Sokollu Mehmed Pasha Mosque

Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque

Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque
Shown within Istanbul
Basic information
Location Istanbul, Turkey
Geographic coordinates 41°00′17″N 28°58′19″E / 41.00472°N 28.97194°E / 41.00472; 28.97194Coordinates: 41°00′17″N 28°58′19″E / 41.00472°N 28.97194°E / 41.00472; 28.97194
Affiliation Islam
Architectural description
Architect(s) Mimar Sinan
Architectural type mosque
Groundbreaking 1571
Completed 1572
Minaret(s) 1
Materials granite, marble

The Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque (Turkish: Sokollu Mehmet Paşa Camii) is an Ottoman mosque located in the Kadirga neighborhood of the Fatih district of Istanbul, Turkey.[1]


The mosque was designed by Ottoman imperial architect Mimar Sinan for the grand vizier Sokollu Mehmet Pasha (the husband of one of the granddaughters of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, Princess Esmahan). According to the foundation inscription, the building was completed in AH 979 (1571/72 CE). The mosque is officially named after Princess Esmahan, but is more commonly known for its association with her far more famous husband.[2]



The mosque is noted for its architecturally challenging location on a steep slope. Sinan resolved this issue by fronting the mosque with a two-story courtyard. The bottom story (now in ruins) was divided into shops, whose rents were intended to help support the upkeep of the mosque. The upper story with an open colonnaded courtyard had the spaces between the columns on three sides walled off to form small rooms, each with a small window, fireplace and niche to store bedding, forming the living accommodations for a madrasah. Instruction for students was given in the prayer hall itself, or in the dershane, a large domed room over the western staircase. The fourth side of the courtyard is the mosque itself, which is designed as a hexagon inscribed in a rectangle, topped by a dome with four small semi-domes in the corners.[3]


The interior of the Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Mosque is famous for its large quantities of İznik tiles, set in a very wide variety of blue and green floral designs, with panels of calligraphy in white letters on a blue field.[4] The interior columns make use of polychrome marble. The minbar is made of white marble with a conical cap, sheathed in turquoise tiles, which also frame the mihrab. The windows above the mithrab are stained glass. Above the door, framed by a gold design, is a fragment of the Kaaba in Mecca; other fragments of this black stone are in the minbar and mihrab.[3]

Views of the mosque
Dome View 
Interior view 

See also


  1. Rogers, Sinan, index.
  2. Necipoğlu 2005, p. 335-337.
  3. 1 2 Freely, Blue Guide Istanbul.
  4. Denny 2004, pp. 101-107.


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