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Hamid-i Evvel Camii

Hamid-i Evvel Camii, Beylerbeyi, Üsküdar, İstanbul

Also known as the Beylerbeyi Mosque, this pretty 18th-century mosque is the only domed Ottoman example north of Ortaköy and Üsküdar. Built in 1778 by Abdülhamid I for his mother, Rabia Sultan (hence the imperial double minarets) at the same as his yalı-like mosque in Emirgan, it was part of a great plan to populate a blissfully empty strait. The architect in charge was Tahir Ağa. During the reign of Sultan Mahmud II (1784–1839), a muvakkithane (time-keeper’s room) and a fountain were added.

The mosque only just survived when the Debreli İsmail Pasha Yalı next door, now the Bosphorus Palace Hotel, went up like a tinderbox in March 1983. The fire destroyed the mosque’s dome, which has since been rebuilt, and with it the precious ebony-and-mother-of-pearl inlaid minber.

There’s also a good, if slightly run down, hamam attached for those seeking a good scrub.


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