Suleymaniye in Istanbul (Süleymaniye Camii) - mosque with an observation deck, courtyard and mausoleums

Suleymaniye (Süleymaniye Mosque, Turkish: Süleymaniye Camii) is a mosque in the historic old part of Istanbul, which is a masterpiece of architecture of the Ottoman Empire and the second most important, after Blue Mosque, a mosque in the city.

Sometimes pronounced as "Suleymania Mosque".

The Suleymaniye Mosque is one of the most famous sights of Istanbul.

Suleymaniye is a whole complex, which included and partially now includes: the mosque itself with a courtyard, fountains, pavilions-tombs of the sultan and his family, Turkish baths (hamam), a former hospital, a madrasah (school), a former almshouse, a kitchen, a library, an observatory and shops. Some of these buildings have not survived to this day.

Since the mosque is located on a hill, its territory offers panoramic views of part of Istanbul.

The mosque was built in 1551-1557 by architect Mimar Sinan, by order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent.

The mosque was erected as a complex with adjacent buildings to serve both religious and cultural needs.

During the history of the mosque suffered from two fires, and during the First World War, the courtyard of the mosque was used as a weapons depot.

Today Suleymaniye is one of the most important examples of classical Ottoman architecture. It is used both for its intended purpose and as a tourist object. Accommodates up to 5,000 believers.

The dome of the mosque, resting on four elephant "legs", is 53 meters high and 27.5 meters in diameter. This main dome is supported by two half domes, as well as Hagia Sophia Mosque. There are 32 windows in the dome drum.

The Suleymaniye Mosque has a front courtyard with a central hexagonal fountain.

The courtyard has three entrances, is surrounded by 24 columns, which are part of a continuous colonnade-gallery, which is decorated with 28 domes.

At the four corners of the courtyard there are four minarets (a type of tower in a mosque). Two of the minarets are taller, have three tiers and three balconies, and rise to a height of 76 meters (249 feet), including pointed caps-spires. The other two minarets, which are located at the corners of the entrance facade wall of the courtyard of the mosque, have two balconies and a height of 56 meters. In total, the minarets have 10 balcony galleries, which traditionally indicates that Suleiman I was the 10th Ottoman Sultan.

Four minarets were used for mosques built by the sultan, whereas princes and princesses could build mosques with two minarets, and all others with only one.

Fountain in the center of the courtyard of Suleymaniye

Inside, the mosque is almost square, 59 meters (194 feet) long and 58 meters (190 feet) wide, forming a single huge space.

The central dome is framed by semi-domes and arches with windows.

The interior decoration is restrained by stained glass windows, tiled Iznik around the mihrab and floral patterns.

Huge chandeliers stand out especially in the interior of the mosque, where ostrich eggs are hung between the lamps, which are designed to scare away spiders and other insects with their smell.

There is a viewing platform near the main building of the Suleymaniye complex, which gives beautiful views of a part of Istanbul.

Visible: the new part of the European side of Istanbul, the Golden Horn and the Bosphorus Strait.

Video of the view from the observation deck of Suleymaniye

On the qibla side of the mosque there is a cemetery and a burial ground - two mausoleums where Suleiman the Magnificent, his beloved wife Hurrem (Roksolana) and their daughter Mihrimah are buried.

Turbe (tombs-mausoleums) are polygonal buildings topped with a massive dome.

Today, inside the tombs you can see not only the tomb of Roksolana herself, but also the tombs of other members of the ruler's family.

Suleiman's tomb is larger and architecturally more majestic than the second tomb.

The dome of the tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent is decorated with diamonds placed between metal plates from the inside, creating an image of the sky decorated with stars.

The tomb is surrounded by a pitched marble gallery.

The second mausoleum

The Suleymaniye Hammam, which is part of the Suleymaniye Mosque complex, was built in 1550-1557 by the Turkish architect Mimar Sinan by order of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent and named after him.

This hamam was visited by Sultan Suleiman himself and other Ottoman sultans. Today, anyone can visit this hamam.

Sulemaniye hamami is a traditional bathhouse consisting of three sections: cold, warm and hot. The temperature in the hot part can reach 40 degrees Celsius. In the hammam, men and women are together. Male employees, called tellaks, serve all clients, doing, including foam massages.

Address of the Suleymaniye Hammam: Süleymaniye, Mimar Sinan Cd. No. 20, 34116 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey.

The site of the hammam Suleymaniye: . Learn more about the hammams of Istanbul...

On the one hand, there is a cafe with a panoramic terrace near the Suleymaniye Mosque complex, and on the other - several Turkish cuisine establishments with complex lunches.

Practical information

The Suleymaniye Mosque is located on the European side of Istanbul, in the old part of the city, in the Fatih district.

Address of the Suleymaniye Mosque: Süleymaniye Mah, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/Istanbul, Turkey.

Coordinates mosques Sulaymaniyah: 41°00'58.0"N 28°57'50.0"E (41.016111, 28.963889).

There are several entrances to the mosque, located on different sides of the complex.

Entrance to the territory and to the mosque itself is free (free). During the hours of services, tourists are not allowed inside the mosque, and you can move around the territory.

Website of the Suleymaniye Mosque: suleymaniyecamii.

You can get to the mosque on foot from the ferry piers near the Galata Bridge; from the tram stop T1, which is near Grand Bazaar; from the metro station Vezneciler (green line M2). From the Hagia Sophia Mosque or The Blue Mosque is about a 25-30 minute walk away.

You can also visit Suleymaniye with one of the excursions in Istanbul

All accommodation facilities in Istanbul, including in the historical center, on the European and Asian sides of the city, can be viewed and booked here booking

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