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Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul

Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul, its history and general information

Visit the Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul, much less touristy than the Blue Mosque!

The Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul is very beautiful and full of history. Its position is somewhat far from the center of Istanbul, but it is worth the visit.

Located in the Süleymaniye district, on a hill majestically overlooking the Golden Horn, Soliman the Legislator (for the Turkish people), did not choose the position of the construction of his mosque at random. It is a simply remarkable location, with an exceptional view.

The Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul is a “Külliye”

This means that it is a complex of several buildings. It stretches over 70 hectares where you can count: a Koranic school (madresa) and six colleges of theology as well as a library, a hammam, a restaurant of the heart “soup kitchen” (aşevi = meal house) , A caravanserai, a hospital, a hospice and finally shops.

The history of the Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul:

Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul
Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul

It was built between 1550 and 1557 (knowing that all mosques are very often built in 7 years) under the reign of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent by the architect Sinan (the architect Sinan built more than 300 monuments of the Balkans until in Iran, in the borders of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century. He is buried in the North, below the Suleymaniye Mosque , in a sober and simple tomb which represents his personality).

The Suleymaniye Mosque was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1985.

Architecture of the Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul:

The architect Sinan has reinterpreted in this magnificent construction the style of the Hagia Sophia.

Interior of the Suleymaniye Mosque:

The interior dimensions of the Suleymaniye mosque are: 70 meters long by 61 meters wide built on 3721 m².

It is very bright thanks to its 138 windows which let in daylight, making the interior even more beautiful and mystical.

Visitors are always amazed while entering the Suleymaniye Mosque, which has a main cascading dome 27 meters in diameter and 48 meters high pierced with 32 windows, supported by 2 half-domes. It makes the architecture absolutely harmonious

Visit to the Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul:


The forecourt has a portico crowned with 28 domes, supported by 24 ancient monolithic columns: 2 in porphyry, 10 in white marble and 12 in granite of pure beauty.

In the center of the courtyard of the mosque is a “Şadirvan”, that is to say a small white construction of marble, which means fountain of ablutions.

The silhouette of Suleymaniye (the Suleymaniye Mosque) with its 4 minarets, encircled by 10 balconies indicate that Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent was the 4th Ottoman sultan after the conquest of Constantinople and the 10th of the Ottoman dynasty.

Also, the exterior consists of 4 main pillars (elephant legs) coming from the ancient Byzantine palace, the temple of Jupiter, and from Egypt (Alexandria) and weighing nearly 8000 tonnes.

The techniques used in the construction of the Suleymaniye mosque: revolutionary for the 16th century!

1 / Acoustics in the Suleymaniye Mosque:

Half-domes were placed according to the circulation of the sound, as well as 50 cm hollow cubes placed at the bottom of the half-domes, absorbing the echo. The acoustics are perfect: take the test by clapping your hands, anywhere in the mosque!

2 / Aeration in the Suleymaniye Mosque:

From the ground up to 20 cm high there is almost no draft (so that the faithful do not get cold feet).

From 20 cm to the level of the chandeliers, a pleasant air flow escapes to prevent odors

From the chandeliers, a current of air directs the smoke from the oil lamps by the narrow passage of two cells located above the main door giving directly into a single room (from which the oily substance was collected to make ink): this is specific to the Suleymaniye Mosque. There is no written record of this absolutely ingenious technique. It is a well-kept secret by its creator, the architect Sinan.

3 / Impeccable drainage system of the Suleymaniye Mosque:

At the base of the construction, Sinan made underground tracks in the foundations, in which he put terracotta conduits for drainage to the Golden Horn and to prevent moisture from the wooden plates between the ground of the mosque