Magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Surrounded by the Golden Horn, the Magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul is located on one of the seven hills of Istanbul. Upon the request of Suleiman the Magnificent, the mosque, which has a striking architectural elegance, was built in 1550 and added to the complex in 1557. Although it was damaged in the fire in 1660, its perfect columns were painted and covered with cement. It is also one of the most loved mosques in the city, attracting large numbers of worshipers and using innovative methods. The three main components of this mosque are its architecture, lighting, and acoustic sound system.

Mosque Features

The most important feature of the Süleymaniye Mosque is that the talented Mimar Sinan designed it. According to Mimar Sinan, Süleymaniye Mosque is a journeyman’s work. It highlights the distinctive architectural style and features. For example, oil lamps were lit frequently, but the fog they produced did not pollute the domes. To prevent fog, the brilliant architect Sinan created fog chambers that collect all the fog through airflow.

These fog chambers collected mists that solidified into ink. Many books were written in the library with that ink. Another architectural feature of the Süleymaniye Mosque is the main room designed by Mimar Sinan. Since there was no electricity when the main room was built, the mosque was illuminated with 275 lamps, and large candles were placed on both sides of the mihrab.

Magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul


In addition, two of the columns supporting the central dome of the Suleymaniye Mosque were transported from Afyonkarahisar, and the other column was transported from Baalbek, located between Egypt and Lebanon. It is said that many scientists and teachers trained him. Sharia law, tafsir (interpretation of the Quran), hadiths (sayings and sayings of the Prophet Muhammad), and scholars and teachers are represented by these columns. There were also colleges, a hospital, shops, a caravanserai, a library, a bathhouse, and public kitchens within the complex surrounding the mosque.

The unique acoustic system of the mosque designed by Mimar Sinan is its second unique feature. It allows people to hear the sermon. He made an effort to distribute the sound evenly throughout the space to a certain extent. While making this technique, he used the domes to his advantage.

The last feature is that Magnificent Sinan placed ostrich eggs inside the chandeliers and between the lamp bowls, but over time the quantity of the eggs decreased and their colors began to become dull. The reason why Sinan uses dried ostrich eggs is their ability to repel insects such as scorpions and spiders. In the rear courtyard, there are the tombs of Suleiman and his beloved wife Roxelane (Hürrem Sultan), as well as the tombs of other well-known people.

Note from Mimar Sinan

Suleymaniye Mosque has been in danger of collapse in recent years. If it wasn’t stopped soon, the entire building would collapse. His belts held the full weight of the load. The stones of the arch are worn out. Since there was no written document explaining the process, no one knew how damaged stones could be repaired. Even though all the talented engineers and designers of Turkey were brought in, the problem could not be solved because everyone had different ideas and the situation became chaotic.

Finally one of them found a hidden opening. Inside the hole was a small piece of paper with a note written on it. The document, written in Ottoman Turkish, was examined by many experts and found to be genuine. Mimar Sinan wrote this magnificent letter. He explained, word by word, how it was fixed. By following their instructions to the letter, Sulaymaniyah was saved. These correspondences are continuing in Topkapı Palace.

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  2. Your point of view caught my eye and was very interesting. Thanks. I have a question for you.

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