Nuruosmaniye Mosque

Nuruosmaniye Mosque is newer than many of the other mosques in Istanbul, and its ornate Baroque style sets it apart.

Prayer Hall of Nuruosmaniye Mosque Istanbul
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Compared to many of Istanbul’s other mosques, Nuruosmaniye is quite new. It was built between 1748 and 1755. So it’s still not exactly a new build.

While it shares some distinctive design features with other mosques in Istanbul, Nuruosmaniye Mosque was the first and largest mosque to be built in Baroque style. The prayer hall is covered with a single dome large dome—one of the largest domes built in Ottoman mosques—that is illuminated with 32 windows.

Throughout the mosque are 174 windows that provide quite a bit of natural light. It’s also distinctive for its polyangular cloister, making it unique in Ottoman architecture. And its interior, while ornate, is a bit more restrained than some of the others.

The mosque complex also has a madrasa (religious school), imaret (soup kitchen), a library, a tomb, and a marble public water fountain. Recent restoration works also discovered another dozen rooms beneath the mosque.

Its construction was ordered and funded by Sultan Mahmud I (reigned from 1730 to 1754), who was also known as the Hunchback. He died before it was completed, but his brother, Sultan Osman III, who succeeded him to the throne, saw the project through during his brief reign. When it opened it was given the name Nur-u Osmanh, meaning ‘divine light of the Ottoman.’ The brothers were both interred nearby in Valide Sultan’s Tomb, next to the New Mosque and Spice Bazaar.

Photos of Nuruosmaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Nuruosmaniye Mosque Courtyard
The courtard of Nuruosmaniye Mosque. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Mihrab in Nuruosmaniye Mosque Mihrab
The mihrab niche. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Istanbul Skyline
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Lights
Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Minaret
One of the minarets, from below. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Dome
The dome over the prayer hall. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Grand Bazaar Gate 1 (Nuruosmaniye Kapisi)
Looking out from the courtyard to one of the gates of the Grand Bazaar. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Courtyard
The courtyard. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Dome
The roof of the prayer hall. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com
Nuruosmaniye Mosque Grand Bazaar Gate 1 (Nuruosmaniye Kapisi)
Looking out at the bustle of one of the gates of the Grand Bazaar. Photo © David Coleman / HaveCameraWillTravel.com

What to Know Before You Go

It stands next to Gate 1 (Nuruosmaniye Kapisi) of the Grand Bazaar.

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David Coleman / Photographer
by David Coleman

I'm a freelance travel photographer based in Washington DC. Seven continents, up mountains, underwater, and a bunch of places in between. My images have appeared in numerous publications, and you can check out some of my gear reviews and tips here. More »