Suleyman Mosque
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Architect Sinan
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Location Istanbul, Turkey   map
Date 1551 to 1558   timeline
Building Type mosque, religious
 Construction System bearing masonry
Climate warm temperate
Context urban
Style Ottoman Islamic
Notes The Suleymaniye Mosque. Domed, with four minaret towers. Hub of the kulliye, or palace complex.


Photo, exterior overview in context

Photo, looking up from courtyard

Photo, engaged column and panel detail
Discussion Suleyman Mosque Commentary

"Suleyman the magnificent ordered a mosque appropriate to his title to be built by the architect Sinan, whereupon the present mosque was begun on one of the hills dominating the Golden Horn."

"The mosque, and its attendant structures, madrasa, arms—houses, infirmaries, caravansarais, a medical school, hamams, schools of Tradition, a hospital, cells and shops were begun in 1550 by the architect Sinan and completed in 1557."

—Ilhan Aksit. Treasures of Istanbul. p164.

"Here Sinan demonstrated his transformation of the Hagia Sophia plan from which he had drawn his inspiration: his dome is buttressed by two half-domes and two typanum walls."

"Sinan's solution of putting four minarets at the corners of his arcaded courtyard (inspired by the atrium) sets up a counterpoint between a solid volume on the mosque side and a 'negative' space on the courtyard side."

— Henri Stierlin. Comprende l'Architecture universelle 2. p378-9.


Dome has a diameter of 26 meters (85 feet) and a height of 51.8 meters (170 feet).

Sources on Suleyman Mosque

Ilhan Aksit. Treasures of Istanbul. Istanbul: Tunel, 1984. NA1370.A39 1984. discussion, p164. interior photo of main space, p165.

Sir Banister Fletcher. A History of Architecture. London: The Butterworth Group, 1987. ISBN 0-408-01587-X. LC 86-31761. NA200.F63 1987. discussion, p439. photo fF, p440. — The classic text of architectural history. Expanded 1996 edition available at

Werner Blaser and Monica Stucky. Drawings of Great Buildings. Boston: Birkhauser Verlag, 1983. ISBN 3-7643-1522-9. LC 83-15831. NA2706.U6D72 1983. plan and section drawings, p139.

Francis D. K. Ching. Architecture: Form, Space, and Order. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold, 1979. ISBN 0-442-21535-5. LC 79-18045. NA2760.C46. section, p53. — A nice graphic introduction to architectural ideas. Updated 1996 edition available at

Spiro Kostof. A History of Architecture: Settings and Rituals. Oxford University Press, 1985. ISBN 0-1950-8378-4. interior photo, p462, figure 19.11. site plan drawing, p464, figure 19.13.   Available at

Henri Stierlin. Comprende l'Architecture universelle 2. Fribourg, Switzerland: Office du Livre, 1977. discussion p378-379.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Suleyman Mosque


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