Suleyman’s Mosque

Suleyman’s mosque (Suleymaniye Camii) is the second biggest mosque in Istanbul, located on the third hill, in the central part of complex of islamic buildings. It is modeled in Hagia Sophia’s style, just as the Blue Mosque and many other buildings you can see here. This shows how strong was Byzantine influence on Islamic architecture. Contractor was famous Mimar Sinan, the greatest Turkish architect.

Guided tours visiting Suleyman’s mosque

Construction of this mosque lasted 7 years (1550-1557) and 3500 people worked on it. Contrary to the wooden doors seen on the other Turkish mosques, its doors are made of cast bronze. This little detail differentiates Suleyman’s mosque to all of the others. The size of its dome is the second biggest as well, just behind Hagia Sophia’s dome. Although it is visited by smaller number of tourists than the Blue Mosque, with its prominent position on the hill leaves monumental and serene impression. There is also a mausoleum of Ottoman sultan Suleyman the Magnificent, considered to be the greatest and richest of all Ottoman sultans, who built it in 16th century. His wife Haseki Sultan, Sultan Ahmed II and the architect itself are also buried here.

And just as in many other mosques, the Süleymaniye Mosque is not only a religious object. Beside the praying hall (camii) and courtyard (avlu), you can also see four schools (medrese), a hospital, bath houses (hamam), a caravanserai (kervansaray, a roadside inn where travelers could rest) and a public kitchen (imaret) that served food to the poor. When it comes to offering food to the poor, they don’t make difference whether people who need help are Muslim, Christian or Jewish.

The mosque is open every day and entering is free of charge. People who are not Muslims should avoid visiting the mosque within 30 minutes after the call to prayer and from noon to late afternoon on Friday (the Muslim holy day).

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