Dolmabahçe Mosque’s original construction was initiated by Bezm-i Alem Valide Sultan, the mother of Sultan Abdülmecid (1823-1861). Upon her death, it’s construction was continued by her son. It is located in the southern part of the Dolmabahce Palace, situated on the coast. The mosque was opened for prayer services on March 23rd, 1855. Its architect is Garabet Balyan, a member of the Balyan family who built various structures for the Ottoman Empire.
The Dolmabahçe Mosque is adorned with various items of both Baroque and Ampir styles, which are reflected in the architectural design of that period. Also, an emergent architectural modernity in the mosque is its circular window design. Such a design had rarely been seen in mosques and civil architecture before this time. The mosque has two fluted minarets, similar to Corinthian column heads with a single balcony. In addition, the forecourt of the mosque, which was also seen in other imperial mosques (selatin cami) and the fountain were torn down during road construction works. Also, the muvakkithane (time keeping room) was carried to the seaside.
The Dolmabahçe Mosque not only reflects the architectural style of the period during which was built, but also showcases a very distinctive architectural style with its circular window design which had not ever been used in mosque architecture until this time.
Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL