Eyüp Sultan Mosque

Eyüp Sultan Camii

During Islamic feasts this mosque is especially crowded. People say that the Eyüp Sultan Mosque is a place where the prayers of all who believe are listened to. This is the first mosque built by the Ottomans after the Conquest of Constantinople. This mosque is the most admired Islamic place of worship in Turkey and one of the greatest sacred places of Islam. According to a tradition established in the 16th after the new sultan took the throne he went to the Eyüp Sultan Mosque where he was girded with the Sword of Osman I, the founder of the Ottoman Dynasty. Only after that could the sultan be named the ruler of all the Muslims.

The mosque became a place of worship mainly because of Abu Ayyub al-Ansari, a close companion and standard-bearer of Prophet Muhammad. After Muhammad moved to Medina, Abu Ayyub gave him shelter in his house. Being an old man, Ayyub never the less participated in the siege of Constantinople in the 670s. After he had been wounded he was forced to leave the battle. A legend has it that before his death Abu Ayyub said: "Give my welcome to the Muslim armies and tell them: Abu Ayyub wishes you advance forward as far as you can into the enemy’s land and take him with you to bury him before your feet under the walls of Constantinople".

There is also an old legend, according to which the mentor of Sultan Mehmed II the Conqueror saw in a dream where Abu Ayyub was buried was asked the sultan to build a mausoleum on the place indicated. In 1459 on the order of Sultan Mehmed a mosque was erected over the place of the burial. Modern-day building, commissioned between 1798 and 1800 by Sultan Selim III, is different from the original one that was destroyed by an earthquake. In the center of a courtyard small marble fountains are scattered. The interior of the Eyüp Sultan Mosque is stunningly beautiful and richly decorated.

An octagonal turbe of Abu Ayyub is decorated with azure and green tiles from Kütahya. The cover of Abu Ayyub’s sarcophagus bears ornamented Arabic inscriptions – a gift from Sultan Mahmud II, while the silver grating for the sarcophagus was gifted by Sultan Selim III. Around the mausoleum sacred Muslim sacred objects are kept, including a footprint of Prophet Muhammad’s leg. On Fridays half an hour prior to the morning prayer a concert by Mehter amateur orchestra.

Address: Islambey Mh., Eyüp Sultan Bulvarı, Eyüp Sultan Meydanı
Opening hours: mosque and turbe Mon-Sun 9 am – 6 pm, except for the time of prayer
Coordinates: 41.047295, 28.934238