The Dolmabahçe Mosque (Dolmabahçe Camiiis) a baroque waterside mosque in Kabataş in the Beyoğlu district of Istanbul, Turkey, close to the Dolmabahçe Palace and Dolmabahçe Clock Tower. It was commissioned by Queen Mother Bezmialem Valide Sultan and designed by the Turkish Armenian architect, Garabet Balyan in 1855. After his mother’s death, Sultan Abdülmecid saw the building work through to completion.

The mosque has twin minarets and is distinguished by the huge stone arches on its facades which are cut with large windows, allowing light to flood the interior.

From 1956 to 1960 the mosque provided a venue for the Naval Museum, only resuming prayer services in 1967. Road-widening robbed it of its courtyard and sebil that were originally part of the design.

The most distinctive formal feature of the mosque is that it has a clear structure and geometry. The mosque and sultan sections seem to have been designed separately, depending on their functions, and then combined. The mosque is a domed and high mass on a square planned infrastructure. The Hünkar section is a prismatic and lower mass with a rectangular plan. These two masses are adjacent to the northern façade of the mosque. The geometry-dominated design in this structure is one of the last but most holistic examples of the empirical style or neo-classicism in the mid-19th century.

The building is situated on the shores of the Bosphorus, making the location strategic and unique to visitors. A huge dome crowns the main prayer hall, while there are two tall minarets on the rear building sitting right behind the dome symmetrically. The exterior walls have many transparent glass windows that allow for the penetration of sunlight and ventilation due to the huge size of the building and its intended large capacity. Overall, the baroque style of architecture gives the building an exceptionally ornamental aesthetic that attracts utmost attention even from a distance.

Address: Ömer Avni, Meclis-i Mebusan Cd. No:34, 34427 Beyoğlu/İstanbul, Türkiye
Architect: Garabet Balyan
Opened: 1855
Architectural style: Ottoman architecture
Minaret(s): 2
Phone: +90 212 512 23 20

Read more: Interesting places in the Pyrenees and around with Jane Cautch ...