The Süleymaniye Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii,) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. For 462 years, the Süleymaniye Mosque was the largest mosque in the city, until it was surpassed by the Çamlıca Mosque in 2019. The Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the best-known sights of Istanbul, and from its location on the Third Hill, it commands an extensive view of the city around the Golden Horn.

Süleymaniye Mosque, described as the work of Mimar Sinan, was built as a part of the Süleymaniye Complex, consisting of madrasahs, a library, a hospital, a primary school, a bath, a soup kitchen, a cemetery and shops.

Like the other imperial mosques in Istanbul, the entrance to the mosque is preceded by a forecourt with a central fountain. The courtyard is of exceptional grandeur with a colonnaded peristyle with columns of marble, granite and porphyry. The northwest facade of the mosque is decorated with rectangular Iznik tile window lunettes. It was the first building in which the Iznik tiles included the brightly coloured tomato red clay under the glaze.

Four minarets occupy the four corners of the courtyard. The two taller ones have three galleries (serifes) and rise to a high of 63.8 m (209 ft) without their lead caps and 76 m (249 ft) including the caps. Four minarets were added to mosques endowed by a sultan (princes and princesses could construct two minarets; others only one). The minarets have a total of 10 galleries, which is said to reflect the fact that Suleiman I was the 10th Ottoman sultan.

The main dome is 53 metres (174 feet) high and has a diameter of 26.5 metres (86.9 feet) which is exactly half the height. When it was built, it was the highest dome in the Ottoman Empire, when measured from sea level, although it was still lower from its base and smaller in diameter than that of Hagia Sophia.

The interior of the mosque is almost a square measuring 59 metres (194 feet) in length and 58 metres (190 feet) in width, forming a single vast space. The dome is flanked by semi-domes, and to the north and south there are arches with tympana-filled windows, supported by enormous porphyry monoliths. Sinan embarked on a radical architectural innovation to mask the huge north–south buttresses needed to support these central piers – he incorporated the buttresses into the walls of the building, with half projecting inwards and half projecting outwards, and then hid the projections by building colonnaded galleries. There is a single gallery inside the structure, and a two-story gallery outside.

Address: Süleymaniye, Prof. Sıddık Sami Onar Cd. No:1, 34116 Fatih/İstanbul, Türkiye

Opened: 1557

Height (max): 53 m (174 ft)

Architect: Mimar Sinan

Burials: Suleiman the Magnificent, Roxelana, Mihrimah Sultan

Minaret(s): 4

Architectural styles: Ottoman architecture, Islamic architecture

Working Hours:

Friday 8:30 AM–1:30 AM
Saturday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM
Sunday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM
Monday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM
Tuesday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM
Wednesday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM
Thursday 8:30 AM–4:45 PM

Phone: +90 212 458 00 00

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