Eyup Sultan Complex

The complex is located in Eyüp on the shores of the Golden Horn. The mosque, mausoleum and hamam of the complex still stand today, but the medresse and soup kitchen for the poor no longer survive. The first structure built in the complex was the tomb of Ebu Eyyub El-Ensari a "sahabe", or companion of the Prophet Mohammed. He is said to have hosted Mohammed the first time he journeyed to Medina.

Known as "Eyüp Sultan", he is believed to have been martyred during the siege of Ýstanbul by the Umayyad people in 668-669. It is believed that after the conquest of Ýstanbul by the Ottomans, the site was revealed to Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror's teacher, Akþemseddin, in a dream. The Conqueror had a mausoleum built on the site.

In 1459 Sultan Mehmed, The Conqueror went on to build a mosque, a medresse, a soup kitchen and a hamam, so that the site became a full complex.

The first mosque built on the site was so badly damaged in the earthquake of 1776 that Sultan Selim III had to tear it down and rebuild it. A ceremony was held to reopen the mosque to worship in 1800. The mosque we see today is this second mosque built by Sultan Selim III.

The mosque has a main dome of 17.50 meters in diameter and two minarets, built rather high according to the standards of 1723. The interior of the mosque is very plainly decorated, differentiating it from other mosques of the period, although the gilding decorating the mosque niche is eye-catching.

The most distinctive aspect of the complex is its mausoleum. It is octagonal in shape and has a single dome. The inner and outer walls of the mausoleum are covered with glazed tiles, and the lid of the sarcophagus is decorated with symbolic inscriptions. The protective shields in front of the sarcophagus are each a masterpiece, crafted out of pure silver.

The hamam, which is also part of the complex, is one of the oldest Ottoman hamams still surviving today. The medresse and soup kitchen, however, are no longer standing. Another feature of the Eyüp Sultan Complex is that for hundreds of years people wanted to be buried near the tomb of Eyyüb el-Ensari. As a result, the complex is now surrounded by graves and tombs.

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