The New Mosque

It's so big and the area so crowded, I had trouble getting far enough back to get a photo!
It’s so big and the area so crowded, I had trouble getting far enough back to get a photo!
The perfect break! Baklava and tea.
The perfect break! Baklava and tea.

In America, we think of something that’s 100 years old as being “very old.” Here in Istanbul, 100 years is barely considered “dusty.”

The Yeni Cami (Yen ee Jam ee) is one of the important items on the skyline, and shoreline, of Istanbul. The name means New Mosque, though “new” is clearly relative. It was completed in 1663. It was originally named the Valide Sultan Mosque. Begun in 1597, there were starts and stops, plus some partial reconstructions along the way, gaining it the name New Valide Sultan Mosque. Eventually, the population just called it the New Mosque. It’s an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü quarter of Istanbul, Turkey. Located on the Golden Horn, the mosque is right at the at the Eminönü Metro tram stop and within view of the Galata Bridge.

The exterior of the mosque boasts 66 domes and semi domes, as well as two minarets. You can, BTW, know the importance of a mosque by the number of minarets (towers). Only a sultan (or his family, who also carry the title of sultan, even the mother and daughters) could have a mosque with two minarets. Imagine how important that makes the Hagia Sophia (with four minarets) and The Blue Mosque (with 6).

This is where the ablutions really take place. Men were lined up to wash their feet, face, eyes and ears as required before prayers. Hey, at least they are clean! Bonus, you can almost always find a public rest room (WC) at a mosque. There may be a small donation to use it.
This is where the ablutions really take place. Men were lined up to wash their feet, face, eyes and ears as required before prayers. Hey, at least they are clean! Bonus, you can almost always find a public rest room (WC) at a mosque. There may be a small donation to use it.

An elegant şadırvan (ablution fountain) stands in the center courtyard, but is only ornamental. The actual ritual purifications are performed with water taps on the south wall of the mosque. Stone blocks supplied from the island of Rhodes were used in the construction of the mosque. The complete complex consists of a hospital (no longer in use), primary school, public baths, a türbe (cemetery), two public fountains and a market (The Spice Bazaar). The public square has undergone a recent renovation and the two fountains are now modern and new. Much of the rest was blocked from the public during renovations.

This woman sells wheat grain to feed the pigeons and they seem very well fed indeed. Fatih is the name of the district that the New Mosque is in. Belediyesi translates as "municipality." Odd the Turkish words I know, huh?
This woman sells wheat grain to feed the pigeons and they seem very well fed indeed. Fatih is the name of the district that the New Mosque is in. Belediyesi translates as “municipality.” Odd the Turkish words I know, huh?
Found this on the internet: "If you stop by the Yeni Camii at the entrance of the Spice bazaar (a.k.a The Egyptian Bazzar) you will surely observe the numerous flocks of pigeons feeding around the mosque. This is one of the most true and consistent vision of Istanbul, the pigeons and hence the pigeon feeders. The crowd of pigeons here is tremendous and honestly the season doesn’t matter at all. Here pigeons always rely on constant food provided by the locals or the tourists. Wheat supply is sold for very little money in mobile stalls ..... Continuous feeding ends up with overwhelming pigeons but still you feel like feeding them. This is one of the musts I do whenever I am in the neighbourhood. I buy a plate of wheat and scatter it around on the pigeons like throwing a frisbee. After your visit to the mosque spend some time with the pigeons and they will relax you while you watch the hordes fly from one feeder to the other. It might even be scary at some times as the pigeons swoosh before you, just inches above your head, or face. I always believe that this is a magic show that everyone has to experience for themselves."   http://www.spottedbylocals.com/istanbul/the-pigeon-feeder/
Found this on the internet: “If you stop by the Yeni Camii at the entrance of the Spice bazaar (a.k.a The Egyptian Bazzar) you will surely observe the numerous flocks of pigeons feeding around the mosque. This is one of the most true and consistent vision of Istanbul, the pigeons and hence the pigeon feeders. The crowd of pigeons here is tremendous and honestly the season doesn’t matter at all.
Here pigeons always rely on constant food provided by the locals or the tourists. Wheat supply is sold for very little money in mobile stalls ….. Continuous feeding ends up with overwhelming pigeons but still you feel like feeding them. This is one of the musts I do whenever I am in the neighbourhood. I buy a plate of wheat and scatter it around on the pigeons like throwing a frisbee.
After your visit to the mosque spend some time with the pigeons and they will relax you while you watch the hordes fly from one feeder to the other. It might even be scary at some times as the pigeons swoosh before you, just inches above your head, or face. I always believe that this is a magic show that everyone has to experience for themselves.”
The entrance to the court yard. So many steps everywhere!
The entrance to the court yard. So many steps everywhere!
It was a busy day and I didn't go inside.
It was a busy day and I didn’t go inside.

The Spice Bazaar

Spice Bazaar has a total of 85 shops selling spices, Turkish delight and other sweets, jewellery, souvenirs, and dried fruits and nuts.
Spice Bazaar has a total of 85 shops selling spices, Turkish delight and other sweets, jewellery, souvenirs, and dried fruits and nuts.

4/4/2015

The local name of the bazaar, built in 1664.
The local name of the bazaar, built in 1664.

The world knows this ancient market place at The Spice Bazaar, located behind Yeni Camii (Yen ee Jam ee, New Mosque) near the Galata Bridge. But to those who live in Istanbul, this is Mısır Çarşısı (Musur Char shuh suh) , meaning Egyptian Bazaar. Located in the Eminönü quarter of the Fatih district, it is the second most famous covered shopping complex, after the Grand Bazaar.

According to Wikipedia: The building was endowed to the foundation of the New Mosque, and got its name “Egyptian Bazaar” (Turkish: Mısır Çarşısı) because it was built with the revenues from the Ottoman eyalet of Egypt in 1660. The word mısır has a double meaning in Turkish: “Egypt” and “maize”. This is why sometimes the name is wrongly translated as “Corn Bazaar”. The bazaar was (and still is) the center for spice trade in Istanbul, but in the last years more and more shops of other type are replacing the spice shops.

Unfortunately, it’s mostly a tourist trap these days—mandatory to see, of course, but prices are high and it’s not where the locals shop.

The building itself is part of the complex of the New Mosque. The revenues from the rented shops inside the bazaar building are used for the up keep of the mosque. This seems to be a common scheme and perhaps Christian churches should do the same.
The building itself is part of the complex of the New Mosque. The revenues from the rented shops inside the bazaar building are used for the up keep of the mosque. This seems to be a common scheme and perhaps Christian churches should do the same.
You can almost hear the sea from this seller's stand. If the New Mosque (Yeni Camii) wasn't in the way, you could see it. In a word: fresh.
You can almost hear the sea from this seller’s stand. If the New Mosque (Yeni Camii) wasn’t in the way, you could see it. In a word: fresh.
This is Bazad panir--white cheese. No Turk worth his salt would start the day without this and a handful of olives.
This is Beyaz Panir–white cheese. No Turk worth his salt would start the day without this and a handful of olives with his çay (chai, tea).

 

You may enjoy this article on buying spices here at the bazaar. http://fxcuisine.com/default.asp?language=2&Display=77&resolution=high
You may enjoy this article on buying spices here at the bazaar.
Just outside the entrance is a new square, complete with benches and modern fountains. This was completed about a year ago. On this perfect early spring day, it was a busy place.
Just outside the entrance is a new square, with benches and modern fountains. This was completed about a year ago. On this perfect early spring day, it was a busy place.

Flower market and park, 2015-04-03, 6

Just outside the Spice Market was a flower market--which also had pets.
Just outside the Spice Market was a flower market–which also had pets…….
...and leeches. Ewwwww.
…and leeches. Ewwwww.
Pet supplies and flower seeds.
Pet supplies and flower seeds.
I am happy to report that I can actually read this sign, and not just the English translation at the bottom.
I am happy to report that I can actually read this sign, and not just the English translation at the bottom. Progress!