This visually spectacular mosque is the city’s most groundbreaking religious building in more than a century for a variety of reasons. Set in the leafy tranquillity of the Karacaahmet cemetery, the mosque’s glass walls – each one lacquered with a Koranic verse – are bounded only by the trees beyond. Inside, the finely engraved minbar prayer pulpit looks like an installation from a contemporary art gallery, while looping chandeliers hang lopsided from a spellbinding dome that topped off the complex in 2009. Perhaps more interesting is the fact that its western-educated designer, Zeynep Fadilliolu, wanted to design a mosque, adding to a design portfolio that includes many of the city’s coolest stores, hotels and restaurants. More surprising still is the fact that Zeynep is a woman, and the Sakirin is Istanbul’s first female-designed mosque. Subsequent coverage of this rather radical model has been overwhelmingly positive, and dozens of young architects have submitted their own avant-garde designs to the city’s religious authorities.
- Karacaahmet Cemetery,
- +90 212 521 1121
- Opening Times
- no formal visiting hours but avoid Friday morning prayers.