Architectural Patronage on the Trail of a Political Project: a Rereading of the Queen Mother Mihrisah's Building Activities

Uğurlu A. H.

BELLETEN, vol.80, no.287, pp.85-102, 2016 (AHCI) identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 80 Issue: 287
  • Publication Date: 2016
  • Journal Name: BELLETEN
  • Journal Indexes: Arts and Humanities Citation Index (AHCI), Scopus, TR DİZİN (ULAKBİM)
  • Page Numbers: pp.85-102
  • Istanbul Technical University Affiliated: No


Queen Mother Mihrisah, who has always been in a close relationship with her son and endorsed his "modernization" project in every way, also supported his agenda with her building activities. Yet, contemporary scholarship depicts her as "a religious and charitable Queen Mother" and the relevant academic studies accordingly focus on her complex in Eyup and the various water structures she commissioned in Istanbul. However, Mihrisah's architectural patronage should not be treated independently from the political agenda of Selim III, of which she was one of the foremost supporters. The fact that Queen Mother Mihrisah was the patron of the mosques, baths, and fountains built inside most of the military barracks in Istanbul, excluding the Uskudar Barrracks, supports this view.