View of Istanbul with Süleymaniye Mosque
The Süleymaniye Mosque is a mosque on Third Hill in Istanbul, Turkey. An Ottoman imperial mosque, it is the second biggest mosque in the city after the Blue Mosque.
Süleymaniye Mosque was built by the order of Sultan Süleyman. The architect involved was the famous Ottoman architect and civil engineer, Sinan Pasha. Construction of the mosque took place from 1550 to 1558. It blended an Islamic architectural design with Byzantine elements. The mosque is a combination of large half domes with slender minarets, in the style of Byzantine churches such as the Hagia Sofia, which the Ottomans also converted into the Aya Sofya mosque.
Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul
The Süleymaniye Mosque reflects Suleyman's desire to be portrayed as the "second Solomon". This it does by making references to the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the site of the Temple of Solomon. It also drew references to the Hagia Sofia, whose builder the Emperor Justinian the Great of the Byzantine Empire was said to have exclaimed upon its completion, that he had outdone Solomon.
Ceiling of Süleymaniye Mosque
The Süleymaniye Mosque has withstood calamities of various kinds throughout its history. It was damaged by fire in 1660, and restored by Sultan Mehmed IV. An earthquake caused part of its dome to collapse in 1766. During the First World War, its courtyard was used as an ammunition depot. When some of the explosives ignited, the mosque was again damaged by the resulting fire. It was not fully restored until 1956.
Today the mosque is one of the major tourist attractions in Istanbul. A replica of it can be seen at Taman Tamadun Islam, an Islamic-themed monument park in Kuala Terengganu, Malaysia.
Interior of Süleymaniye Mosque
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