Suleymaniye Mosque

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Suleymaniye Mosque – Istanbul

Suleymaniye Mosque


The Süleymaniye Mosque, which Mimar Sinan describes as a journeyman’s work, was built between 1551 and 1558 by the order of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most important examples of Classical Ottoman Architecture. The dome of the mosque, which has four minarets, two with three balconies and two with two balconies, is 53 meters high. It is rumored that the great scholar Sheikhulislam Ebussuud Efendi laid the first stone on the foundation of the temple, the construction of which was started in one of the most beautiful places in Istanbul.

The temple has a main dome, two half domes and two quarter domes, and ten smaller domes. The main dome has four elephant feet; dome arches, on the other hand, are supported by four large granite columns. The dome with 32 windows is 27.25 meters in diameter and 53 meters above the ground. In order to strengthen the opposite of the sedan (sound), there are 64 cubes of 50 cm in length, which are placed inside the dome and in the corners, with their mouths open to the inside, thus creating a sensitive acoustic. The mosque, which has an interior area of ​​approximately 3 thousand 500 square meters, is 59 meters long and 58 meters wide and receives light from 238 windows. The sultan’s and muezzin’s mahfili, which is based on granite and marble columns, attracts attention with its minbar and mihrab workmanship. The section to the right of the muezzin mahfil, surrounded by metal networks, was used as a library until 1918; Existing books were transferred to the Public Library established in the Süleymaniye Madrasahs on the same date.

In the front of the mosque, which has five doors, there are colored windows above the mihrab. These windows, which are the work of the well-known master of the period, İbrahim Usta, liken the sunlight entering through their windows to Mimar Sinan Şehper-i Jibril (Gabriel’s Wings). There are four very valuable granite columns inside the mosque and they were brought to the mosque from Alexandria, Baalbek, Kıztaşı and Saray-ı Amire in Istanbul. Mimar Sinan likens these four columns, each 9.02 meters high, 1.14 meters in diameter and 40-50 tons, to the Four Caliphs. The temple has a large inner courtyard with three doors, the floor of which is paved with marble and surrounded by porticos with 28 domes. The aforementioned dome arches are based on 24 columns, of which 12 are granite, 10 are marble and two are porphyry marble.

The mosque has four minarets and ten balconies made in accordance with its majesty. Two of the minarets have three balconies and the other two have two balconies. The minarets, called “Mosque minarets” and “Harem Minarets”, were built by Kanuni, the fourth sultan after the conquest of Istanbul; ten cheers indicate that he is the 10th sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The minarets rising towards the sky resemble a person praying by raising both hands. The inscriptions in the mosque are the work of the famous calligrapher Ahmet Karahisarî and his student Hasan Çelebi. Later, Kazasker Mustafa Efendi also added some articles. Except for a few of the texts, the texts of all of them were taken from the Qur’an and were masterfully processed. The inscription written on the door, which is entered into the mosque from the inner courtyard, is divided into three parts as right-middle-left. In the first part, the characteristics of Kanuni are listed, in the second part his genealogy (lineage) is stated in line, and in the third part, after the prayer for the continuation of the sultanate and the spirits of the past, it is stated with what intention and when the temple was built. The tomb in front of the mihrab belongs to Suleiman the Magnificent, who had a mosque built with his own money, and the tomb next to it belongs to his wife, Hürrem Sultan.

The mosque garden, which has an area of approximately 6 thousand square meters, has 11 gates. Around the garden, seven madrasahs, five of which are at high school level, one of which is a faculty and one of which are specialized departments, which are famous as Süleymaniye Madrasahs, were established. The buildings on the right side of the mosque were the Evvel and Sani madrasahs and the Sibyan School, and later on, they were converted to the Süleymaniye Library, and a part of it became a children’s library. The medical school on the corner serves as a maternity home, while the bimarhane opposite it is a military printing house, it now serves as a girls’ Quran course. The buildings on the northern side of the mosque were used as an almshouse at first, then as a museum of Turkish-Islamic Works and were transferred to the Süleymaniye Library in 1984.

source: fatih district governorship

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