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Home ┬╗ Turkey ┬╗ Istanbul - Suleiman Mosque

Istanbul - Suleiman Mosque, Turkey

Skillful wayfarerSkillful wayfarerSkillful wayfarer Ben Parker
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The Suleiman Mosque (S├╝leymaniye Camii) is a grand mosque in Istanbul. It was built on the order of sultan Suleiman I and was constructed by the great Ottoman architect Sinan. The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1557.

The mosque is 59 meters in length and 58 meters in width. The main dome is 53 meters high and has a diameter of 27.25 meters. Apart from the main mosque with the praying hall (cami) and courtyard (avlu), the mosque complex also includes a caravanserai or seraglio (sarayı; han), a public kitchen (imaret) which served food to the poor, a hospital (dar├╝şşifa), a Quran school (medrese) and a bath-house (hamam). In the garden behind the main mosque there are two maosoleums (t├╝rbe) including the tombs of sultan Suleiman I, his wife Roxelana (Haseki H├╝rrem), his daughter Mihrimah, his mother Dilaşub Saliha and his sister Asiye. The sultans Suleiman II, Ahmed II and Safiye (died in 1777), the daughter of Mustafa II, are also buried here. Just outside the mosque walls to the north is the tomb of architect Sinan.

The Suleiman Mosque was ravaged by a fire in 1660 and was restored on the command of sultan Mehmed IV by architect Fossatı. The restoration, however, changed the mosque into a more baroque style, damaging the great work severely. The mosque was restored to its original glory during the 19th century but during World War I the courtyard was used as a weapons depot and when some of the ammunition ignited, the mosque suffered another fire. Not until 1956 it was restored again. Today it is one of the most popular sights in Istanbul.

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