Ağalar Mosque

The Mosque of the Squires (Ağalar Camii) is the largest mosque in the palace. It is also one of the oldest constructions, dating from the 15th Century built during the reign of Sultan Mehmet the Conqueror. The Sultan, the squires and pages would come here to pray. The mosque is aligned in a diagonal line in the courtyard to make the minber  face Mecca.  It is situated adjacent to the Privy Chamber on the Golden Horn side of the Enderûn Courtyard. Its large central section was covered with a large barrel vault in the 18th Century. There are two narrow lateral spaces on each of the two sides. There is a separate mihrab (altar) in the section facing the Privy Chamber. The second lateral section facing the other side is reserved for the squires from the Dormitory of the Expeditionary Force and the Pantry and Treasury Wards to perform their prayers. Three windows in the rear of the large section open up to the Harem masjid where Sultans as well as the Sultanas (Mothers of the reigning Sultans) and the Sultans’ wives used to fulfill their religious prayers.
The walls of the Mosque of the Ağas are covered with 17th Century tiles. The most interesting examples are the stacks with the Arabic letter vav, bearing the signature of the Archer Mustafa. This is a space reserved for the prayers of high-level squires. The most significant restoration carried out in previous centuries, of this stone and brick masonry building was the renovation by Es-Seyyid Mehmed Ağa of the adjacent small mosque, according to a door inscription in the interior. The tile epigraph on the inside of the door refers to the date of 1136 A.H. (1722 Gregorian) and to the name of “Es-Seyyid Mehmed Ağa”.  The building used as a warehouse from 1881 onwards was restored in 1916.  The newer inscription by Kâmil Akdik dated 1928 indicates that following a further restoration of the Mosque of the Ağas in 1925, the books from the Sultan Ahmet III (Enderûn) Library and other libraries in the Palace were all moved here so that all the libraries in the Palace were unified under the name of New Library or Palace Library.