Until recently, the famous Sultan Ahmet Mosque held the title as the largest mosque in Turkey with a capacity of 10,000 people. However, things have now changed and with splendid architectural designs by two female architects, Bahar Mızrak and Hayriye Gül Totu, the newly built Camlica Masjid in Uskudar, Istanbul holds the title as the largest Mosque in Turkey.
As the Mosque is located at the top of a hill, it is possible to see it from almost anywhere in Istanbul. Getting here is very simple. If you wish to get here by car, then there’s good news; the Mosque has a car park that accommodates 3500 cars. Getting here by public transport is also very simple. Take the bus 15C or one of the Dolmus buses from outside the Uskudar Ferry Pier.
As soon as you arrive, you will see the minarets, domes and white walls of the Mosque boasting it’s splendid architecture which is a mix of Seljuk and Ottoman design.
As the Mosque is very large in size, it’s actually referred to as a complex. This is not your regular Mosque which only consists of a prayer hall, toilets, washing facilities and a courtyard. This Mosque has really stepped up its game in making the complex a holistic one. A Mosque which not only consists of a prayer room, washing facilities, toilets and a courtyard, but also has a separate garden, kids play area, an open-air rooftop with amazing views, a museum (still being built at time of writing this), a library, a separate study area, an art gallery and many lounging areas.
The entire complex is really breathtaking and can easily take around 45 minutes in walking around to see it all.
One of the best parts of the Mosque, which comes at no surprise, is the main prayer hall. With multiple entrances and far away from any lounge areas, it really is an entirely different world once inside. Some of the most magnificent chandeliers hang from the ceiling with the prayer hall surrounded by perfectly designed stained glass windows. These two things complement each other and provide a blend of natural and artificial lighting to help visitors and devoted worshipers settle into a peaceful state of spirituality.
As the Mosque just opened in March 2019, it still does not have as many tourists as other sites in Istanbul. I predict that in the coming years, many will stumble upon this Mosque and it will soon turn into a tourist hot spot.
The Mosque is located in the Asian side of Istanbul and therefore requires you to take a ferry from Eminonu to Uskudar and then a bus from Uskudar to the Masjid. Entry to the Masjid for all is free.