About Dolmabahçe Mosque (Bezmialem Valide Sultan Mosque)

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Dolmabahçe Mosque is a building that was started by Bezmialem Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecit, and completed by Sultan Abdülmecit upon his death, and whose design belongs to Garabet Balyan.

The construction of Bezmiâlem Vâlide Sultan, who played a role in Ottoman social life as a charitable personality with its many foundations, was started by the order of Sultan Sultan Abdulmecid after his death in 1853. Since Bezmiâlem Vâlide Sultan Mosque fell right across the courtyard gate of Dolmabahçe Palace in the direction of Clock Tower, it has been called Dolmabahçe Mosque since it was built and it has been transferred to the literature in this way.

The building, dated 1270 (1853-54), located on the gate of the building overlooking the Clock Tower of the courtyard, was placed in its present location at the foot of the outer wall of the Qibla due to the collapse of the courtyard walls during the opening of Dolmabahçe Square in 1948. The inscription, consisting of four couplets written in Celî sulus calligraphy, is entirely decorated with western-style acanthus leaves and a large wreath with the tugra of Abdulmecid crowned the middle of the hilly part.

Dolmabahçe Mosque, XIX. It was built by Nikogos Balyan, who signed many important works in XNUMXth century Ottoman architecture, at a time when Western currents showed the greatest effect. In this period, an interesting understanding of interpretation was made as a result of combining styles such as baroque, rococo, empire (empire) with established art accumulation and pleasure. While there is no significant innovation in terms of architecture in this type of mosque, it is seen that the main change is in the exterior and ornaments by largely abandoning the traditional line, classical proportions and motif repertoire. It is remarkable that baroque, rococo and empire-style ornamentation features begin to replace traditional Ottoman motifs and decoration. The most important character of the period is the “eclectic” (mixed) approach to architecture and the use of Western elements unlimitedly and in combination with Ottoman and Islamic elements, regardless of any rule. In this respect, Dolmabahçe Mosque is a typical example that reflects the general approach and artistic taste of the period it belongs to.

In the mosque built in the middle of a courtyard by the sea, the main volume consists of a space covered by a dome. In the square-planned structure, where the dome is carried by four large arches, it is observed that the space has developed in a narrow transverse and longitudinal form, taking the form of a prism. The surface of the high walls, where large round-arched windows are opened on the lower parts, is divided into three parts with sharp lines and protruding cornices. In the lower section, which is kept quite high, pilasters (recessed feet) were placed in two layers at the corners and between the windows; The same pattern is repeated in the middle section, but this is narrower. The larger windows have round arches in the middle, and the smaller ones on the sides are flat jambs; Again, pilasters were placed between all of them. On the upper part of the walls, arches carrying the dome can be seen directly with the help of pendentives. Round arches were built as a tympanon wall with three windows opening outwards like a fan in accordance with their own inclination. The dome was placed directly on the walls, a feature not seen in classical architecture, and rectangular high-weight towers were placed at the corners to prevent the walls from opening sideways due to the weight loaded. The weight towers with a very large round rosette in the middle of the same zamare decorative elements that show a harmonious integrity with the building. The upper corners of the towers are placed in a baroque-rococo style view, with two columns each with composite capitals covered with domes. The rim section of the central dome with pendant transitions covering the top of the building, which is not too wide, is surrounded by consoles from the outside and divided into slices and each slice is decorated with flower rosettes.

During the opening of Dolmabahçe Square, the present situation of the mosque, with its courtyard perimeter wall and sentence gates and some units disappearing, together with the Hünkâr Pavilion in front of it, does not reflect its original appearance. On the other hand, the mosque's octagonal plan and domed residence in the empire style was removed from the street during the square arrangement works and transported to its current location on the sea side.

The front facade of the mosque, which was built of stone and marble, covers the two-storey Hünkâr Pavilion extending outward from both sides. The pavilion consists of an “L” shaped wing that extends out on both sides and a middle volume remaining inside. In the pavilion, which is made of the same material as the mosque, an extremely bright and spacious interior was obtained with two rows of windows opening to all facades. This building, which has the appearance of a small palace, is entered through three doors, one of which is shared with the mosque on the facade and the other is located on the side facades. These doors, which are accessed with a few steps, have a small entrance area with columns in front of the ones next to them. You can go upstairs with the stairs on both sides of the pavilion. There are rooms in this section and you can also go to the neighborhoods. The minarets, which are kept separate from the structure of the mosque, rise at two corners of the pavilion. In the minarets, which attract attention with their thin, long forms and grooved bodies, the bottom of the balconies are decorated with acanthus leaves.

The mosque is entered through the vestibule of the Hünkâr Pavilion; Here, as in the Hünkâr Pavilion, a very bright interior was reached with many windows opening to the walls. The dome and pendants of the harim, the floor of which is laid with large red bricks, are decorated with gilding and oil painting and works in Western style. In the mihrab and pulpit showing colorful marble work, some baroque decorations were placed away from the classical line. On top of the pentagonal niche niche, a vegetative decoration consisting of flowers and leaves of different style was made, while a hill with a wreath crowned in the middle was placed on the inscription plate. The same hillock is also found on the windows, and it is seen that an effort has been made to reach an integrity in the decoration of the interior. The monumental balustrade plates of the pulpit, which is made of two colored marbles like the altar, are geometric decorated.

The mosque, which was used as the Naval Museum with the Hünkâr Pavilion between 1948 and 1961, was reopened for worship after it was moved to the new building of the museum. The building, which is in a well maintained condition, was recently restored by the General Directorate of Foundations in 1966.

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