|The cascading domes and four slender minarets of Suleymaniye Mosque
dominate the skyline on the Golden Horn's west bank. Considered the most
beautiful of all imperial mosques in istanbul, it was built between 1550
and 1557 by Sinan, the renowned architect of the
Ottoman golden age. On
the crest of a hill, the building is conspicuous for its great size, wh1ch
the four minarets that rise from each corner of the courtyard emphasize.
Inside, the mihrab (prayer niche) and the mimber (pulpit) are of finely
carved white marble; fine stained glass windows color the incoming streams
of light. It was in the gardens of this complex that Suleyman and his wife
Hurrem Surtan had their mausolea built. and near here also that Sinan
built his own tomb.the mosque complex also includes four medrese, or
theoiogical schools, a school of medicine, a caravanserai, a Turkish bath,
and a kitchen and hospice for the poor.
skillful accomplishment of the architect Sinan, the Rustem Pasa Mosque
was built in 1561 on the orders of Rustem Pasa, Grand Vizier and
son-in-law of Suleyman the Magnificent. Exquisite lznik tiles panel
the small and superbly proportioned interior.
The imperial Fatih Mosque, constructed between 1463 and 1470, bears
the name of the Ottoman conqueror of Istanbul, Fatih Sultan Mehmet,
and is the site of his mausoleum. Standing atop another of Istanbul's
hills, it vast size and great complex of religious buildings --
medreses, hospices, baths, a hospital, a caravanserai and a library --
make it well worth a visit.
The great Mosque of Eyup lies outside the city walls near the Golden
Horn, at the supposed place where Eyup, the standard bearer of the
Prophet Mohammed. died in the Islamic assault on Constantinople in
670. The first mosque built after the Ottomanconquest of the city,
this greatly venerated shrine attracts many pilgrims.
|Built between 1597
and 1663. the Yeni (New) Mosque hovers over the harbor at Eminonu greeting
the incoming ferryboats and welcoming tourists to the old city. Today its
graceful domes and arches shelter hundreds of pigeons who make this area
their home. Marvellous lznik tiles decorate the sultan's balcony.
The 16th century Sokollu Mehmet Pasa Mosque built in an awkwardly shaped
plot on a steeply sloping hill near Sultanahmet is one of the most
beautiful examples of classical Turkish architecture and a masterpiece of
the architect Sinan. Inside, breathtaking blues, greens, purples and reds
color the elegant designs of the lznik tiles.
Walls of glass fill the four immense arches that support the central dome
at the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque inside the Edirne gate of the old city walls.
One hundred and sixty-one windows illuminate this mosque, built by Sinan
for Mihrimah Sultan, the daughter of Suleyman the Magnificent, in 1555.