Ortakoy Mosque is situated on the Rumeli side of the Boshphorus, in the Beşiktaş district, next to Ortaköy Pier Square. It is surrounded by the sea to the west and south and is located on a small point of land. This mosque is also known as the Grand İmprerial Mosque. It is one of the structures that were built the symbolize the opening of the Bosphorus as the new historical center of Istanbul during the contruction of the mosque, there was a smaller mosque, built by Mahmud Agha, he son-in law to Vizier İbrahim Pasha, on this spot. The small mosque dated back to the begining of the 18th century and its said that is was demolished after the death of Mahmud Agha during the Patrona Halil uprising.
The current mosque was constructed during the reign of the Abdülmecid in 1853. The inscription on the entrance gate bears the imperial signature of Abdulmecid and the date that indicates the completion of the construction of the mosque. The architect was Niogos Balyan. As with all royal mosques in the 19th century, the mosque consists of two parts, the main worship hall and the sultan’s section in fron of the entrance.
Ortkakoy Mosque Architecture
It as built by Nikogos Balyan on behalf of Abdülmecit (1839-61) over the area jutting out to the Bosphorus on the east of the square in 1853. It consists of a double floored, ‘’U’’ planned Sultan’s apartment and a single domed main building. Being built on a location dominating the Bosphorus and having an exterior view built with palace peevishness gives a symbolic meaning to the building.
Facades of the Mosque, sliced by sepulture columns and enriched by carved and embossed decorations exhibits an active view. Double lined large arched windows provide good illumination. Its dome which hasn’t got an embroidery frame, sitting on the hanging archways and renewed in renovations, is adorned by handcarvings.
İn the Vicinity of Ortakoy Mosque
The city had been attacked many times before the final siege by the conqueror in 1453, but the Roman city was enabled the city to resist. Even during long sieges, provisions were brought into the city from sea. To prevent any reinforcements and help coming from the Black Sea during the final siege, Mehmet the Conqueror built a fortress on the European shore, opposite the earlier Turkish fortress on the Asian shore.
Besiktas is one of the oldest disricts built outside the city walls of Istanbul. It is on the European (Rumeli) side of the Bosphorus, lying between Tophane and Ortaköy. To the west is Şişli, with Beyoğlu and Sarıyer to the north. Beşiktaş used to be a part of Beyoğlu till 1930. The name used to be Kune Petro, or “stone cradle.” The famous Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi tells us about a stone basin in which Jesus had been bathed as a child that was brought from Jeruselam; a priest called Yashla established a large church at this location.
Çırağan Palace, Marble columned timber water side mansions that were here before the Palace and made by Mahmut were demolished by Abdülmecit in 1857; but Project was postponed due to financial matters. After the death of Abdülmecit his brother Abdülaziz took his place and made Sarkis and Agop Balyan built the Çırağan Palace in between Beşiktaş and Ortaköy in between 1863-1871. Unfortunately only the body walls of the magnificent building that was endowed with valuable goods produced specially for the palace remained after the fire in January 1910.
The area where Dolmabahçe Palace is present today was a small bay. In the first half of the 17th century it was filled and timber kiosks were built by various Sultans. These kiosks were demolished and renewed many times and Dolmabahçe was transformed into Privy Garden where Sultans use for entertainment and relaxation. There was Beşiktaş Palace with its large number of rooms in this area, before the present palace was built.