Süleymaniye Mosque

Istanbul, Turkey

Süleymaniye Mosque


The Süleymaniye Mosque (Turkish: Süleymaniye Camii, pronounced [sylejˈmaːnije]) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. The mosque was commissioned by Suleiman the Magnificent and designed by the imperial architect Mimar Sinan. An inscription specifies the foundation date as 1550 and the inauguration date as 1557. Behind the qibla wall of the mosque is an enclosure containing the separate octagonal mausoleums of Suleiman the Magnificent and that of his wife Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana). For 462 years, the Süleymaniye Mosque was the largest mosque in the city, until it was surpassed by the Çamlıca Mosque in 2019. The Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul, and from its location on the Third Hill, it commands an extensive view of the city around the Golden Horn.

Suleyman The Magnificent chose the architect Mimar Sinan to create a mosque in remembrance of his son Shehzade Mehmed. Suleyman was beyond impressed with Sinan's completion that he decided to have him design a mosque after himself. This mosque would represent the eminence of the Ottoman Empire.  Sinan built around two hundred buildings in Constantinople. He used the inspiration of the Hagia Sophia and the Bayezid II Mosque to design the Süleymaniye Mosque.  This holy structure replaced the old palace of Topkapi which still had functional use at the time. However, ordered by Sultan, the palace was demolished and redeveloped.

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