After the sun sets in Edirnekapi, and as the night falls on Istanbul, we made our way back to the Fatih district. We headed to back to Fatih Camii to offer our Isya’ prayers. After the prayer service we went to a coffee house, where we had a nice relaxing cup of Turkish Coffee. It was my first time and by golly, what a first time it was. Thick and rich, not bitter and not too sweet, it is a taste that I will never soon forget. After taking in the beautiful but cold night view of Fatih Camii and the whole of Istanbul on the rooftop of the cafe, we called it a night, said our goodbyes and parted ways.
Istanbul is a very, very large city. Walking from place to place takes time, and thanks to the many steep hills that dot the old part of the City, it was a tedious task as well. As there is no transport systems around the area I was staying in (Kadirga) I was to traverse these hills every so often, and I had to walk for quite a time. By the time I arrived to my hotel, it was already 1 am. You would think after a long long day of walking around and touring the city, I would be so tired I would sleep as soon as I hit the pillow, but no, I stay awake until around 2, watching Turkish drama reruns that I do not know the language at all.
After waking up quite late (around 8, which is late for me) I decided to explore the nearby Sultan Ahmet Square or the Hippodrome and the surrounding areas on my own. While on my way upwards the hill towards the square, I came across a delicate little jewel of a mosque with unique designs. I decided to stop before continuing on my journey.
The full name of this small mosque is Kececizade Fuat Pasa Camii, and apart from an educated guess that this mosque and tomb complex was built by someone named Fuad Pasa sometime in the 19th century, I did not know much of any information on this moque. I swore I had taken a photo of the mosque’s information but I do not know where I stored it.
The mosque is small and given the location that it is nestled between tall more modern building, the modesty of the mosque is even more pronounced. The building is heavily decorated inside and outside, although not in the usual language of other Ottoman mosque. What I see here is an experimentation of different styles, an encroaching western aesthetic values so common in the late Ottoman era. You can see the influences of Noe-Gothic style in the tall windows and portals, with very peculiar type of Arabesques and geometric designs carved into the walls. All these mosque and tomb is set inside a delicate little garden, surmounted by a modest minaret, which looks more traditional than the rest of the mosque.
Inside, the late Ottoman painted style lavishly decorated the walls and ceilings. The small dome is decorated with painted Ottoman murals in mustard yellow and blue. Eight pointed stars dot the perimeter of the dome. The pillars of the prayer hall is painted with a unique design of Arabesques and celtic-knot like decoration, in red and blue. The tall gothic windows illuminate the hall richly, and all these beautiful paintings cometo life with the light. Dark red prayer rugs were spread upon the floor under a modern looking metal and glass chandelier. A mihrab and a Mimbar in grey marble, a characteristic of any Ottoman mosques, stood in silence in front of the hall.
I did not take long visiting the mosque, and before I know it I was out of the building and making my way up the hill towards Hagia Sophia. Although I had a slight confusion as the mosque compound can be entered from two streets and I exited from a different street from when I entered it, I nevertheless can see myself out of the counpiund rather easily, giving that the Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque can easily be seen from either of the streets. Although small, if you ever had the chance to visit Istanbul, you should stop by this beautiful little gem and appreciate the work that had been put into it.
A Gothic style window on the main mosque building.
The Turbe (Tomb) of Fuad Pasha. The intricate doors and carving is really unique.
A Marble carving featuring the eight pointed star under where the Imam would read his Khutba on the Mihrab. Unusual as these geometric patterns are usually tessellated.
The painted decoration under the dome of the mosque. Again the disjointed eight pointed stars are featured prominently in this mosque – perhaps a breakaway from the usual Ottoman design language.
A closeup of the decoration under the dome
The marble Mimbar of the mosque, in a simple shape
An overhead view of the main prayer hall. I think this is taken from the Hunkar Mahfili (The Sultan’s lodge)
Another view of the main prayer hall and this time showing the mihrab as well.