Eyup Sultan Mosque

The Eyüp Sultan Mosque is located in the Eyüp district at the northern end of the Golden Horn. It is a particularly sacred place for Muslims and ranks fourth after Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem.

The mosque complex stands exactly at the spot where Ayyub al-Ansaris (Turkish Eyüp Ensari) is said to have been buried. He was a friend and companion of Prophet Muhammad and a highly respected member of the early Islamic leadership. According to a legend, he fell in front of the walls of Constantinople during the first unsuccessful siege of the city by Muslims, and his body was found shortly after the Ottoman conquest. Also the Byzantine residents of the city are said to have honored his tomb as a place of worship.

Fatih Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror built Eyüp a fitting, grand tomb and a mosque in which Ottoman princes were girded with the sword of Osman on their coronation ceremony. It symbolized their power and their powerful sultan title. The Ablution fountain in the courtyard (Turkish: Şadırvan) was built by the Grand Vizier Ibrahim Paşa. Since the two minarets were not high enough to attach traditional illumination to Ramadan, Sultan Ahmed II had them demolished in 1723 and built higher ones.

In 1766, the Eyüp Sultan Mosque was destroyed by a severe earthquake. In order to build a new mosque, Sultan Selim III completely demolished it except for the minarets in 1798. In 1800, the new mosque was opened. Chief architect was Uzun Hüseyin Ağa.

The major shopping street “Iskele Caddesi” across from the pier leads up to the mosque complex. The courtyard is behind a large gate on the forecourt. The mosque stands to the right of the gate and on the left is the Türbe, which is adorned with gold and silver as well as crystal chandeliers and patterned Iznik tiles.