Take a look at the impressive Valens Aqueduct, a Roman landmark just round the corner from this hidden gem of a mosque.
On the Third Hill of Istanbul, close to Süleyman the Magnificent’s crowning glory Süleymaniye Camii, Sehzade Camii stands in memory of his son Şehzade Mehmed, who died in 1543 at the age of 22.
Both mosques were built by the master architect Mimar Sinan. Sehzade Camii was in fact his first major work. It is one of the less visited mosques in Istanbul, but is a lovely destination: it’s a short walk downhill from Süleymaniye, and its courtyard and symmetrical interior make a quiet contrast to the former’s grandiloquence.
Sehzade was in line for the sultanate after his father, as he was the eldest son by Süleyman's legal wife Hürrem. Süleyman was said to have mourned at a temporary tomb for forty days after his son's death, before Mimar Sinan constructed an elaborate mausoleum. This is now in a funerary garden to the south of the mosque, along with four others.
The mausoleum is an unusual octagonal structure, featuring a fluted dome, multicoloured stonework and a triple-arched portico; the interior is decorated with cuerda seca tiles and the windows are of stained glass. Above Sehzade’s tomb is a rectangular wooden throne, symbolising his unfulfilled inheritance.
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