Eyüp Sultan Mosque
Eyüp Merkez, 34050 Eyüpsultan/İstanbul, Türkiye
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Eyup Sultan Mosque?
The Eyup Sultan Mosque is not just any place of worship; it is a monumental site deeply entrenched in the spiritual heart of Istanbul. Nestled on the Golden Horn, right at the spot where Eyup Sultan, the standard-bearer of the Prophet Muhammad, is believed to have been laid to rest, this mosque is a beacon for pilgrims and history enthusiasts alike. Its tranquil courtyard, ornate architecture, and the reverent atmosphere provide an oasis of calm in the bustling city. It’s a place where time seems to stand still, waiting for you to step through its doors and discover centuries of history.
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In existence since the conquest of Constantinople, the array of Ottoman architectural features and the religious significance that infuses every corner make it a unique destination. Known locally as Eyüp Sultan Camii, it draws visitors not just for prayer, but to witness one of the holiest sites in Islam located in Istanbul. It's an emblematic landmark for the community, and for visitors, it unlocks a rich, spiritual tapestry that is integral to understanding this historic city.
History of Eyup Sultan Mosque
The origins of Eyup Sultan Mosque are as old as the Ottoman conquest of Istanbul itself. It was the first mosque constructed by the Ottomans after they seized the city in 1453, signaling a new era. The mosque was built in honor of Eyup Sultan (also known as Abu Ayyub al-Ansari), the beloved companion of the Prophet Muhammad who participated in the Arab siege of Constantinople in the 7th century and was killed during the battle. He was buried on the shores of the Golden Horn, and his tomb was reportedly discovered during the conquest by Mehmed the Conqueror.
The mosque was initially erected by Sultan Mehmed II, and since then, it has undergone several restorations due to damage caused by earthquakes and fires. However, the essence of the mosque remains unchanged. It’s a place steeped in myth and history, where every stone seems to tell a story. The mosque's historical essence and the tomb of Eyup Sultan have made it one of the most significant pilgrimage sites not only in Turkey but in the broader Islamic world.
Why is Eyup Sultan Mosque Important?
Eyup Sultan Mosque holds a unique position in the spiritual hierarchy of mosques in Istanbul. It’s seen as the fourth holiest site in Islam after Mecca, Medina, and Jerusalem, making it a magnet for both religious pilgrims and tourists who want to soak up the sanctuary's profound spiritual significance. The connection to Eyup Sultan lends a distinct stature, for he is revered not just for his closeness to the Prophet but also for his role in Islamic history, particularly the first Arab attempt to take Constantinople.
The mosque is not just a mausoleum or a historical relic; it remains an active place of worship, resonating with the prayers of the faithful who come to seek solace and guidance. Additionally, it has played an important cultural role over the centuries; Ottoman sultans were often ceremoniously girded with the sword of Osman at this mosque, marking their accession to the throne. This ceremony underlines the mosque's significance in the historical and cultural narrative of Istanbul and the Ottoman Empire.
Things to Do & See at Eyup Sultan Mosque
When you visit the Eyup Sultan Mosque, you embark on a journey that transcends the physical beauty of its architecture. Partake in the serenity of the mosque's prayer halls, adorned with exquisite Iznik tiles that narrate tales of artistry from centuries past. The carved wooden doors, intricate calligraphic panels, and the ornate mihrab and minbar demand attention, speaking volumes of the mosque's religious importance and architectural finesse.
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Outside, the courtyard offers a breath of fresh air, with the ancient trees and the footsteps of bygone souls echoing around you. But don’t miss the tombs, especially that of Eyup Sultan; his gravesite is adorned with beautiful craftsmanship and is the subject of tremendous reverence. Visitors should also venture uphill to the Pierre Loti Café. The trek up through the Eyup Cemetery is an experience in itself, ending with panoramic views of the Golden Horn that have inspired many a poet and artist.
Beyond the immediate surroundings, the entire Eyup district is dotted with historic sites and authentic local experiences. From traditional religious artifacts sold in the surrounding shops to the nearby theme park for a family-oriented excursion, Eyup offers an eclectic mix. Whether you're there to capture the essence of history, to pray, to soak in the atmosphere, or to simply be a part of something that is greater than yourself, Eyup Sultan Mosque is a destination that offers a multitude of layers to uncover.