Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque

The Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Aksaray neighbourhood of Istanbul. The mosque is located in the crossing block between Atatürk Avenue and Turgut Özal Millet Street. Also, the mosque is neighbours with Pertevniyal High School, which was also built by the order of Sultana Pertevniyal, along with the Valide Sultan Cemetery.

The Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque was built in the name of Sultana Pertevniyal by her orders. Sultana Pertevniyal was the wife of Sultan Mahmud the 2nd and mother of Sultan Aziz. As the mosque is located in Aksaray and the name “Valide” literally means “Mother”, the mosque has different names in public including Aksaray Valide Sultan Mosque and Aksaray Valide Mosque. The mosque was designed by Sagop Balyan who was a member of the famous Armenian Balyan Family. Also, it’s known that Hagop Balyan and draughtsman Osep, assisted Sagop Balyan in the matter of the design. Bricklayer Ohannes, Carpenter Dimitri and Master-Builder Bedros were responbible for the construction site supervisorhip. Italian architect Monteni was the chief architect of the Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque. In the November of 1869, the construction began with a solemn sod-turning ceremony, statesmen and religious scholars were among the attendees. According to historians, Sultana Pertevniyal kept up with the ceremony from a window of a house in the Aksaray neighbourhood. The construction was completed within 2 years and the mosque was opened to worship in 1871. Due to the large and experienced staff, the mosque exhibited a quite rare example of Ottoman Architecture with a combination of Neo-Gothic, Classical Turkish, Ottoman Imperial and Renaissance styles.

The Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque has two minarets with single balconies. The roof contains only one dome without any accessory domes, which is actually a quite rare architectural property to see in Ottoman Architecture. Geometrically, the mosque is designed as a square. At each corner of the building, there are four towers deeply resembling the Italian Architecture. The mosque itself is about 1000 meters-square and courtyard is about 3000 meters-square. For this reason, the Pertevniyal Valide Sultan Mosque is among one of the largest historical buildings of Istanbul. There are three entrance doors in the courtyard including the Eastside, Westside and Southside Doors. The candescent entrance door on the side of Aksaray Square is an unusual example of stone carving in Ottoman Architecture. The outbuildings of the mosque include, a fountain, a library and the mausoleum built in the name of Pertevniyal Valide Sultan. The library was then moved into the Süleymaniye Library. In addition, some outbuildings of the mosque such as a water dispenser, was either replaced or removed during the restoration process between the years 1556 and 1559. Lastly, the mosque underwent an extensive renovation in 2007, and opened to worship again on the 4th of March in 2011.

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Atatürk Blv. No:1 34091 Aksaray, Fatih, İstanbul
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