside from that if you're wondering what the Ortakoy Mosque entrance fee is once you get there; that's up to you. As the mosque is a religious building open to the public, the entry fee is entirely donation based. So, you can pay as much or as little as you want.
Once you've toured the Ortakoy Mosque, you will be able to find plenty of things to do in the neighborhood. You can take a walk next to the Bosphorus or if you're feeling more culturally incline you can pay a visit to either the St. Phocas Greek Orthodox Church or the Etz Ahayım Synagogue, both of which are fairly close by. If you visit the mosque on a Sunday, you'll be able to browse around the local crafts market that sets up shop there. If you're feeling peckish, there are plenty of restaurants near the Ortakoy Mosque such as the Feriye Palace, Banyan, Kalamata or Muessese. So, why not stroll around a bit and discover not only one of the most historic mosques in Istanbul, but oldest, most charming neighborhoods as well.
Frequently Asked Question
When should I visit Ortaköy Mosque?
You can visit Ortaköy Mosque everday out of prayer times.
Will I need a guide at Ortaköy Mosque?
You can visit the museum alone, but a tour with a guide would be better. But be sure that the audio guide prepared by istanbul.com is also enough for you.
Is it expensive to enter Ortaköy Mosque?
There is no entrance fee to Ortaköy Mosque.
How to get to the Ortaköy Mosque?
It is easy to reach with public transportation. For example, you can take a bus from Kabataş to Ortaköy District. It is 5 minutes walk away from Ortaköy's stop.