Turkey is home to some of the most beautiful mosques in the world from the mighty Blue Mosque in Istanbul to the 14th-century wonder of Bursa. Not only does Turkey have some of the most captivating mosques in the Islamic world, it also boasts some of the most historically rich; each with its own story and unique past. Whether you’re planning to visit Turkey or have already done so, here are some of the nation’s most beautiful mosques.
7 of Turkey’s Most Beautiful Mosques
1. The Blue Mosque – Istanbul
Istanbul’s Blue Mosque, also known as Sultan Ahmed Mosque, is one of Turkey’s most recognisable landmarks and most beautiful places of worship. Towering over Istanbul’s Old City, the Blue Mosque was erected in 1616 under Sultan Ahmed as a symbol of the Ottoman’s renewed power in Istanbul. One of its most defining characteristics is its pale blue colour that includes more than 20,000 blue tiles inside, 6 massive minarets and stunning interior lighting.
2. Selimiye Mosque – Edirne
Located northwest Turkey’s Edirne and constructed through the mid-1500s, the Selimiye Mosque is truly in a league of its own. Bearing a strong resemblance to Istanbul’s famous Hagia Sophia, Selimiye is known for its classic Ottoman Imperial architecture and enormous dome. Not only that, but Selimiye’s minarets are the tallest in Turkey. Inside you’ll find breathtaking decorations including Iznik tiles and stunning Islamic artwork.
3. Grand Mosque of Bursa – Bursa
Built in the centre of the former Ottoman capital, the Grand Mosque of Bursa is a sight to behold. Constructed between 1396 and 1399, it’s not only one of Turkey’s most beautiful mosques but also one of the oldest. It is recognisable by its unique Seljuk style and even has its own UNESCO status. Ottoman Sultan Bayezid I built it to mark the victory over Nicopolis, which served as a major turning point. He intended to make the mosque as grand as the victory and that, he did.
4. Hagia Sophia – Istanbul
Hagia Sophia is one of the most recognisable mosques in the world and serves as a symbol of Istanbul’s complicated and diverse past. Originating as a Byzantine church in the 6th century of then Constantinople, it is one of Turkey’s oldest and most beloved places of worship. In the 1400 years that it’s been around, it’s survived a massive earthquake, a transformation from church to mosque and countless battles. Today it remains one of the most beautiful mosques in the country and is home to some of Turkey’s most beloved artworks.
5. Kocatepe Mosque – Ankara
Sat in the heart of Ankara’s Kocatepe Quarter, the Kocatepe Mosque is not only the largest in the city, but one of the most beautiful in the country. Dating to 1967, it’s relatively new in comparison to the others on this list. However, that doesn’t subtract from the beauty inside which is known for its neo-gothic qualities and modern-Islamic design. In the decades since its erection, it’s become a symbol of Ankara and a beloved landmark. It can also be seen from just about anywhere in the city. Not only that, but the worship house can accommodate up to 24,000 worshippers at any given time.
6. Sabanci Central Mosque – Adana
Turkey’s second largest mosque is located in Adana and is breathtakingly beautiful with its opulent marble and gold leaf detail. Constructed by the late, great Sakip Sabanci, the mosque also represents one of Turkey’s wealthiest and philanthropic dynasties in addition to being one of the nation’s most beloved worship sites. Its most notable attributes are its sleek and modern design that meshes with traditional Islamic architecture and geometry.
7. Camlica Mosque – Istanbul
Completed in 2019, Camlica Mosque holds the title for the largest mosque in the country. With a 63,000 person capacity, 6 minarets and a whopping 70 domes; its beauty and grandeur is one that can only be understood by experiencing it. Not only is its size incomprehensible, but it also boasts some of the largest gates for a place of worship in the world. It also contains its own art gallery, library, conference hall, art studio and a full museum. The mosque may be brand new, but it certainly pays homage to the nation’s history.