Ottoman architecture is the architecture of the Ottoman Empire that originated in Bursa and Edirne in the 14th and 15th centuries. The Ottomans relied on Christian, Islamic and Byzantine traditions to produce their own grand and harmonious style. The Ottomans achieved architecture of the highest standard on their lands. Ottoman architecture is described as an architecture synthesized with the architectural traditions of the Mediterranean and the Middle East.
Mimar Sinan, 16th-century master architect and chief administrator of public works under three Ottoman sultans, was the designer of important masterpieces of superb Ottoman architecture.
Characteristic Ottoman Style
Architectural monuments commensurate with the grandeur of the Ottoman Empire stand not only throughout Turkey, but also in the many lands that were under his rule. The Ottomans were prolific builders and some of their finest works are public buildings such as mosques and their surrounding complex consisting of buildings ensuring the welfare of the community such as hospitals, Koranic schools, kitchens for alms poor, guest house and hammam (public baths).
Palaces, bridges, fountains, tombs and caravanserais are also some of the beautiful buildings that remain to this day from Ottoman architecture. The Ottomans used geometric designs, rich materials such as colored stone, exotic woods, gold and mother of pearl to achieve this magnificence.
Ottoman architects designed houses, palaces, bridges, clock towers, bazaars, arsenals, dry docks and other important civil works, but the great imperial mosques are their most impressive monuments and more enduring Ottoman architecture.