RELIGIOUS COMPLEX OF SOLIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT
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A work of Sinan, built on a hill, the Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most beautiful imperial mosques in Istanbul.
The complex was completed almost at the same time as the mosque. The complex quickly became the symbol of the Ottoman classical period through its architectural organization, its mastery in the location and layout of the buildings, and its economic and cultural functions. Built on a steep terrain of about 60 hectares, the buildings are installed in a precise geometrical order. The complex included a mosque, several medersas, mausoleums and a Koranic reading college (darül kurra), a college for the study and analysis of the words of the Prophet (darül hadis), guards' apartments, a medical college, a dispensary, a popular canteen, a hospice, a hammam, a commercial han (caravanserai), a library and a large number of shops. All the buildings are surrounded by a large enclosure with ten different entrance gates. The Süleymaniye Mosque, for Sinan, corresponds to the period he calls the "period of companionship", preceding his period of full mastery. Many European travellers who have visited Istanbul since the 16th century have described this building as "the most beautiful monument in Istanbul". Very bright thanks to its 138 windows, the mosque is enhanced by stained glass windows which are the work of Sarhoş Ibrahim. Placed on either side of the large courtyard, the bedrooms and classrooms were distributed at the back of a peristyle covered with domes. Stop at the former medical university, the Dökmeci hammam (hammam of the Founders), the caravanserai and the elementary school which is now a youth library. The founder of this complex, Suleiman the Magnificent, is buried in the imposing mausoleum bordered by a covered peristyle consisting of 28 columns, located in front of the mihrab (niche).
The Süleymaniye Mosque. The cascading domes and four slender minarets of the Suleiman the Magnificent mosque dominate the horizon on the west bank of the Golden Horn. Built between 1550 and 1556 by Sinan, it is considered to be the most beautiful imperial mosque in Istanbul. Suleiman wanted to build an Ottoman equivalent of Saint Sophia. The Suleiman Mosque symbolizes the Ottoman Empire at its height. The calligraphy is signed by Ahmed Karahisarı, who can write words in sixty different ways.
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Opening time and information on RELIGIOUS COMPLEX OF SOLIMAN THE MAGNIFICENT
Open from 9am to 6pm, the mausoleum of Suleyman the Magnificent is closed on Mondays. Compliance required (on-site loan).
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