Dolmabahçe Mosque, also known as Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan Mosque, is located south of Dolmabahçe Palace and situated along the shoreline in the Beşiktaş district of Istanbul. Originally, Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, mother of Sultan Abdülmecid I, initiated the construction of the mosque, but on her death it was completed by her son, Sultan Abdülmecid, who ordered Garabet Balyan, a member of the famous Balyan family who built a large number of architectural structures in Istanbul during the 18th and 19th centuries, to complete the mosque. Architect Garabet Balyan completed the mosque in 1855, and the mosque was opened for worship on 23 March of the same year.
Dolmabahçe Mosque is one of the ornamented mosques in Istanbul that was built in neo-classical and imperial style. The interior structural elements of Dolmabahçe Mosque include Baroque and Ampere styles, which reflect the architectural design of that era. Additionally, the circular window design inside of the mosque is a demonstration of the mosque’s bizarre décor such a design can rarely be seen in mosques and other civil architectures in that era. The light from these large circular windows contribute to the beauty of the colorful marble interior decoration. The mosque’s pulpit (mimbar) and niche (mihrab) are made of red porphyry and decorated with European patterns. Dolmabahçe Mosque has 2 minarets with a single balcony and a single dome. The forecourt of the Mosque was built similar to other imperial mosques. However, the fountain in the yard of the mosque was wrecked during roadworks. Also, the muvakkithane – a room where a muvakkit (an employee whose chief duty is to determine the time of ezan) works – of Dolmabahçe Mosque was moved to the seaside area of the mosque.
Photo Credits: Sunny Lapin