Ortaköy Mosque

The Bosphorus Suburbs

This elegant baroque-style structure was designed by Nikoğos Balyan, one of the architects of Dolmabahçe Palace, and built for Sultan Abdül Mecit I between 1853 and 1855. The modern Bosphorus Bridge (aka Bridge of the Martyrs of July 15) looms behind the restored mosque, providing a fabulous photo opportunity for those wanting to illustrate İstanbul's 'old meets new' character.

Beneath the mosque's ornate ceiling hang several masterful examples of Arabic calligraphy executed by Abdül Mecit, who was an accomplished calligrapher.

The mosque fronts onto İskele Meydanı, the hub of this former fishing village and home to a pretty fountain and waterfront cafes. On weekends the square and surrounding streets host an unremarkable but popular street market.