Climax of the Ottoman Empire
Suleymaniye Mosque is an important landmark for the city, built for the most powerful of the Ottoman Sultans: Sultan Suleyman, the Magnificent, known as Kanuni.
Suleymaniye Mosque Complex is a must-see!
The Complex is located on one of the seven hills of Istanbul and dominates the Historic Peninsula over the Golden Horn.
It is an important landmark for the city. Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent who put his mark on the whole 16th century, commissioned Sinan, the Chief Architect for this gorgeous complex.
He was one of the greatest and most powerful of Ottoman sultans. The complex was built at the zenith of the Ottoman Empire. The construction took place between 1549 and 1558.
It is the second largest mosque complex in Istanbul, after the Fatih Mosque Complex.
This is not only a mosque but a complex with;
- a mosque with four minarets,
- four madrasahs (theological schools) and their preparation schools,
- Koran reading school,
- a primary school,
- a medical school,
- a hospital with an insane asylum in it,
- a public kitchen,
- a caravansarai,
- a market street,
- a public bath,
- several tombs.
The idea behind building this grand complex was to emphasize the importance of science, education and knowledge and to emphasize the glory of the Ottoman Empire.
The complex created its own neighbourhood with its own hamam, kitchen, market etc… This beautiful mosque complex reflects the power and the glory and of the Ottoman Empire.
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Did you know?
- The dome is 27.5 meters in diameter and 47 above the floor.
- The decorations of Suleymaniye Mosque were made by the most gifted artisans of their times.
- It is a richly decorated mosque with Iznik tiles, carved Proconnesian marble, exquisite woodwork with ivory and mother-of-pearl inlays and inscriptions written by the best calligraphers.
- The tiles used in the Suleymaniye Mosque are the earliest examples of the famous technique of Iznik tile producing, with deep blue and vibrant red on a pure white ground.
- The tombs of Sultan Süleyman, the Magnificent and his wife Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana) and the tomb of Sinan, the Chief Architect are here.
The area which the complex was built on is a sloppy hillside. Sinan, the Chief Architect has placed the buildings at different levels through a brilliant arrangement of terraces. He created a beautiful symmetrical composition.
The general feeling when you enter the mosque is being impressed by the grandeur. The interior is simply decorated, but the total impression is breath-taking.
The proportions and the spaciosness are noteworthy. Mosque was adorned with stained-glass windows letting the sunshine in.
While you are there:
- There are amazing views from the courtyard, at the Golden Horn side of course…
- There is a nice restaurant that serves a special dish named “kuru fasulye” of (dried beans dish) which is higly adored by Turkish people. It is righ across the main gate of the Mosque. You will easily understand which one, just by seeing the crowd in front of it.
- There is a nice and elegant restaurant named “Darüzziyafe”. It is one of the few restaurants in Istanbul that serves Ottoman Cuisine dishes. It is a good idea to taste its delicious meals while you are there. It is at the North-west side of the mosque, in the building which was the “Kitchens” in the Ottoman times.
Where exactly?: You can see it at the North-west of Grand Bazaar.
The best way is to take the tram from the Sultanahmet, get off it at the Beyazit stop and walk from there. Ask for directions,anyone will show you the way.
Opening hours: Open all day long, until the last prayer time.
Entrance fee: None
Adress: Mimar Sinan Street, Süleymaniye
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