Fatih Mosque (Fatih Camii the Conqueror)

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Built over the ruins of the Church of Apostles, Fatih Mosque was constructed between 1463 and 1470 and bears the name of the Ottoman conquerer of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet. The mosque is the site of his mausoleum. Its vast size and its great complex of religious buildings, including medreses (theological school), hospices, baths, a hospital and a library, make it well worth a visit.
The complex extends along the Golden Horn side of Fevzi Paþa Street in Fatih. Sultan Mehmed, the Conqueror had the complex constructed by the architect, Atik Sinani between the years 1463-1470. It was the largest example of Turkish-Islamic architecture to that date and represented an important stage in the development of classical Turkish architecture.The complex includes a set of well-planned buildings constructed around a mosque. They include: a medresse, a library, a hospital, a hospice, a caravanserai, a market, a hamam and various tombs which were added at a later date.

The original mosque at the center of the complex no longer stands today. Fatih Mosque you now see was built near the end of the 18th century. The first mosque was badly damaged in the 1509 earthquake, repaired, but was then damaged again by earthquakes in 1557 and 1754 and repaired yet again. In the earthquake of 1766, however, the main dome collapsed and the walls were irreperably damaged. Sultan Mustafa III had a new and completely different mosque was designed by the architect, Mimar Mehmed Tahir.

Fatih Mosque was constructed in the classic mosque style, but the Baroque influence can be seen in the decorations. A large dome of 26 meters in diameter is supported by four half-domes and rests upon four large marble columns. There are two minarets each with twin galleries. The calligraphy within the mosque exhibits a Baroque influence. The other important features of the complex are the medresses. Situated on both sides of the mosque, they were the foundation of Ýstanbul's universities and ensured the city's place as a center of education. The medresses underwent various repairs, but were partially destroyed as a result of road constructions; eight of them survive to this day. On the kýblah (Mecca) side of the mosque, connected to it, stands a library which was built in 1724. The library is presently undergoing repairs, and the books are under protection at the Süleymaniye Library. On the kiblah side of the complex are the tombs of Fatih Sultan Mehmed (the Conqueror), his wife, Gülbahar Hatun, and Sultan Mahmud II's mother, Nakþýdil Sultan. Other than the tombs, a large number of graves belonging to leading state officials can be found in the enclosed cemetery.

The caravanserai in the complex was repaired in the 1980's and combined with new shops to begin functioning as a workplace.

The hospital, market and hamam belonging to the complex no longer exist.