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The Eyup Sultan Mosque is located in Eyup district of Istanbul on the European side of the Bosphorus, close to the Golden Horn. This complex was built where it is believed Ebu Eyyub el-Ensari also known as Eyup Sultan, who died in 674 during the first Muslim siege of Constantinople, and was a close companion of the Prophet Mohammed, is buried. Immediately adjacent to the mosque is the tomb of Eyup Sultan, which contains some items that once belonged to the Prophet Mohammed. This is the most significant and sacred Islamic site in Istanbul.

Eyup Sultan Mosque

Eyup Sultan was part of the Prophet Mohammed’s inner circle, and there is general belief that he commanded the Arab army during the 668 to 669 siege of Constantinople, during which he died. Written references regarding the presence of his tomb stretch back as far as the 12th century, but knowledge of its exact location was lost for many years. It was considered a privilege to be buried so close to such an important site resulting in a number of cemeteries being created next to the mosque.

Construction of the Eyup Sultan Mosque commenced after the Ottoman conquest of Constantinople in 1453 and took five years to build. Mehmet the Conqueror ordered it to be built in this place, as it is thought to be the location where the remains of Ebu Eyyub el-Ensari are buried. The original mosque was destroyed by an earthquake in 1776 and had to be rebuilt.

Just outside of the Eyup Sultan mosque is a small bazaar. The mosque complex is accessed through a large doorway into a courtyard, From here the mosque itself is on the right and built in the Baroque style, with the tomb of Eyup Sultan to the left. The mosque can become very crowded on religious days especialy during Ramadan. Fridays, Islam’s holy day can also become very busy. This adds to excitement of the site, bet better avoided for those wishing to study the complex itself.

Eyup Sultan Mosque 1 Eyup Sultan Mosque 2 Eyup Sultan Mosque 4 Eyup Sultan Mosque 3

There is no charge for entrance, but donations are encouraged, and very much appreciated. There are protocols that visitors need to be aware of. Please see our Blue Mosque page for guidance to non Muslims visiting a mosque.