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BEYOĞLU GUIDE

The Cihangir Mosque

The members of the Ottoman dynasty have not been involved in construction activities for many years on the Beyoğlu side of the city after the conquest. For the first time in 1559, after the death of the youngest son of Suleiman the Magnificent and Hurrem, Cihangir, a very tiny mosque was commissioned to Mimar Sinan. This is a small mosque with a single minaret on the slopes of Fındıklı which has unfortunately not survived.
In memory of Cihangir, on the slope which accommodated once either a Pagan temple or a Byzantine monastery, a small mosque was commissioned to Mimar Sinan on a location from which, according to Ayvansarayi, the şehzade viewed the unique scenery from a canopy which he viewed from the palace everyday. There isn’t much information on its original form. It is inferred from a drawing dated 1580 that it had a fragmented wooden roof and a single minaret.
The fact that it was designed to be a small mosque may be because there wasn’t much of “parish” those days. The mosque has become the center of the settlement in time with the neighborhood getting to be known as Çihangir. It used to be a lonely mosque among trees starting from the shore. Evliya Çelebi calls the mosque which one had to climb to by steep stairs from Findıklı as "cihannüma". A school for children was built beside the mosque with a Halveti tekke added sixty years later. After going through fires five times; the neighborhood, the mosque and the tekke have been repaired or re-built numerous times.

The present mosque is one with a single dome and two minarets and square shape conforming to the typology which became popular after mid-19th century. The dome is seated on four large arches, the insides of the arches are filled with radiating windows which are fan shaped; there is a row of arched windows at the bottom.

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