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Kılıç Ali Paşa Complex

The Kılıç Ali Paşa complex, which Kılıç Ali Paşa (the grand admiral of the Ottoman Navy) had built by the architect Sinan in the Tophane Square in 1581, consists of a mosque, a tomb, a sabil, a madrasah (Muslim theological school), and a Turkish bath. The mosque, the main unit of the complex, is located in the middle of  the courtyard. During the road construction works in 1956, the frame of the courtyard lost its original shape when its wall was moved back. The last prayer section of the mosque is covered by five domes, and the porch is covered with lead encircling the last prayer section in three directions creating this section’s ceiling structure. The central dome of main space of the mosque is 12.70m in diameter, which has a rectanglular plan, is placed on a pulley with windows. The weight of the dome is distributed on four piers with supporting pendentives. It is thought that the mosque was an improved sample of the architectural aesthetics of the Hagia Sophia and is decorated with Iznik tiles from 16th century workmanship.

The mosque is completely lit by a total of 147 windows, 24 of which are exist on the pulley of its dome. A historical beacon belonging to the 16th century, which can be found at the Naval Museum of Istanbul today, was also used for lightening. In addition, during the renovation period in the 19th century, the minaret of the mosque with its single balcony was renewed and the Baroque ornaments were added to it.

The tomb of the complex, situated on an octagonal plan with cut-stone, located on the side overlooking the sea, belongs to Kılıç Ali Paşa. There is another building established on a square plan, located on the seaward side; it consists of 18 cells and is called the madrasah (religious school) of the complex. The bath of the complex is a building covered by a dome located on the right-hand side of the mosque. It is thought that the sabils existing on the courtyard’s wall belong to the complex. 

Translated by Mr. Irfan KOKSAL


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