Istanbul Travel Guide

Fountains in Istanbul

  • Fountain of Ahmed III

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Cesmesi

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Cesmi Detay

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque sadirvan detay

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Sebili

  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque Su Sebili

  • Fountain Inscription

  • German Fountain

  • Fountain in Yildiz Palace

Ottomans enlarged water diagram and built fountains in all of the streets after the conquest of Istanbul. According to the writings of Evliya Celebi, Fatih built 200, Beyazid II built 70 and Kanuni Sultan Suleyman built 700 fountains.

Fountain was a center of social intercourse
Ottoman documents say that in the 16th century in particular the Ottoman government favoured supplying public fountains rather than private homes with mains water. This made the local fountain an focal point of every district. In İstanbul, the local fountain was a center of social intercourse. Lots of fountains were built in 16th and 18th centuries because of the increase of water usage. Most of the Istanbul’s fountains are with inscription.

Ussaki Fountain is a masterpiece of calligraphy
Oldest surviving one among those fountains is a fountain dated 1485 which is located next to Davut Pasa Mosque. The works of famous calligraphists over fountains take attention. For example; Ussaki Fountain dated 1562 on Samatya Avenue, Yedikule is a masterpiece of calligraphy with its inscription although it does not have much importance of architecture. This calligraphy belongs to Ahmed Karahisari. That fountain is also important because it is one of the exceptional works remaining from the time of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman.

Every fountain has its own story
Fountains were different, both as regards their structures and functions, and 20th century writers on the subject have classified them in  different ways. Usually the name of a fountain tells its own story, as in the case of the Ayrılık Çeşmesi which was situated at the point where those accompanying Surre Procession, the army setting out on campaign and caravans heading eastwards, and pilgrims to Mecca bade farewell to their loved ones when departing from İstanbul.