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[Ottoman Architecture] [Ottoman Architecture] [Late period]


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The first examples of the baroque and rococo art in Istanbul were non-religious buildings such as fountains, water-tanks, kiosks and residences. Nuruosmaniye Mosque is the first religious building with included baroque elements. Its construction began in 1748 during the reign of Mahmut I and was completed in 1755 when Osman III was on the throne. The architect of the mosque was Simeon Kalfa, an Ottoman citizen of Greek origin. During the construction of the mosque, the French architect Le Roi, who was working in Istanbul for the construction of the French Embassy at the time, saw the building and liked its dome. The plan of the mosque is not quite different from the earlier examples. The internal space was planned as a square. The dome with a diameter of 25,5 meters, standing on four pendentives, is carried by the corner walls. The mihrab protrudes towards outside as a hemisphere. In the earlier examples, such protrusion used to be in a quadrangular shape. The building stands on a high platform and has a full view of the environment. The mosque is led through stairs. There is a yard inside the mosque, covered with 14 domes and shaped as horseshoe. The elliptical shape of the yard, the unusual protrusion of the mihrab with its polygonal body, the ramp to the sultan’s meeting room which has a curvilinear shape, high rim of the dome standing on four great arches and baroque elements in elaboration are kind of applications that initiated the Turkish baroque style in religious architecture. The building is considered as a plastic element, besides its religious function.

Nuruosmaniye is a kulliyah, including a tomb, imaret, madrasah, library, fountain and shops. The sultan’s meeting room is connected to the inside of the mosque through a passage with a slope. This slope gives a fluctuating effect. The classical Ottoman forms and baroque forms are beautifully merged in the building; however, baroque features prevail anyway.

Nuruosmaniye Fountain and Water-tank: It was built in 1755 and is destroyed for the most part. It is located on a platform. The fountain was constructed with six plans inside one another to give a perspective, which is concentrated on the point where the water flows. Constructional additions and destruction is strongly felt.

The Tulip Era elaborations, which emerged in a naturalist style during the reign of Ahmet III, constituted the earliest differentiation in the Ottoman buildings, and later, during the reign of Mahmut I, baroque and rococo style prevailed especially in water buildings. Nuruosmaniye Mosque, however, is important as the earliest application of such styles in a religious and monumental building.

During the reign of Osman III, the Kiosk of Osman III inside the Topkapi Palace was built with obvious influences of baroque and rococo style. The kiosk is located above the walls which separate the Gulhane Park and surround the southern part. Baroque and rococo were important in the arrangements in the Topkapi Palace. The construction of the kiosk, dated as early as 1754-1755, began during the reign of Mahmut I. Baroque influences in the architecture and elaborations of the kiosk are obvious. The plan consists of a reception hall (divanhane) in the middle and two rooms on the sides. The rooms are not integrated with the reception hall; they are connected to outside through small passages like balconies. There are a lot of window inside the reception hall, which is luminous. The fluctuating roof gives a baroque character to the facade. On the two sides of the door there are Corinth columns and a pediment fluctuating and protruding towards outside above it. On the side walls, where various paintings are suspended, there are fountains. These paintings include architectural drawings with perspective. There are also some paintings below the fringe. The inside of the kiosk is highly elaborated with traditional Ottoman figures, as well as baroque and rococo patterns, such as oysters, S and C figures, pencil work and paintings with perspective. The frames on the walls are elaborated with golden gilding. On the wooden ceiling there is a cage work and rosettes between quadrangles. Side rooms are also elaborated with golden gilding on cornices and ceiling. There are paintings of medallions on the walls. Plaster fireplaces are baroque in style and their inner parts are covered with china brought from Netherlands.