The Şehzade Mosque is a 16th-century Ottoman imperial mosque located in the district of Fatih, on the third hill of Istanbul. It was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent as a memorial to his son Şehzade Mehmed who died in 1543. It is sometimes referred to as the “Prince’s Mosque” in English. In a June 2016 attack, the windows of the mosque were shattered.
The construction of the Şehzade Complex (külliye) was ordered by the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent as a memorial to his favorite son Şehzade Mehmed (born 1521) who died in 1543 while returning to Istanbul after a victorious military campaign in Hungary. Mehmed was the eldest son of Suleiman’s only legal wife Hürrem Sultan – although not his eldest son – and before his untimely death he was primed to accept the sultanate following Suleiman’s reign. Suleiman is said to have personally mourned the death of Mehmed for forty days at his temporary tomb in Istanbul, the site upon which the imperial architect Mimar Sinan would construct a lavish mausoleum to Mehmed as one part of a larger mosque complex dedicated to the princely heir. The complex was Sinan’s first important imperial commission and ultimately one of his most ambitious architectural works, even though it was designed early in his long career.