Located in the Beşiktaş District, on the waterfront of the Ortaköy Pier Square, the Ortaköy Mosque is a major tourist attraction for those visiting the Bosphorus. In 1853, the Nigoos Balyan built the mosque at the direction of Ottoman Empire ruler Abdulmecid (1839–1861). Also during that century, the mosque’s prominence on the European side of Istanbul grew. As its other name suggests, the Great Mecidiye Mosque is one of the most stunning examples of Istanbul’s Baroque style.
On the same spot where the mosque once stood, Mahmut Aga, the son-in-law of Vizier Ibrahim Paşa, erected a smaller mosque. The modest mosque was constructed in 1721, but it was razed in 1730, during the revolt of Patrona Halil. The earthquake of 1894 severely damaged the new mosque that had been built in its place, necessitating the repositioning of the minaret’s spire. As early as 1960, when it became clear that the building was about to collapse, efforts were made to reinforce the foundation. It was completely rebuilt after the fire of 1984 and looks as grand as ever.
Specifically, it consists of a Harim (the palace’s innermost holy chamber) and a Hünkar Kasr (the sultan’s summer palace). The Harim segment includes a square main chamber (with a length of 12.25 m along its longest edge) and a smaller, central chamber that cuts across the larger one. An elaborate dome covered in pink mosaics sits atop the central wall in the Harim area, serving as the ceiling. The mosque’s minarets are each topped with a single sherefe (minaret balcony), the niche is crafted from mosaic and white marble, and the pulpit is a marble masterpiece finished with porphyry. Hunkar Kasr is the name of the two-story home with elliptical stairs leading to its northern entrance.
Even though it was built in the 1800s, the Ortakoy Mosque is still a well-known building in the area that looks out over the Bosphorus.