Laleli - a district in Istanbul - the most Russian place in the city. It is here that there are a lot of signboards and inscriptions in our opinion and Russian-speaking staff. It is also a great place for inexpensive shopping. But this does not exhaust its advantages. From here, you can easily reach the main attractions located in Sultanahmet. And here there is something to see, in particular, a major historical monument - the old Laleli mosque, which gave the name to the entire district.
Laleli is located in the historical part of Istanbul, between the Aksaray and Beyazit squares. Officially, this is a quarter in the Fatih area. It is a noisy place with many small shops selling almost everything. From morning till night, the cries of the barkers offering services or buy something from them do not subside. Most understand in Russian. Prices are initially called high, but they can be greatly reduced if you know how to bargain.
In addition to shops in Laleli, there are many restaurants and cafes where you can try dishes of Turkish cuisine. And if you get nostalgia for your homeland, feel free to go to Russian restaurants serving borsch, pancakes, dumplings, pickles and our other dishes. And here lovers of nightlife will like it, because There are clubs and discos.
Kapali Charshi (Kapali Carsi, aka Grand Bazaar) is the largest indoor market in the world. It was opened in 1461 and spread over an area of 200,000 sq.m.
Inside there are about 5 thousand shops and shops. Here are just a few of the items that can be purchased: souvenirs, bags, oriental sweets, jewelry, gold and silver products, clothes and shoes for adults and children, carpets, handmade ceramic products, leather products, antiques. Sheepskin coats and cashmere coats are in great demand.
In the Laleli district there are several attractions from the second echelon of Istanbul, however they are very interesting. Firstly, it is the Laleli mosque, which gave the name to the entire microdistrict. Built in 1763 by the Turkish Sultan Mustafa III. The diameter of the dome is 12.5 meters, the height is 24.5 meters. The construction is made in the style of the Ottoman baroque. It stands on a high base, inside which are many shops and cafes.
Another interesting place is the Mireleion Monastery Church (Bodrum-Jami), erected in 922. For a small fee, you can view it from the inside.
- Valide Sultan Mosque (Valide Sultan, built in 1663),
- Maiden Stone
- the ruins of the church of St. Polyect,
- Pillar of Martian,
- Ataturk Boulevard,
- Aksaray Square.
If this doesn’t seem enough to you, it’s enough to walk a couple of kilometers and you will find yourself in the Sultanahmet district, which is simply full of ancient monuments.
How to get to Laleli
The microdistrict is located in the historical part of the city. From Sultanahmet you can get to Laleli by the T1 light rail line (the stop is also called the area).
1. Istanbul Airport.
The IST-1 Y bus runs from Istanbul Airport to Laleli. You need to get to the stop at the Aksaray or Yenikapı metro stations. And from there 10-15 minutes on foot. Read more in this article.
It is even easier to do this by taxi, which are available in the arrivals area. It is also possible to book a transfer from the airport to the hotel.
2. Sabiha Gokcen Airport.
From Sabiha Airport you can reach Laleli in several ways, it all depends on where you live.
a) City buses MR60 or 132H to the Pendik station of the Marmaray train, which takes you to Sirkeci station and change to a light rail or Yenikapi station.
b) Havabus bus to Taksim. Next, take the M2 metro line to Vezneciler or Yenikapı Station.
These methods are described in more detail in this article.
If you are several people, it is easier to share the costs and take a taxi. A shuttle service is also available at a fixed cost.
The area is popular among buyers of Turkish goods, for whom this trip is usually not a tourist trip, but a job. In this regard, there will be no time to look for housing on the spot, and it is not easy. Therefore, we recommend that you do this in advance.
In general, there are hotels in the Laleli district for every taste and budget. Various options are presented from chic 5 stars with all infrastructure to cheap guesthouses with a minimum of amenities, suitable only for spending the night.
The best hotels in the Laleli area:
History of the Laleli Mosque
Laleli Mosque (tour: Laleli Camii) was built by the architect Mehmed Tahir-aga in the period from the XVIII century by order of Sultan Mustafa III. The mosque complex includes a madrasah, imaret - a kitchen for people in need, a fountain and a mausoleum. Some of the buildings of the religious complex were destroyed, others were repeatedly reconstructed.
Laleli is the last complex that was built at the expense of the ruling dynasty. In some sources, this mosque is called the "Tulip Mosque", this name is attributed to two reasons:
- because of the shape of the dome of the mosque, similar to a flower bud,
- Translated from Turkish laleli means tulip.
According to another version, the mosque was named Laleli in honor of the saint, whose grave is located near the mosque. This is the rare case when the mosque was not named after the sultan who ordered its construction.
What does Laleli Mosque look like in Istanbul
Laleli Mosque in Istanbul, made in the style of the so-called Ottoman baroque. These motifs prevail in the design of the external facades of the mosque. Most of the architectural elements are in the classical Ottoman tradition. But, inside the mosque, baroque predominates - an exquisite style in which Mehmed Tahir-aga liked to work. Inside the walls of the mosque are fully lined with colored marble.
The mosque described has square hall for prayer and courtyard rectangular in shape, which is surrounded by a gallery, in the center of which is fountain for ritual ablutions. The basement of the mosque is very high, which indicates the influence of Western architectural trends. The mosque has many corridors and small rooms. A huge dome with twenty-four small windows rises above the prayer hall.
In close proximity to the Laleli mosque is located mausoleum with the tombs of Sultan Mustafa III and his son Selim III, who was killed because he carried out radical reforms in the army.
How to get to the Laleli mosque
Laleli Mosque is located on the fourth city hill, in European Fatih area, Eminenyu County, Laleli microdistrict. The building of the mosque is located on the corner of the street of the same name, and you can get to the mosque either by light rail, Laleli stop, or walk.
The route to the mosque will differ depending on the departure point:
- If you get to the mosque from the airport called Sabiha Gokcen, then you can follow this route: take the Havatash airport bus to Taksim Square, then take the funicular and light rail or bus.
- Getting from the Harem bus station, Khaidarpash railway station or Kadikoy pier you need to get to Eminenu Marina by water transport and then take the light rail.
- From Sirkeci Train Station Laleli can be reached by direct tram.
- From Sultanahmet You can get to Laleli either by light rail or on foot, such a walk will take about 20 minutes.
- From Taksim and Beyoglu Square You can get to Laleli by light rail or by bus.
- From Yenikapi Pier Laleli can be reached on foot in 15 minutes.
Photo and description
Laleli Mosque is located in Fatih District, in the center of Istanbul. It was built on the orders of Sultan Mustafa III in 1760-1763 in the manner of the Ottoman Baroque. Turkish architect Mehmed Tahir-aga was responsible for the building design and construction work. Laleli Mosque was part of an entire architectural complex. In addition to the building for the offering of prayers, there were also madrassas, an imaret (a dining room, where any urban poor could get a portion of food) and a mausoleum. All these buildings were seriously damaged during the fire of 1783, but they were rebuilt right there. The fire of 1911 destroyed the madrasah, and during subsequent road works some of the auxiliary buildings at the mosque were demolished.
The mosque was erected on a high base over a complex of various shops, the rent for which was used to financially support the Laleli prayer house and the buildings nearby. In the center of the mosque is a large hall supported by eight huge columns. A rectangular courtyard adjoins the mosque, which is twice the size of the prayer hall. The yard is surrounded by a gallery. Its dominant feature is a fountain used for ritual purposes. The mosque itself is built of brick and stone. It is crowned by a dome that rests on an octagonal drum. Two minarets rise above the portico.
The interior of the mosque is decorated with colorful marble of red, blue and yellow shades and semiprecious stones - onyx and jasper. The mihrab is made of marble. The interior of the mosque is well lit. Light penetrates through numerous simple and stained glass windows.
The mausoleum where the Sultan Mustafa III and his family rested has survived to our time. This building can be seen near the mosque.