The Eyup Sultan Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

The Eyup Sultan Mosque is a place of pilgrimage

The Eyup Sultan Mosque is in the upper reaches of the Golden Horn, and has been described as "the holiest shrine in Istanbul". It is said to contain the remains of Eyüp-el-Ensari, the standard bearer of the prophet Mohammed, and is a place of pilgrimage.

People come to pray at the shrine

While serving as commander of the Arab forces during the siege of Constantinople, 668 to 669, Eyüp was killed, and buried on the outskirts of the city. Mehmet the Conqueror built a mosque at the site of Eyüp's grave five years after the conquest, and it became the place where an Ottoman prince would be dressed with the Sword of Osman, signifying his ascension as monarch of the Ottoman Empire.

The view from Pierre Loti

We took the cable car up to the famous Pierre Loti Cafe for lunch, so we could enjoy the amazing view. The well-known poet and author was enraptured by Istanbul, and he often came here to gaze out over the Golden Horn.

The day had started out dull and gloomy, fortunately the sun shone,
just as we were starting lunch

Gabriele balanced on a ledge to take a picture

The mosque is surrounded by  vast cemetery in which many imperial princes and other Ottoman grandees are buried, because of its sacred and historical importance. Later, anyone with the money for a gravesite wanted to be buried here, in order to be close to Eyüp-el-Ensari, and ensure a guaranteed place in the hereafter. Part of the cemetery can be seen behind Gabriele.

Naturally, with so many visitors to the area, there is a large market. 
We couldn't resist checking it out before we caught the ferry home.

Elizabeth Coughlan


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I couldn't resist this one!