SULEYMANIYE MOSQUE

 Suleymaniye,rather than a mosque,is an important historical symbol for the Turks.                      

 Like other works of the time,Suleymaniye is not only a mosque but huge complex.It is a work which typifies the Ottoman Empire at its peak.Its named,Suleymaniye,derives from the builder`s name,Kanuni Sultan Suleymaniye(lawgiver) Sultan Suleymaniye I the Magnificent.The architect was the greatest of Ottoman archtitects,the imcomparable Sinan.

The Suleymaniye mosque was built between 1550-1557. A specious courtyard surround the mosque.Similar to the Sultan Ahmet Mosque,there is another inner courtyard surrounded by porticos with 28 domes supported by 24 columns.This courtyard is a little smaller than the main building.In the middle is located a sadirvan.In the four corners of the inner courtyard stand four minarets having a total of ten serefes.

The interiol of the mosque is rectangular in plan,61 m/ 200 ft. in width and 70 m / 230 ft. in lenth.The main section is covered by a huge dome with a diameter of 27. m / 90 ft. and  a height of 47 m / 154 ft.

The dome is held by four piers and supported by two semi-domes in the E and W.The transition to the main dome is provided by pendentives.The acoustics were one of the distinctive features of the building which were achieved by placing 64 pots in diffirent places in the walls the floor.Except for those above the mihrap,the stained glass is nor original.When the mosque was built there 4000 oil candles,the smoke from which colud have endangered the paintings on walls.The architect avoided this,however by creating a system for the circulation of airinside the building.Sultan Suleyman and Sinan are burried in their tombs in Suleymaniye complex.

Sinan(c.1491-1588)
He was born in the village of Agirnas in Kayseri probably in a Christian family.At the age of about twenty,he was levied for the service of the sultan.After being educated in the palace school,he joined some of Sultan Suleymaniye`s campaigns.His promotion in the Ottoman army was parallel to his success in architecture  and carpentry.At the age of 48,he was appointed Mimarbasi,Chief of the Imperial Architects, a post he held for half a century during the reign of three diffirent sultans.

Sinan`s creativity was born of sensintivity to the cultural heritage and his pover of identifying its dynamic point and taking them to their ultimate conclusion.