valide sultan mosque

I had a late afternoon ramble in Aksaray, a neighbourhood in the Old City. It started out with a specific errand and evolved into a bite to eat along the way and half an hour or so in the Valide Sultan Mosque.

This mosque was designd by the Italian architect Montani and built in 1871.  This magnificent structure was dedicated to the wife of Sultan Mahmut the 2nd, Sultana Pertevniyal.

The caretaker of the mosque gave us a thorough private tour.  The mosque has recently been restored and he was proud to show us the before and after photos of all the work. I was surprised at all the varied rooms.  Our host used the word ‘labyrinth’ in Turkish and it was most apt to describe all the various personal rooms for the Sultan’s use beyond the main prayer space.  With some encouragement he fetched the key to the Sultan’s private hamam where the Sultan was able to perform his ablutions before prayers. Great to see these beautiful spaces and wonderful to explore and photograph every nook and cranny.