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Nusretiye Mosque

In the reign of Sultan Mahmud II (1784-1839), Nusretiye Mosque in Tophane (1822-26) was built by Kirkor Kalfa between 1823 and 1826 as part of a larger project to rebuild the Tophane artillery barracks that burnt in the Firuzaga fire. Hacı Mıgırdich Charkian (1799-1899) worked as assistant architect and chief draughtsman for the project. The name of mosque Nusretiye, meaning Victory, referred to the Sultan’s victory over the rebellious janissaries the previous year.

The mosque, constructed primarily of cut stone, signifies a transition from Ottoman Baroque to Empire style. This mosque has two minarets located in the center of the facades of the personnel section and the special place in a mosque, where the sultan prayed (hünkar mahfili). Raised on tall square foundations, the fluted minaret shafts have bulbous bases and double balconies with wavy balustrades. To the northeast, the entrance to the small side courtyard is flanked by twin structures of the public fountain kiosk (sebil) on the right, and the room of the timekeeper (muvakkithane) on the left. They were positioned originally across the street and moved adjacent to the mosque during the reign of Abdülaziz I (1861-1879). A fountain for ablutions (şadırvan) was built in the courtyard of the mosque in 1848.

Inside, the prayer hall is crowned with a single dome, raised on four grand arches that spring from the four corners. The narthex to the northwest has women's prayer section flanking the entrance and the muezzin's platform at the gallery level. The grand arch above the narthex is carried on two piers and three arches; the larger central arch mirrors the arch of the mihrab semi-dome across the hall. Along the southwest wall, to the right, is the sultan's lodge: a balcony with gilt screens entered from the sultan's kiosk. The mihrab and minbar are carved of white marble and decorated with flowers and gilt garlands. The gold Celi-styled inscriptions are written over a dark background by the famous calligrapher Mustafa Rakim, who gave lessons to Sultan Mahmud II, and Şakir Efendi. The inscriptions consisting of twelve couplets carved above the main gate of the mosque were completed by Yesârîzâde Mustafa Efendi. This mosque was restored between 1955 and 1958, and again in 1980 and 1992.

Reference:
Pars Tuğlacı, The Role of the Balyan Family in Ottoman Architecture. Istanbul: Yeni Çığır Bookstore, 1990. Doğan Kuban, Osmanlı Mimarisi. Istanbul: Yem Yayın, 2007.

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