Suleymaniye Mosque

There are several important mosques to visit in Istanbul. One of them is Suleymaniye Mosque. It’s one of much-revered architect Mimar Sinan’s most revered buildings. Built at the orders of Suleyman the Magnificent, it was completed in 1557, taking seven years to complete. (Mimar Sinan also designed the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne.)

This is also the mosque I can see from the terrace of our apartment. At night it’s lit up, so it glows white.

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Last Thursday, I finally paid a visit to this mosque. Since the Metro stop at Vezneciler opened, the mosque, which is next to Istanbul University, is easy to get to.

The grounds of the mosque are quite large and well-landscaped.

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Like Sultanahmet Mosque (the Blue Mosque) it’s a working mosque, so visitors have a separate entrance and are not allowed into certain areas. But as you can see, it’s a large beautiful building with great attention paid to details.

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The sky was overcast on the day I was there, so the pictures didn’t come out as well as I had hoped they would. though I did manage to take a nice shot from the grounds down at the Golden Horn. You can see the Galata Tower and the Galata Bridge.

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The tombs of Suleyman the Magnificent and his wife Roxelana are located next to the mosque. But people were not allowed inside.

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Here people are peering inside to look at Suleyman’s tomb.

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While making my way to see the tomb of Mimar Sinan, I saw the Hamam built at the same time as the mosque. It’s just outside the grounds.

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Mimar Sinan’s tomb is located near the grounds of the mosque on the northeast side. The tomb is in a small, raised garden that’s not accessible.

Here’s the locked door.

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Here are the grounds. The man on the left was selling fresh sweet cherries.

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Here’s as close as you can get to the tomb of one of history’s most famous architects.

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As magnificent as the mosque built for Suleyman the Magnificent is, I still think Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is more beautiful.

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2 thoughts on “Suleymaniye Mosque

  1. Hello Richard! I’m having a peek of what you’ve been up to and must say you’ve visited quite a lot of places. I loved this mosque, after studying its typology for a long time at school, it’s always nice to see real pictures and read how people nowadays experience the space. What did you like most?

  2. Virgina, It’s a glorious building. You, of all people, should come here for a visit. You’re the expert! You could probably tell us all things we’d never be able to notice.

    I was most impressed by the arches with their alternating marble and the details (like where there is ornamentation where arches meet) that were constantly drawing my eyes upward. Plus, I always get the feeling that decoration in Sinan’s mosques are not done simply for the sake of decoration. It’s used to enhance the structure. There’s nothing “busy” to me about the calligraphy, its placement, or the use of shapes.

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