Yeni Valide Mosque

Yeni Valide Külliyesi also Cedid Valide Camii

/ By Josh

Cost: free

Great for: Architecture, Ottoman, Mosques

Perhaps slightly less famous than Mimar Sinan’s Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Yeni Valide Mosque is equally beautiful and remarkably quiet when compared to Mihrimah Sultan and the bustling streets of downtown Üsküdar. The mosque grounds are walled off and filled with plain, palm, and chestnut trees giving Yeni Valide a relatively peaceful, garden-like atmosphere.

Yeni Valide Mosque Üsküdar Istanbul
The courtyard of Yeni Valide Mosque

Yeni Valide Mosque was built in 1711 for Emetullah Rabiaa Gülnuş Sultan, the mother of Sultan Ahmed III, by the architect Mehmet Ağa of Kayseri (a student of the celebrated court architect Sinan). The name is sometimes written with the Arabic word ‘Cedid’ in place of the Turkish ‘Yeni’ meaning ‘new’ in reference to the role that Emetullah Rabiaa Gülnuş Sultan had newly taken.

Yeni Valide Mosque Üsküdar Istanbul Dome
The beautifully painted dome

Yeni Valide Mosque Üsküdar Istanbul

The layout of the building is beautiful and balanced and the ornamentation beautifully detailed. The fountain in the courtyard fits into the whole much better than many of Istanbul’s other grand mosques where the fountain was awkwardly altered in later years. The inside of the mosque is beautifully decorated with the curvy patterns that were so popular in this period.

Yeni Valide Mosque Üsküdar Istanbul Fountain
The intricately carved marble fountain

As a part of the mosque complex there is the mausoleum of Emetullah Rabiaa Gülnuş Sultan built in a unique ‘bird cage’ style with a public fountain next to it. Cups of water are still distributed from this fountain today. The fountain and tomb can be found on the main street in the eastern corner of the complex. There is also a royal lodge, raised above the main level on columns, attached to the mosque.

Yeni Valide Mosque Üsküdar Istanbul Grave

As Yeni Valide Mosque is rather close to Mihrimah Sultan Mosque the reading of the ezan (or adzhan, the Islamic call to prayer) is synchronized between the two.

Keep an eye out for birdhouses, designed to look like miniature mansions, sticking out of the stone walls!

How To Get There

Public Transport

Yeni Valide Mosque is right behind the Üsküdar Marmaray station and only 300 metres from the ferry terminal making it very easy to get to and find from virtually anywhere in the city.

Where To Stay

While there are a handful of hotels in central Üsküdar they tend to be on the lower end. If this isn’t what you’re looking for, a short ride across the Bosporus by ferry will get you to all sorts of neighborhoods with luxury options, the filthiest hovels, or the most bohemian of hostels that you could ask for!

Have any tips or info to add? Spot any mistakes? We’d love to hear about it.

1s & 0s by knowler