Fatih Mosque
Fatih Mosque

Fatih Mosque

Fatih (the Conqueror) Sultan Mehmed had the Fatih Mosque built during the years 1467-1470. The Architect was Sinauddin Yusufbin Abdullah. The mosque is monumental in design. A central dome rests on two elephant feet and two columns. Devastated by an earthquake in 1766, the Fatih Mosque was repaired in 1767-1771 by Architect Mehmed Tahir Aga, commissioned by Sultan Mustafa III. Only the three walls of the fountain’s courtyard, the fountain, the crown doors, the mihrab, up to the first balcony of the minarets, and a part of the surrounding wall remain from the original construction. The qible wall of the arcade in the fountain courtyard is higher than the other walls. The outer hoops of the domes are eight sided and rest on arches. The arches are of red stone and white marble, except for the axis which are of green stone. The lower and upper windows are encircled by wide molding. The window frames are of marble and quite wide, defined by the strong molding. 

The iron railing is of thick iron and is shaped like a mace. Eight of the arcade columns are green, two are pink, two are dark brown granite. Some of those in the interior court are of Egyptian granite. The bases and capitals are marble. The courtyard has three gates, one in the qible side, two on adjacent sides. The fountain has eight angles. The veil of the mihrab is of stalagmite. There are green pillars in the corners of the niches, decorated with sand clocks and delicately crowned. Above the yashmak is a one-line verse from the Koran. The twelve sectored minaret is connected to the mosque in perfect harmony. Panels of tiled paintings are on the right and left windows of the interior courtyard. 

In the first construction of the Fatih Mosque, in order to make the mosque area wider a dome was raised on the walls and two pedestals; in front of this another half-dome was added. For a century this dome, 26 m. in diameter, was known as the largest dome. In the second construction it became a small-domed, narrow building in the style of buttressed mosques. Presently, there is a central dome on four elephant feet, encircled by four half-domes. Around the half-domes are smaller halves and whole domes which conceal the galleries of the “mahfil” (elevated loge) and those in front of the outside ablution faucets. To the left of the mihrab, beside the shrine are the Sultan’s loge and rooms, entered by a wide ramp. 

The stone cones of the minarets were made in the late 19th century. The architect, Mehmet Tahir Ağa, while repairing the mosque, took classical pieces from the old mosque and united them skillfully with newly-made baroque pieces. The window moldings of the past era were in ruins and were replaced by plain frames. The fire pool next to the courtyard gate was made by Sultan Mahmud II in 1825. The old mosque had a wide outer courtyard. The gate leading off to the hostel has remained from the old mosque. The tombs of Fatih Sultan Mehmet and his wife Gülbahar are in the cemetery behind the mosque.

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