EYUP SULTAN MOSQUE
The Mosque and Mausoleum of Eyüp Sultan, located outside the corner where the land walls meet the walls along the Golden Horn, is considered a sacred site for Moslems. Eyüp-el-Ensari was a standard-bearer of Mohammed and he died-here during an Arabic siege of the city in the 7th century. His grave was discovered at the conquest and later the mausoleum and the first mosque in Istanbul were built on this site. The original mosque was destroyed in an earthquake and the present one was constructed in its place in 1800. On Fridays, holy days for Islam, throngs of the faithful visit the mausoleum. The old trees, flocks of pigeons, the praying believers and the visiting crowds create a mystical and colorful atmosphere around the mosque and the mausoleum. The walls of the mausoleum in the courtyard are covered with tiles from different periods.
Historical sources indicate that in Byzantine times this district was also a holy site where people came to visit the grave of a saint and to pray for rain during times of drought.
The sultans succeeding Mehmet the Conqueror completed their coronation and sword-bearing ceremonies with a visit to the Eyup Sultan Mausoleum.
The vicinity of the mosque and the neighboring hills are occupied by cemeteries. The famous Pierre Loti Cafe is also in this district. The well-known poet and author Loti was enraptured by Istanbul and he came here often to watch the beauties of the Golden Horn of those days. The view from this small cafe and the terrace, particularly during full moon, leaves long-lasting impressions on the visitors.