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The Suleymaniye Complex Istanbul

The Suleymaniye Complex Istanbul
The finest of all the Ottoman mosque complexes, built by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan for Suleyman the Magnificent , and is notably one of his greatest achievements.

Construction

Construction began in 1550 and took seven years to build. 
It was almost destroyed by a fire in 1660 and restored by architect Fossati, who altered the design into a baroque style thus damaging the original great work made by Sinan. Restored again to its original glory in the 19th century and after another fire, caused by the ignition of ammunition stored there during World War 1, not until 1956 was it restored again and this is what you see today, one of Istanbul’s most visited sites.

Dimensions

The mosque is 59m long x 58m wide and the main dome is 53m high with a diameter of over 27m.

Accessing the Complex

The grounds of the mosque are reached via “the market of the addicts” (Tiryaki Bazaar or Tiryaki Carsisi) so called because of the coffee houses there served hashish to either smoke there or take away and whose rents paid for the upkeep of the foundations.  

Attractions in Suleymaniye Complex

Suleymaniye Library

Behind here is the Suleymaniye Library housing books from the reigns of six different sultans (access to the public of these is on microfilm only) and also has a book restoration department.

Tomb of Mimar Sinan

Nearby is the Tomb of Mimar Sinan which was built on where the architect’s house was sited during the construction of the mosque.

Other Attractions

Along with the prayer hall (mosque) and courtyard (avlu) the complex includes a kervansaray (hotel), a public kitchen (imaret) which served food to the poor and is now a restaurant, a hospital, a Koran school (medrese) and a bath-house (hamam), also built by Sinan and where he bathed from 1557 to 1588. In the adjacent cemetery gardens behind the mosque are the beautiful and elaborate tombs of Suleyman and his Sultana Roxelana.

Location

The Suleymaniye Mosque is located in Eminonu .

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