The Suleymaniye Mosque

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Perched on the hill which overlooks the Golden Horn, the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque is imposed on view from every point of Istanbul. Symbol of the greatness of the Ottoman Empire, the beautiful building (1550-1557), which follows the model of Aya Sofya, is the work of Mimar Sinan, one of the most important architects of the sixteenth century. Suleiman the Magnificent was to entrust the task of designing a monumental complex consists of several buildings and, in particular: schools (primary, elementary, theological, medical and Koran), a hospice for travelers, a soup kitchen, public toilets, a hospital and a mosque that would bear his name. In practice, a city within a city. The mosque is located in the center of a large courtyard surrounded by walls, a part of which are located behind the same, the mausoleum of the Sultan and his wife, the beloved Roxelana. The outdoor courtyard with fountain for ablutions is surrounded by beautiful porches with columns of red granite and pink marble. The interior of the Islamic temple impresses the breadth and simplicity of the decorations. The vast prayer hall is dominated by an imposing dome 53 m high. and a diameter of 26.50 m., which are flanked by two half-domes also resting on massive pillars. Thirty-two windows placed in the drum of the central dome let the light that illuminates the sacred space, a place of great peace and harmony. To the right of the mihrab covered with tiles from Iznik, is the mimber (or minbar) of triangular shape, characterized by a narrow, steep staircase culminating with a canopy from which the Imam reads verses from the Koran. Where: Old Town – EminönĂ¼ district. When: Every day from 9 am to 17:30 Closed during times of prayer. How: Free admission. To enter you must remove your shoes, and women must also cover the legs, head, and shoulders.




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