Istanbul Sights

Üsküdar

  • Neighborhood/Street

Published 07/06/2016

Fodor's Review

One of the oldest inhabited areas on the Asian shore, Üsküdar takes its name from the 7th-century BC settlement of Scutari, though nothing now remains of that ancient town. Today, Üsküdar is a conservative residential district with a handful of noteworthy Ottoman mosques. Though still rather chaotic, the waterfront area has undergone substantial renovation to accommodate the late 2013 opening of the Marmaray, a rail tunnel under the Bosphorus that transports passengers from Üsküdar to Sirkeci in just four minutes. The ferry landing is dominated by Sinan's pretty, if somewhat dark, Mihrimah Sultan Camii, also known as the İskele Camii (built 1548). The large Yeni Valide Camii from 1710 and another Sinan mosque, the small, beautifully situated Şemsi Paşa Camii, are a short walk southwest along the waterfront.

The most architecturally significant mosque in the district, Sinan's Atık Valide Camii from 1583, is a 20-minute gradually uphill walk from the waterfront on Hakimiyeti

Milliye Caddesi and then on Dr. Fahri Atabey Caddesi. There's a pleasant tea garden in the mosque courtyard, and several other buildings in the complex are in the process of being restored. Another couple hundred yards to the left and then up Çavuşdere Caddesi is the 17th-century Çinili Cami, or "Tiled Mosque," which has splendid İznik tiles. Though the mosque itself is usually kept locked to protect the tiles, it's possible to access the porticos and peek in through the windows.

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Sight Information

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Istanbul, Istanbul, Turkey

Published 07/06/2016

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