19 Exquisite Mosques in Turkey That Showcase Architectural Beauty

Turkey is a country steeped in history and culture, and one of the most remarkable aspects of its cultural heritage is its mosques. These architectural wonders are not just places of worship; they are symbols of Turkey's rich heritage, craftsmanship, and artistic expression. That Showcase Architectural Beauty

From Istanbul to Trabzon, from Edirne to Adana, Turkey is home to a diverse range of mosques, each with its unique architectural style and historical significance. In this extensive exploration, we will delve into 19 exquisite mosques in Turkey that showcase unparalleled architectural beauty.

Islamic Art and Architectural Beauty

Islamic art takes center stage in the design of these mosques. From centuries-old structures with intricate detailing to more modern interpretations, you'll be captivated by the craftsmanship and design elements that adorn these sacred spaces.

Quick Tips on Mosque Etiquette

Before you embark on your journey to explore the breathtaking mosques of Turkey, it's essential to understand and respect mosque etiquette. Whether you plan to admire the architecture from the outside or venture inside these sacred spaces, observing proper etiquette is a sign of respect and cultural awareness.

Admiring Mosque Architecture

You don't have to be a Muslim attending prayer to appreciate the awe-inspiring architecture of mosques in Turkey. However, there are some important considerations:

  • Prayer Times: Mosques are closed to visitors during official prayer times. Be aware of these times and plan your visits accordingly.
  • Avoid Fridays: Fridays are considered holy in Islam, and mosques are particularly busy during Friday prayers. If possible, plan your visits on other days of the week.
  • Respectful Behavior: Whether you're outside the mosque admiring its design or inside exploring its beauty, always maintain respectful and quiet behavior. Mosques are places of worship, and any loud or disruptive behavior is considered highly disrespectful.

Visiting the Interior

If you decide to venture inside a mosque, here are some guidelines to follow:

  • Silence: Once inside, maintain a hushed and respectful demeanor. Speaking should be kept to an absolute minimum, and if necessary, speak in a whisper.
  • Avoid Disturbing Prayers: If you find yourself inside a mosque during prayer, do not walk in front of or disrupt those who are praying. Wait until the prayer is concluded before moving around.
  • Photography: Never take photographs of individuals who are praying. Flash photography is prohibited as it can be distracting during prayers.
  • Shoes: Remove your shoes before entering the mosque. There is usually a designated area outside the main door to store your shoes. Ensure you wear clean socks or carry a pair in your bag.
  • Head Covering: Women are required to cover their heads when entering a mosque. It's advisable to carry a scarf with you while sightseeing, just in case you decide to enter a mosque.
  • Modest Dress: Both men and women should dress modestly when visiting a mosque. This means no short skirts or shorts, low-cut tops, or crop tops. Tops should cover below the elbow, and skirts, shorts, or pants should extend down to the ankle.
  • Assistance: If mosque attendants believe you are not dressed appropriately, they may offer you a shawl to cover your shoulders or wrap around your waist to ensure modesty. It's best to dress appropriately from the outset.
  • Common Sense: Above all, use common sense and show respect for religious beliefs and practices.

Now that you are well-informed about mosque etiquette, let's delve into the beauty of some of the most remarkable mosques in Turkey.

1. Şakirin Mosque in Üsküdar, Istanbul

Architectural Marvel: The Şakirin Mosque, located in Üsküdar, Istanbul, is a modern masterpiece that marries traditional Islamic design with contemporary architectural elements. Designed by architect Hüsrev Tayla, this mosque stands as a testament to the harmonious blend of old and new in Turkish architecture. The minimalist design and attention to detail create a tranquil and elegant atmosphere, making it a unique addition to Istanbul's rich architectural landscape.

2. The Blue Mosque in Sultanahmet, Istanbul

Iconic Beauty: Perhaps one of the most famous mosques in the world, the Blue Mosque, also known as the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, graces the historic Sultanahmet district of Istanbul. What sets this mosque apart is its six towering minarets and the intricate blue tiles that adorn its interior, giving it its iconic name. The mosque's imposing dome and symmetrical architecture make it a true marvel of Ottoman architecture, drawing visitors from around the globe.

Blue Mosque – Sultanahmet

This architectural masterpiece showcases the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire. Its name, the Blue Mosque, derives from the radiant blue tiles adorning its interior, which come to life when illuminated by sunlight. A visit to this mosque is an awe-inspiring experience and a must-see attraction in Istanbul.

3. Suleymaniye Mosque – Fatih, Istanbul

Suleymaniye Mosque is not only renowned for its stunning beauty but also for the expansive complex that surrounds it. Built in 1557, this mosque boasts a rich history, featuring lush gardens, elegant fountains, breathtaking vistas, and centuries-old buildings. Situated atop a hill, reaching the mosque requires comfortable footwear due to the terrain. 

However, the journey is rewarded with a glimpse of the extraordinary architecture. Designed by the esteemed architect Mimar Sinan, Suleymaniye Mosque harmoniously blends Byzantine architectural influences with Islamic artistry. Its exterior is a sight to behold, but the interior is even more captivating.

4. Rüstem Paşa Mosque, Eminönü, Istanbul

Nestled along the Golden Horn on Istanbul's European side, the Rüstem Paşa Mosque is a hidden gem adorned with exquisite floral Iznik tiles. Designed by the renowned architect Sinan, this mosque was commissioned by Rüstem Paşa, the grand vizier of Sultan Suleyman I. 

Many visitors to Istanbul overlook this mosque as it is not directly accessible from the main street. To reach it, one must ascend a staircase from the main road, where the mosque's stunning architecture and intricate tilework are unveiled.

5. Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Istanbul

Situated in Üsküdar on Istanbul's Asian side, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque is an iconic landmark commissioned by Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Süleyman the Magnificent. Designed by the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, construction of the mosque commenced in 1562 and concluded in 1565. 

Mihrimah Sultan Mosque

6. Sultan Beyazıt II Mosque in Amasya

Historic Significance: The Sultan Beyazıt II Mosque in Amasya is a historical gem that harks back to the reign of Sultan Beyazıt II. Constructed in the 15th century, this mosque boasts a unique wooden pulpit and beautifully adorned interior, providing visitors with a glimpse into the artistic and architectural achievements of the Ottoman Empire.

7. Yeni Cami (New Mosque) in Eminönü, Istanbul

Ottoman Splendor: The Yeni Cami, or New Mosque, in Eminönü, Istanbul, is a prime example of Ottoman Baroque architecture. This stunning mosque features ornate decorations, majestic domes, and an exquisite courtyard. The New Mosque is not only a place of worship but also a testament to the opulence and grandeur of the Ottoman Empire.

8. Mahmud Bey Mosque in Kastamonu

Hidden Gem: Tucked away in the charming city of Kastamonu, the Mahmud Bey Mosque is a lesser-known treasure. What makes this mosque truly exceptional is its wooden columns and intricate woodwork. The craftsmanship displayed here is a testament to the skills of artisans from a bygone era, and it offers a serene and contemplative atmosphere for visitors.

9. Fatih Mosque in Fatih, Istanbul

Spiritual Hub: The Fatih Mosque, also known as the Conqueror's Mosque, holds immense historical and spiritual significance. It was constructed by Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror after the capture of Constantinople in 1453. The mosque's architecture reflects the triumph and grandeur of that historic moment and stands as a symbol of the city's transformation from Byzantium to Istanbul.

Fatih Mosque – Fatih

10. Muradiye Mosque in Manisa

Graceful Elegance: The Muradiye Mosque in Manisa exudes grace and elegance in its architectural design. Surrounded by a beautifully landscaped garden, this mosque offers a serene and picturesque setting for worshipers and visitors alike. Its peaceful ambiance and delicate architectural features make it a must-visit destination in Manisa.

11. Hagia Sophia Mosque in Istanbul

Historical Icon: Originally built as a Byzantine cathedral, the Hagia Sophia is an architectural and historical marvel. It is famous for its stunning dome and remarkable mosaics that date back to its time as a Christian place of worship. Its conversion to a mosque in 1453 and later to a museum in 1935, and again to a mosque in 2020, underscores its historical significance and architectural splendor.

12. Aya Sofya Mosque in Trabzon

Black Sea Beauty: Trabzon, a city on the Black Sea coast, boasts its unique architectural style, and the Aya Sofya Mosque is a prime example of this regional variation. This mosque stands out with its striking black stone construction and intricate architectural details that reflect the city's rich history and cultural influences.

13. Çamlıca Mosque in Istanbul

Modern Grandeur: The Çamlıca Mosque, one of Istanbul's newest landmarks, stands as a testament to modern Turkish Islamic architecture. Its vast interior and sweeping panoramic views of the city make it a unique addition to Istanbul's skyline. The mosque's contemporary design showcases Turkey's commitment to preserving its rich religious and architectural traditions while embracing modernity.

Çamlıca Mosque

  • The mosque was masterfully designed by Turkish architect Hayati Tabanlioğlu and was completed in 1987.
  • As the largest mosque in Istanbul and Turkey, Çamlıca Mosque features six minarets and can accommodate over 60,000 worshippers simultaneously.
  • The primary prayer hall is adorned with intricate Islamic calligraphy and exquisite tilework.
  • On-site facilities include a library, a conference hall, and exhibition spaces.
  • Visitors are welcome to explore Çamlıca Mosque daily from 9 am to 5 pm, with exceptions during prayer times.

Visiting these mosques in Turkey promises not only a glimpse into the country's rich architectural heritage but also a profound cultural experience. These magnificent structures serve as a testament to Turkey's historical significance and its enduring commitment to religious devotion.

14. Mosque Of Süleymaniye in Istanbul

Serenity and Symmetry: The Mosque of Süleymaniye in Istanbul is known for its peaceful ambiance and symmetrical design. Perfectly aligned arches, domes, and minarets create a sense of harmony and balance that is both visually striking and spiritually uplifting. This mosque stands as a tribute to the architectural legacy of Mimar Sinan.

15. Manuçehr Mosque in Ani

Ancient Splendor: Located in the ancient city of Ani, the Manuçehr Mosque is a remnant of a once-thriving medieval city that was a crossroads of cultures. This mosque features intricate stone carvings and architectural details that reflect the influences of various civilizations that passed through the region. Visiting this mosque is a journey back in time, offering a glimpse into the rich history of Anatolia.

16. Sabancı Merkez Mosque in Adana

Contemporary Opulence: The Sabancı Merkez Mosque in Adana is a modern architectural marvel. With its vast interior, towering minarets, and beautifully landscaped courtyard, it showcases the opulence and grandeur of contemporary Turkish mosque design. This mosque serves as a testament to Turkey's commitment to preserving its religious and architectural heritage while embracing modernity.

17. Selimye Mosque in Edirne

Symphony of Domes: The Selimye Mosque in Edirne is a true masterpiece of Ottoman architecture. It boasts an incredible number of domes and a majestic interior adorned with intricate calligraphy and stunning design elements. This mosque stands as a testament to the architectural prowess of Mimar Sinan, who left an indelible mark on Turkey's architectural legacy.

Selimye Mosque

Once inside, cast your gaze upward to behold the mesmerizing intricacy of the tiles that adorn the walls and ceilings. The mosque's serene ambiance is profoundly moving, providing an immersive experience that resonates deeply.

18. Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara

Capital Elegance: The Kocatepe Mosque in Ankara is the largest mosque in the Turkish capital. Its massive central dome, elegant design, and modern Turkish architectural style make it a prominent landmark in the city. The mosque's serene interior and beautifully landscaped surroundings offer a tranquil retreat in the bustling capital.

19. Grand Mosque Of Bursa in Bursa

Historic Treasure: Also known as the Ulu Cami, the Grand Mosque of Bursa is a masterpiece of early Ottoman architecture. With its intricate calligraphy, stunning interior design, and towering minarets, it holds a special place in Turkish history. This mosque is a testament to the rich cultural heritage of Bursa and its significance in the Ottoman Empire.

Turkey's mosques are not just places of worship; they are living testaments to the country's rich history, artistic expression, and architectural prowess. Each mosque tells a unique story, reflecting the cultural, historical, and regional influences that have shaped Turkey over the centuries. Exploring these 19 exquisite mosques is a journey through time and a celebration of the architectural beauty that continues to captivate visitors from around the world.


In conclusion, Turkey is a treasure trove of architectural wonders, and its mosques stand as some of the most exquisite examples of Islamic art and craftsmanship. From the bustling streets of Istanbul to the serene landscapes of Bursa and beyond, these mosques tell the stories of empires, sultans, and architects who left an indelible mark on the country's cultural heritage.

However, it's essential to approach these places of worship with respect and mindfulness. Even if you're not visiting during prayer times, remember that these mosques are sacred to Muslims and should be treated as such. Follow mosque etiquette, be modest in your dress, and maintain a respectful demeanor when exploring these architectural marvels.


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