Built from 1500 to 1505 under Sultan Beyazit II, Beyazid Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Istanbul. It is located next to Istanbul University and the Grand Bazaar in the center of a large 16th-century complex that includes schools and other buildings.
History of Beyazid Mosque
Construction on the Beyazit Mosque began in 1501, overseen by architect Yakub Sah Bin Sultan. The mosque was built over the ruins of the Forum of Tauri built by the Byzantine Emperor Theodosius. The pavement of the courtyard and the pillars of the ablutions fountain are reused materials from the Forum.
The Beyazit Mosque was completed in 1506. Sultan Beyazit II died in 1512 and was buried in the gardens with his family.
What to See at Beyazid Mosque
The mosque’s architecture is inspired by the Byzantine Hagia Sophia with a central dome, semi-domes, and a central prayer area with galleries. The dome is 16.78 meters in diameter (the Hagia Sophia’s is 31m). Other elements were inspired by the Fatih Mosque, such as the buttresses and columns alongside the dome.
The mosque was once at the center of a large complex, including a school (medrese), kitchen, caravanserai, hamam, and soup kitchen for the poor. The soup kitchen and caravanserai, on the left of the mosque, now house the Beyazit State Library, while the former medrese houses a school of calligraphy.