I didn’t realize how many mosques Istanbul has until I stood halfway up some hill and saw all the domes sticking out of the city (and those are only the big ones)! I wanted to visit the famous Blue Mosque of course, but hadn’t really thought about visiting others. It was a coinsidence that I walked into the Sehzade Mosque.
I had already done quite a walk that day. From the neighbourhood Fener all the way alongside the Bosporus in the direction of my hostel. I didn’t want to walk next to a busy road the wole time, so I just took a hard right into the smaller streets at some point.
Those streets opened up to a butchers market of sorts! Left and right were all shops that sold pigs heads, guts and other entrails. I didn’t take any pictures unfortunately, as I was a bit overwhelmed by the sight. It smelled a bit like the disection halls from back when I studied Veterinary Medicine. While I walked in the middle of all this an old city wall rose up in front of me. It turned out to be the Valens Aquaduct.
When I had passed this I hit a busy road that I wanted to follow to my hostel. That’s when I saw a UNESCO world heritage sign and behind that, hidden behind walls and hedges, a mosque. Intriqued, I entered the complex.
The whole park just breathes peace. Sultan Suleiman The Magnificent had this mosque build to honour his son, Sehzade Mehmet, who is buried in a tomb on the site. Sehzade was the Sultans eldest legitemate son (not his real oldest, you understand).
Sehzade was only 22 when he died and on his way back from a succesful military mission in Hungary! I understand why his dad was proud of him.
It was really quiet here, with hardly any other tourists around. So, if you want to visit a historic mosque without being run over by your fellow tourists, Visit the Sehzade Mosque.