Atik Valide Mosque

Istanbul, Turkey

Atik Valide Mosque

The Atik Valide Mosque (Turkish: Atik Valide Camii, Eski Valide Camii) is a 16th century Ottoman imperial mosque located on a hill above the large and densely populated district of Üsküdar, in Istanbul, Turkey. It was built for Nurbanu Sultan, the wife of Sultan Selim II and formed part of a large complex that included a madrasa, guest-rooms and a double caravanseray. The mosque was designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. Planning began in 1571 for a small mosque with a single minaret. The mosque was subsequently expanded and was not completed until 1586, three years after Nurbanu's death.

The Atik Valide Mosque (name translation: Old Queen Mother Mosque) was one of the most extensive mosque complexes in Istanbul area. The mosque was built for Nurbanu Sultan, the Venetian-born wife of Selim II and the mother of Murad III. She was the first valide sultan (queen mother) that exercised effective rule over the Ottoman Empire from the harem during the period known as the Sultanate of Women.

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