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Arap Camii, Istanbul

4.8
Tucked away between modern buildings and surrounded by artisan shops lies Arap Camii, an architectural gem chock-full of history. Originally a Byzantine church stood here, dating back to the 6th century. In the 13th century, a small Roman Catholic chapel replaced the church, and later expanded in the 14th century. That structure is what you see today: the country's only remaining example of medieval religious Gothic architecture. In the late 15th century Ottomans converted the church into a mosque under the reign of Sultan Mehmed II. Visit this still-active place of worship to admire the richly decorated interior and unique architectural style. Use our Istanbul trip builder to arrange your visit to Arap Camii and other attractions in Istanbul.
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TripAdvisor Traveler Rating 4.5
21 reviews
TripAdvisor
  • A nice mosque said to have been made in the eighth century. Karaköy located far from large courtyard from the review; large and spacious inside a mosque.
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  • Oldest mosque in Istanbul, from the Byzantium era. Located down a little from the Galata Tower and Comondo Stairs. Very peaceful. Worth the visit.  more »
  • It is a mosque that was once the Catholic Church. So was quaint with a typical mosque. View from the second floor was indeed building made me think about the Church itself.
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Where to stay in Istanbul

The bustling downtown core of old Istanbul is the popular choice among tourists wanting a short walking distance to the city's biggest attractions. Here you'll find hostel-style accommodations and reasonably priced and traditionally decorated hotels, as well as bed and breakfasts and inns with views overlooking the sea. Though often the most affordable, accommodations in the old city can be very overrun with tourists and street solicitors. If you seek a more relaxed stay, consider lodging near Taksim Square. This new, trendy neighborhood is a short 15-20 minute ride from the old city, but puts you closer to restaurants, shopping, and nightlife. Though the newer area of the city is a bit more upscale, you'll also find moderately priced hotels and some hostels. Look for luxury hotels in the western suburbs close to the airport, overlooking the banks of Bosphorus.
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