Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul


As the Ottomans grew in stature and power in Istanbul, they continues to build multiple architectural gems: On such gem is the Suleymaniye Mosque.

The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan, the greatest engineer and architect of his time. An inscription specifies the foundation date as 1550 and the inauguration date as 1557. The mosque was built by the Ottoman sultan Suleyman (r. 1520–1566) and the mosque was named after him.

The design of the Süleymaniye also plays on Suleyman’s self-conscious representation of himself as a ‘second Solomon.’ It references the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the site of the Temple of Solomon, as well as Justinian’s boast upon the completion of the Hagia Sophia: “Solomon, I have surpassed thee!”

The main dome is 53 metres high and has a diameter of 26.5 metres. The mosque has four minarets. Sultan Suleyman was the fourth Sultan of the Ottoman empire to indicate the number of four minarets. The largest of the four minarets is 76 meters high and two of the smaller minarets are 56 meters high.

The Süleymaniye was damaged in the great fire of 1660 and was restored by Sultan Mehmed IV.[6] Part of the dome collapsed during the earthquake of 1766. Subsequent repairs damaged what was left of the original decoration of Sinan.


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