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Ortaköy Mosque: Exclusive Magnificent Building On Bank Of Bosphorus

A neighborhood on the bank of Bosphorus with the Ortaköy Mosque—the baroque mosque under the Bosphorus Bridge, a combination of which are one of the most iconic images of Istanbul. This ancient neighborhood is filled with nice cafes, some of which offer kumpir, a baked potato with various ingredients, that make the neighborhood famous around. The view of the Bosphorus near the famous Ortaköy mosque is the perfect opportunity to experience crowds of Istanbul with a magnificent view. 

Ortaköy is home to the July 15th Martyrs Bridge (the old Bosporus Bridge). The bridge is the first trans-continental bridge of Istanbul that was opened on October 30th of 1973 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Turkish Republic. The bridge extends between Ortaköy district in the European side and Beylerbeyi district in the Anatolian side.

ortaköy mosque

Jewel of Bosphorus, the Ortaköy Mosque

Ortakoy Mosque is one of a series of historic structures that make the Bosphorus. The mosque was requested by the Ottoman sultan Abdülmecid and built between 1854 and 1856, on the leftovers of the Cantemir Palace. Its architects were the Armenian father and son Garabet Amira Balyan and Nigoğayos Balyan.

In addition to the main worship section, the mosque also includes an additional section where the sultan prays and rest, which has a "U shaped" plan, a main venue with a square plan which is covered with one dome. The building also features several panels of calligraphy written by Abdülmecid I himself.


The mosque has a large dome covering the main section of worship, and the decoration of the dome and its decoration from the inner face are of the celestial inscriptions in addition to the wide lines. The Ortakoy Mosque is distinguished from the other historic mosques in the area with large floral leaves painted with golden color under the balconies of its minarets.

The single dome of the mosque was originally built using bricks. However, the dome developed cracks throughout time and was ready to collapse, so a new dome was reconstructed using concrete. In 1894, there was an earthquake that damaged the mosque, and it also suffered a minor fire in 1984. Thus, the structure has undergone some repair and restoration work in its time. Today, it's marvelous design attracts tourists who wish to enjoy the view of Bosphorus under the bridge.

How to Reach the Ortaköy Mosque?

The route from Beşiktaş takes around 25 minutes on foot and is along an avenue shaded by large plane trees. While the traffic can be hard to ignore, the walk under the trees is possibly one of the best experiences of Beşiktaş district, as you will walk by many famous buildings, such as the Dolmabahçe Palace.

If you wish to be directly greeted by the Mosque itself, ferries from both Üsküdar and Kadıköy are available. There are private ferry tours of Bosphorus that leave from the coastal landmarks of Bosphorus, and Ortaköy Mosque is one of them.

If you wish to take public buses, you can get on any that stops at Kabataş Lisesi, and walk from there in just a few minutes. It is advised to not enter the area with a private car, as parking space is limited, and best to walk from a close-by area.

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