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Suleymaniye Mosque Guide: Architecture, Hours, Complex

-Attractions June 15, 2016
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The Most striking of the all domes and minarets that define the skyline of Istanbul are those of the Suleymaniye Mosque, the largest and most majestic in the city. It is the most beautiful structure of Istanbul. If you think about come to Istanbul, you should this place. Before the article, I think we should asnwer to FAQ about Suleymaniye Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque Hour

Opening hour of  Suleymaniye       |      Closing time hour of Suleymaniye

                             08:30                                              12:30

                             14:15                                              16:15

                             17:15                                              18:30

For Fridays : Opening time is 14:30. This day is diffrent. Because in Islamic bilief system fridays are special days. There is a rituel of Islamic belief system. Every friday, The muslims have to prayer for God in same time. Like a Sunday in a church. So, you leraned Blue Mosque Hours lets know together it. But firstly, I apoligize for my English.

Suleymaniye Mosque İnterior

If you think see to this place, we2re sure; you’re wondering how is its interior. We’ll talk about in this article but for you I’m sharing a picture with you.

Suleymaniye Mosque interior

Suleymaniye Mosque interior

Suleymaniye Mosque vs Blue Mosque

Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye are most attractive places from Istanbul. Blue Mosque and Suleymaniye are belong the same era. This is why so many peole comprison both of them. You can see their picture and decide wich one is better.

Suleymaniye Mosque Facts and Definition

The Most striking of the all domes and minarets that define the skyline of Istanbul are those of the Suleymaniye Mosque, the largest and most majestic in the city. It fascinate every visitor with the aestich harmony of its interior and exterior, and its pleasing proportions. By any standard, the Suleymaniye mosque is an architectural masterpiece. Restoration of the Mosque completed in 2011.

In the 16th century, The Ottoman Empire was its peak and the cenith of the century was the forty-seven year reign (the largest ever in the Ottoman Empire) of Sultan Suleyman tha magnificent. The sultan recrutied the famous Turkish architect Sinan to plan and build a mosque to bear his name. Sinan, a genius of the world of architecture and the founder of the Turkish classical school of architecture, completed the huge mosque complex that also included schools, a library, a Turkich bath, a publich kitchen, a cervansarai, a hospital and shops. It was built between the years 1550 and 1557, and proved him deserving of title “Great” that was garnted to him.

Suleymaniye Mosque Architecture

Fallowing the North and East wall of Istanbul University (Fuat Pasa Street), you many reach Süleymaniye which is the largest complex of Ottoman period. Complex buildings are lined around the mosque. These are; Rabi and Salis Madrasahs, hammam, Darülhadis Madrasah, tombs on the direction of the mihrab, Evvel, Sani and Medicine Madrasahs, Sıbyan Mektebi, Tabhane, İmaret and Darissifa. All these structures show that Süleymaniye Complex was not only a place of worship but also a group of structures that also served for social and educational purposes. Süleymaniye Mosque is the center of Complex that was built by Mimar Sinan upon the orders of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman (1520-66). The mosque built between 1550 and 1557 is one of the important works of Classical Ottoman architecture. On the third hill of Istanbul, it constitutes a piece of the ever-changing silhouette of the Golden Horn. The opening of the mosque was made by Mimar Sinan upon the order of the sultan. Thousands of workers worked in its construction and some stone and marble used in the construction were brought from various ancient cities and some Ottoman period structures. Its inner courtyard with a fountain in the middle is floored with white marble and minarets rise at its four corners. The minarets on its west side have two serefes and a height of 56 meters and the minarets at both edges of the last congregation place are 76 meters with three serefes.

The place of worship has a rectangular plan with a size of 61×70 meters. The weight of the structure is carried by giant plates named as ‘’elephant feet’’ that are placed at four corners of the dome. Sharp vaults connecting the plates to each other bulge outside at north and south direction and constitute the famous Golden Horn silhouette of Suleyman. The weight towers rising over the plates have set an example for later mosques. The dome covering the place of worship with a height of 53 meters and a diameter of 26,50 meters are supported by semidomes on its axis. At North and South direction, it extends with naves covered with independent domes. With this plan, it resembles Beyazit Mosque.

The ornamentations of Suleymaniye Mosque renewed in 19th century displays a sipler look compared to other mosques. The alternate order of the vaults in red and white and muquarnas used in the corner connection points reflects the architectural ornamentation features. The stained glass ornamenting the walls of the mihrab is the orginal work of an artist named Sarhoş (Drunk) İsmail. The tiles ornamenting the walls do not take up much space. At both sides of the mihrab, tile medallions ornamented with calligraphy on both sides were used and on the mihrab, tiles with herbal motifs were used.

At the graveyard on the side of the mihrab at Süleymaniye Mosque, there are some tombs that belong to Kanuni Sultan Süleyman who had the complex built and his wife Hürrem Sultan as well as some leading people.

The tomb of Koca Sinan, the architect of the palace is the beautiful structure at the northwest corner of the mosque with a modest proportion on Mimar Sinan Avenue

Suleymaniye Mosque History

Suleymaniye Mosque is is one of the  Sinan’s great est works, which ranks after Selimiye in Edirne. The construction materials come from all over the Ottoman territory. For instance, one of the four interior columns was the cloumn of Marcian in Istanbul, another from Topkapi Palace, the third from Alexandria and the forth came from Baalbek, in the Lebanon. All the columns measure nine meters in height and are fourteen centimeters wide. In addition to the columns, the stones used in the construction come from Izmir and Istanbul, the Iron from Bulgaria, and the lead from Sebia. From this perspective, the mosqua is amosaic taken from all the parts of the Ottoman Empire.

It is reported taht over all periods, around 4 milion people worked in teh construction of this mosque. Throughout the construction, the most famous experts worked here and the architect Sinan led this anormous army of workers. Reputedly, the complex cost approximetly 1 million pices gold. If we consider  that 1 gold piece was worth 80 akçe and that a ram cost from 6 to 8 akçe, we can see how great the expense of the mosque was in today’s terms. The courtyard that surrounded the mosque has ten doors. The dome which opens on the interior is quite magnificent. The interior courtyard is surrounded by porticos which support 28 domes. The arches of the porticos are sported by twenty-four columns. The fountain is made of bronze.

One has to stand at the distance of appreciate fuly the exterior beauty of the Suleymaniye Mosque. The best place for this is the Galata side of the Golden Horn, especially the Galata Tower. The nave of the four-minaret imperial mosque is covered by a huge dome. The main entrance to the mosque is reached by passing through an inner courtyard with a symbolic abution fountain at the centre of porticoes on all four sides. The spaciousness and unity of the nave of the mosque and the rather subtle decoration of the interior walls all contribute to an aura of dignifield grandeur. The central cupola, 53 m high at the keystone and 26.50 m. in diameter, is supported by four pendetives on four pillars. All the architectural elements of the dome are in harmony. The static balance, too, is perfect. The numerous earthquakes that shaken the city of Istanbul since 16th century have not caused even a single crack. The inner surface of the dome is decorated with baroque painting from the 19th century, but restoration work that began in 2005 will restore the original 16th century appearence. The most striking element of the interior decor is the original Turkish-motif stained glass of the windows on the wall of the mihrab (prayer niche). The inconspicuos little chanter’s balcony, is at the front of the pulpit. The walls around the minber (pulpit) near the mihrab are decorated with beautiful ceramic tiles. The sultan’s Loge is to the left of the mihrab. The Koranic verse on the walls of mosque are regarded as the ultimate in the Turkish art of calligraphy. Along the walls of the mosque, with the exception of the southern wall, there are balconies for women. The brass grill to the right of teh entrance is a typical example of the 18th century craftsmanship. In the forecourt of the mosque, the toms of Sultan Süleyman and Roxlena, his favourite wife, lie side by side.

Two minarets rise from the corners of the mosque; these have two balconies, while the other two minarets on the east and west sides of the mosque have three. The total number of balconies is 10, signifliying that Suleyman the Magnificent was the 10th Ottoman Sultan. The four minarets symbolize the four monarchs whose reigns preceded that of Suleyman the Magnificent after the conquest of the Constantinople. Furthermore, the four columns inside the mosque represent the four Rightly Guided Caliphs.

The Sultan’s gallery within the mosque has a simple beuty and is surrounded by eight columns. The door is decorated with rose motifs. The carving on the marble niche and pulpit is exquisite. The shutters over the window are adorned with plants motifs. Leaving Süleymaniye, we find the tombs of Suleyman and of has wife Hurrem Sultan in the middle of the garden, and that the architect Sinan.

The madrasa section of the mosque is currenty being used as the library. The building at the southern side used to be an insane asylum. The in is located on the northwestern corner of the mosque. The soup kitchen has been restored as the Darizziyafe Restaurant, and the primary school has been converted to the a children’s library. The caravanserai is located in the southern section of the mosque, which is currently closed. The original nature of the environment of the complex has been kept intact.

And at the corner of the Suleymaniye complex, there is a small and humble grave where rests Sinan the Great, the grand master of Turkish architecture who spent fifty of his ninetynine years as the chief architect of a powerful empire.

Tomb of Sultan Suleyman  teh Magnificent

The mausoleum is octagonal in shape and faces the qibla direction of the mosque. The most signifacant feature of the mauseloum is that it contains a piece of the Hajar’ul Aswad (The Balck stone from the Ka’ba). It is reported that when the custody of the stone changed during the reign of Sultan Suleyman, it was accidentally dropped and the pieces that broke off from the stone were ordered to be brought to Istanbul. On the order of the Sultan, the largest piece was placed over the entrance gate.

Tomb of Mimar Sinan / Architect

The tomb lies outside the east entrance of the Suleymaniye Mosque. The structure is extremly modest in comparison comparted to the masterpieces he designed. Sinan was born around 1489 in the village of Ağırnas in Kayseri. He was brought to Istanbul during the reign of Selim I as part of the practice of devşirme- the levy of boys from Christian families to be trained for posts in the administration and the kapikulu military corps. He became a Janissary during the reign of Sultan Süleyman.

In the Vicinity Sueymaniye Mosque

Istanbul University Botanical Gardens: This was the first botanical garden in the Turskih Republic. It is located behind teh Suleymaniye mosque, on the northern side of the complex, on the hills overlooking the Golden Horn. The gardens shared by the Istanbul Directorate of Religious Affairs. The foundation was laid in 1933. There Jewish profesors Alfred Heilbronn, Leo Braunter, and Andre Neville, who fled from Hitler’s Germany, were invited by Atatürk to give botany and zoology courses. They established the botanical garden within a year. It is one of the two botanical gardens in the world to be acknowledged by the World Bıtanical Association and the seed catalogues of the gardens are published.  It occupies a large piece of lland measuring 20,000 square meters. There are between 5,000 and 6,000 different species from 127 different families.

Not: An appointment is neccesary for group visits. The garden are open from 9 am to 4.30 pm. It takes at least one hour to complete the visit, but on average at least 3 hours should be allowed.

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