Yeni Cami is not called yeni: meaning new, because the current mosque merely dates from the 17th century, but because it is a reconstruction of an earlier mosque which had the same name. The first mosque was commissioned in 1597 and never finished. It was blackened by a great fire in the neighbourhood and fell in serious disrepair until Valide Sultan Turhan Hadice, mother of Mehmet IV decided to take action and ordered its renovation. The current mosque was completed in 1663. Yeni Cami’s semi-domes are not located on the building’s corners, like those of the Haghia Sophia, but on its flanks, so that its many smaller domes cascade down in a gracious curve.
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