What Do You Know About the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul?


Information about the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the largest mosques in Turkey and the most famous in the world. The mosque is located on European Istanbul, in the Süleymaniye area, and bears the name of the Sultan who ordered its construction, Sultan Suleiman the First (the magnificent), and it is close to the Bosphorus. Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul is also one of the most important tourist places, as millions of tourists visit it every year, to see its architecture, its sections, and its high architectural beauty.

Süleymaniye Mosque construction

Süleymaniye Mosque contains four minarets, and the reason for that is; to the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent, he is the fourth among the sultans of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Istanbul, and the minarets have ten sultans indicating the order of Sultan Suleiman the tenth among the sultans of the Ottoman Empire. Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent wanted to build a magnificent mosque, so he entrusted the task to the most famous architect of Islamic architecture, Sinan Pasha, so the construction of the mosque and the complex that surrounds it began in 1550 AD and was completed in 1557 AD. After the preparation of maps, designs, ideas, and models by Sinan and placed them in the hands of the Sultan, so he admired them and gave his approval, and opened the door of his locker to implement them without any expense. “This mosque is my greatest achievement,” said the architect Sinan. In addition to the college, the total area of the mosque is thirty-seven dunams.

Süleymaniye Mosque plan

Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul was built according to the system of architectural complexes, and it is purely a large building around which a group of accessories and facilities are surrounded, and the complex surrounding the mosque consists of schools and a library (the Süleymaniye Library), a hammam and a charitable restaurant to distribute food to the poor, a caravan box (Karavan Saray), a hospital and shops. Thus, the length of the mosque is about sixty-nine meters, and its width reaching sixty-three meters.

The mosque was built according to the system of the middle dome. The height of the main dome is fifty-three meters, and its diameter is twenty-seven meters. This dome is based on four huge columns called “elephant feet” because of their thickness and bulk, and they are centered near the walls, each diameter is 7.5 meters and weighed sixty tons.

There is also a great harmony between the components of this place and its elements, and the mosque is located among large areas of green meadows, which give the place beauty and completeness with the mosque’s minarets and domes in a beautiful painting that is in harmony with the blue sky. Instead of the exaggerated decorations and inscriptions in many of the Ottoman mosques, the Süleymaniye Mosque is characterized by simplicity.

Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Süleymaniye Mosque from the inside

From the inside, the mosque is truly an architectural masterpiece, for at the main entrance to the mosque we find it surrounded by corridors, and in it the place of ablution, and when we enter the interior of the mosque we see the geometric beauties and adornments that cover the walls of the mosque. As the elements of Islamic decoration are integrated with the mihrab of the Mosque, with its geometric and botanical shapes and Qur’anic paintings, and next to it is a marble pulpit made of white alabaster, whose stained-glass windows reflect the external daylight. Polished Turkish tiles are used, and designs consisting of seven colors, including purple-red with white and black stripes, and the ultra-blue color, which cover the interior walls of the prayer house with its decorations that came in the form of tulips, carnations, violets, chrysanthemums, grape leaves, apple trees, and cypress. As for the huge dome, it covers the entire interior of the mosque.

As for the mihrab of the Süleymaniye Mosque and its pulpit, they are made of carved marble, and the pulpit of the preacher is of carved wood, and in the corners of the mihrab are inscriptions carved with golden leaves, and the edges of the minbar are decorated with ceramics, and there is the Sultan’s Majlis on the northern side of the mihrab. Prayer is performed in it, and the prayer square takes the shape of a rectangle.

Süleymaniye Mosque Library

Süleymaniye Mosque Library

When Suleiman the Magnificent ordered the building of the Süleymaniye Mosque, in the sixteenth century, he also ordered several schools to be attached to it, like the library during the period from 1545 CE to 1557 CE, so that it had a great international reputation because of the precious manuscripts, books, and documents it contained. Its importance increased with the transfer of many public and private Istanbul libraries to it, thus becoming one of the largest Islamic libraries known to the world, with more than seventy thousand manuscripts written in Arabic, Turkish and Persian languages.

The small Süleymaniye Mosque library, which was initially built inside the mosque, is the nucleus on which the current library was built. All the libraries that existed in the hospices, corners, and shrines after their closure in 1922 AD, following the issuance of a law decreeing their closure and transferring the books in them to the libraries. As a result, a number of those books were transferred between the years 1926-1931 to the Sulaymaniyah library. 

 

Süleymaniye Mosque location in Istanbul

Süleymaniye Mosque won its privileged position on the high hill overlooking the Golden Bay, the highest hill of the seven hills on which the city of Istanbul was established. Being at the forefront of the entrance to the Golden Horn, overlooking the old and modern neighborhoods of the city, which gave it prestige and splendor that we can hardly find in any of the mosques of the Ottoman Empire despite their abundance and majesty and the distinction of each of them. However, the Mosque is located in the well-known Fatih district in the heart of Istanbul.

How do I go to the Süleymaniye Mosque?

You can reach the Süleymaniye Mosque by public transportation in Istanbul, and the easiest way to get to the Suleymaniye Mosque is to use the Haciosman - Yenikapi metro line. When getting off at the Vezneciler stop on this line, you will walk on Sulaymaniyah Street for ten to fifteen minutes to reach the square in which the mosque is located. Besides, it can be reached by using the Bagcilar Kabatas tramway. When you get off at one of the two stops Laleli or Beyazıt, you will arrive at the mosque after ten minutes of walking.

 

Frequently asked questions about the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

How many minarets are at the Süleymaniye Mosque?

Süleymaniye Mosque includes four minarets, and the reason for them being four is that the order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent is the fourth among the sultans of the Ottoman Empire after the conquest of Istanbul.

What is the area of the Süleymaniye Mosque?

The Süleymaniye complex was built on an area of sixty hectares, and the architectural building of the mosque is in the form of a rectangle close to the square, as it is sixty-nine meters long and sixty-three meters wide.

How to get to the Süleymaniye Mosque from Taksim?

The best way to go from Taksim to the Suleymaniye Mosque is by taking the Yenikapi metro from Taksim station to Vezneciler station near Süleymaniye Mosque.

 

Edited by: Safaraq Travel Company ©

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