Süleymaniye mosque


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Süleymaniye mosque

  1. 1. SÜLEYMANİYE MOSQUE The Süleymaniye is the second largest of the imperial mosque complexes in thecity,after Fatih Camii,but it is by far the most magnificent(Kafadar Necipoğlu Gülru,2005).Itis fitting monument to its founder,Süleyman Magnificent, and a masterwork of the greatest ofOttoman architects,the incomparable Sinan.The mosque itself,the largest of Sinan’s Works, isperhaps inferior in perfection of design to his Selimiye at Edirne, but it is incontestably themost important Ottoman building in İstanbul.( Goodwin, Godfrey 1993)For four and a halfcenturies it has attracted the wonder and enthusiasm of all foreign travellers to the city (FromA History to Ottoman Architecture.) One day Sultan Süleyman saw the Hz.Muhammed in his dream and followedHz.Muhammed to the place where the Süleymaniye mosque is today.Hz Muhammed said himin his dream ‘ niche must be here, pulpit there.’When Sultan Süleyman woke up,he thanked toGod and called the architect Sinan.Without making no explanation,with a great excitement hetook the architect Sinan to the place where he saw in his dream.When he began to talk bysaying ‘ we will make a mosque and a külliye’,the architect Sinan interrupted him and said‘niche must be here and pulpit there’.Shocked by these words, Sultan Süleyman said ‘ Sinan,you seem like you have been informed’.Sinan answered ‘ My dear Sultan, I was coming twostep behind you in your blessed dream’. This is the story of how the construction idea of themosque emerged.(Gökçek C,2005)
  2. 2. Kanuni Sultan Süleyman had the Süleymaniye Mosque built to show the strength and splendour of his realm. This honourable task was given to Sinan,the head architecht. It took him seven years to complete the mosque and itsannex. Kanuni was not pleased with such a long time. He didn’t understand why Sinan did notand would not open it to public. On the other hand people had begun to gossip. The Sultanlost his patience and went to Suleymaniye one late afternoon.(from greatsinan.com) When he entered the magnificent building he saw that Sinan was sitting in the middleof the mosque smoking his water pipe. The Sultan couldn’t believe his eyes. With all his hightone of voice he asked, ‘What’s all this architect?’ As a matter of fact, Sinan was not reallysmoking. He was only blowing up the water in the water pipe by means of its pipe. He wastrying to listen to the acoustic (acoustical sound) of the mosque, as he watched the bubbles inthe water. At the same time he was trying to find out how the Imam’s voice would possibly beheard all around as he spoke at the altar. To make this possible he had 65 huge earthenwarepickle jars brought from different parts of Anatolia. And he had them put all around the domewith their openings (mouths) sideways. They were all empty. This way his aim was fulfilled.The voice could spread all around the corners. Kanuni realized what architect’s aim was andforgave him.(no name,2004) During construction of the mosque, because of the technical phase of base preparation,for a long time, there is nothing to be appeared in public and no one could understand why the
  3. 3. mosque didn’t come into being, people began to set rumours in Iran. The Shah of Iran whointerpreted these rumours about the mosque delay because of the lack of money, he sent achest which had lots of jewellery in it to Sultan Süleyman to make him humiliated. AfterSuleyman had the present of the Iran Shah, he didn’t refuse the present by acting courteouslybut instead he had the jewellery squashed and crushed and then commanded to Sinan to putthe crushed jewellery into the daub which was used in the construction of the tall minaret .Soit is said that when the minaret takes the sun shine from behind, it glitters.(Gökçek C,2005) Again at the time of construction of the külliye, Vatican worried with the news like ‘Islamic world is creating a masterpiece’ so they prepared a marble with a hidden cross in itand sent as a present to Sultan Süleyman. Their aim was to make the marble be used in themosque and say after it ‘Sultan Süleyman,’ the caliph of Islam world, prays and sermonizeson the cross’. But having the secret information,Sultan Süleyman commanded his men to splitthe marble down in the middle into two part and put the marbles which had cross on them and placed the marbles on the front doors’ ground. In this way, whoever wanted to enter the mosque needed to walk on them. Then Sultan Süleyman wrote a reply to the Vatican and said ‘we got your present and placed it to the right place where it must be’.This stories shows how the other countries of the world worried about the magnificence which the Süleymaniye mosque would have when it finished.(Gökçek C,2005,translated) Some architects, who were jealous of Sinan, complained to Kanuni Sultan Suleymanabout him and said that they could have done the same thing if they had been given the samechance! Upon this, Kanuni had a meeting in his presence. All the architects including Sinanhad come. Kanuni took out a handful of marbles and told them to put the marbles on the top
  4. 4. of one another. Of course it was something impossible to do. Then, the Padishah turned toSinan and asked him to do it. Sinan took off his ring. Put it on the floor and then placed themarble and he went on. When he completed his task , all the other architects protested sayingthat they could have done the same thing. Then Kanuni asked why they hadn’t done it beforeand added, ‘Sinan always does something first, then you imitate him.’ Another speciality of Sinan is that in his work, he reflects the qualifications of theperson who the work is built for.For example, the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque he built for thedaughter of Sultan Suleyman, reflects the delicate and graceful look of a woman and at thesame time the magnificence of Sultan Suleyman(from greatsinan.com). Sultan Selim was apoet. The minarets of Selimiye reflect the delicate spirit of a poet. The seperate stairs going upeach gallery, are the product of an architectually super brain. It was made for the first time inthe world. Sinan had an air corridor built inside the building. Electricity hadn’t yet been inventedat that time. So Suleymaniye was lightened by 275 giant oil lamps. Sinan had a very smallroom built above the middle door so that the smoke, that came from the oil lamps, would getthrough all corners of the mosque and be collected in that very small room. This way of themosque and the people would not be effected by the smoke. Sinan was a real genius,he had a moistening system built and he produced ink from the soot that was collected in the room. The ink was the best kind at that time. All the beautiful designs, drawings, writings, decorations were made with this distilled ink. The air circulation within themosque was also exceptional and the space above the entrance was illumunated by 4000
  5. 5. candles. Soot obtained from the candles is one of the raw materials the making of ink used forcalligraphy.(from greatsinan.com) He also used the ostrich egg to protect the mosquefrom the spiders and bugs. It is suprising that but in 500hundred years of time period, anyone didn’t come acrosswith even one spider in the mosque. Süleymaniye mosque shouldn’t be thought only as amosque,should be seen as a whole, külliye, life centre, a socio-cultural complex. In this place,people is set high value and complex was constructed with the aim of supplying the needs ofpeople in every area. So the Suleymaniye Complex includes a mosque, medrese, hospital,lunatic asylum, infirmary, tombs, hamam, market and a primary school.( Cansever, T 2004) The people who have examined his buildings commonly say that Sinan has taken all the precautions known, to prevent the destruction of an earthquake. One of these precautions is the material used in the foundation of the building. By the help of this mortar earthquake waves are sucked and so lose strength. The location of the building is also very interesting. In addition , he built protection walls using stakes. He waited for six years so that the foundation of Suleymaniye would set completely in the ground. Sinanalso built a sewage system(drenaj) By means of this system, the foundation would beprotected from water and moisture. In addition to this, he built a kind of air canal to get rid ofthe moisture inside the building and thus provide a sort of balance between cold and warm air.He built evacuation canals because of the changing of weather conditions in winter and in
  6. 6. summer. The hot weather in summer, would heat the air and soil and this would producemoisture going into the foundation of the building. To prevent this, steam evacuation andmoisture canals were built and were used. Connectedly with the sewage system canals.(fromgreatsinan.com) Some years ago the Suleymaniye Mosque fell into danger of collapsing. If it couldn’t be prevented the whole building would fall down within a short time. All the carrying weight was on its arches. In the middle of each of these arches was a lacking (or foundation) stone. And they had become worn out in the course of time. Nobody knew and there wasn’t any written document telling how the worn out stones could be changed. All the qualified engineers and architects of Turkey were called. Everyone had a different opinion but no one could solve the problem.As the discussions were going on, there was a chaos in and outside the mosque. While those architects and engineers belonging to different institutions wereexamining the arches, one of them discovered a hidden hollow just by accident. In the holethere was a piece of paper with a note written on it. It was written with the old alphabet. Itwas examined by many specialists and was proved to be real. It was a letter written byarchitect Sinan himself. When it was translated into today’s Turkish, it said, ‘You’ve foundmy letter. This shows the foundation stone of the arch is worn out and you don’t know how tochange it..’ Great Sinan explained how it was going to be changed word by word. In the sameplace there was a bottle. In it there was another note telling how the old stone could be
  7. 7. changed with the new. It said,’Whoever wishes to change this old stone with the new, willplace a greased rope on both sides of the new stone. While pushing both ends of the rope intothe sides of the old stone on one side, some others will pull out the ends on the other side.This way you’ll take the old stone out and put the new stone in. They did what they were todo word by word and this was how Suleymaniye was saved. This letter is still being kept inthe Topkapı Palace. The Suleymaniye mosquewas truly a masterpiece during thetime it was built in the 1550. Today,it still never fails to captivate itsaudience through the complexity ofits design and the intellectualanalysis of its significance.(Goodwin, Godfrey 1993) Süleymaniye mosque is one of the most visited places inİstanbul.The mosque is definitely symbolic in the city of Istanbul, sitting at top the highesthill, in that it represents central power and strength of the Turkish Empire . For the ones who want to see the Suleymaniye mosque, it dominates the citys ThirdHill, just north of Istanbul University, overlooking the Golden Horn Its an easy walk of lessthan 10 minutes around the university from Beyazıt Square and the Grand Bazaar to theSüleymaniye.(Anonymous 2008) To get the full effect of the architects design, you should walk to the northwest side ofthe mosque onto Şifahane Sokak and enter the courtyard by this main entrance. The mosque isopen every day, for free. (Anonymous 2008)
  8. 8. As i said before the mosque complex (külliye) includes a hamam, imaret (soup kitchen, now a fine restaurant serving Ottoman cuisine), theological colleges (medrese), a hospital (darüşşifa) and medical school, a primary school, and acaravanserai/hostel for travellers. Some of these, such as the hamam and imaret, are still opento the public. Youll also want to visit the beautiful, elaborate tombs of Süleyman and hissultana Roxelana (Hürrem Sultan) in the garden behind the mosque. The tomb of ArchitectSinan is outside the complex at the intersection of Mimar Sinan Caddesi, Fetva Yokuşu andŞifahane Sokak(Anonymous,2008) BUKET KILIÇOĞLU 3231080046
  9. 9. REFERENCES1. Gökçek,C (Haziran 2005),Muhteşem Süleymaniye Cami ve Külliyesi, from http://training.akademiklima.com/suleymaniye.pdf2. (2009). SULEYMANIYE (SÜLEYMANİYE) MOSQUE .from http://english.istanbul.gov.tr/Default.aspx?pid=312.3. Kafadar Necipoğlu,G.(3 January 2005), Religious Inscriptions on the Great Mosques,Harvard4. Great Sinan,Architech Great Sinan,2008,İstanbul Design Center from http://www.greatsinan.com/edu.asp5. Architectural Form: Suleymaniye Mosque,(04 Oct 2012) from http://www.123HelpMe.com/view.asp?id=1629846. Cansever, T. The Architecture of Mimar Sinan." Architectural Design. V. 74. n. 6. Nov/Dec 2004.7. Goodwin, Godfrey. Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and Its Values Today. Redwood Press Limited. Great Britain, 1993.8. Ege Yayinlari,. Sinan: An Interpretation. Istanbul, Turkey, 19979. Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul,from http://www.turkeytravelplanner.com/go/Istanbul/Sights/Beyazit/Suleymaniye.html10. Süleymaniye Camii,from http://www.gbg.bonet.se/osmanli/kultur/eserler/suleymaniye.htm11. Süleymaniye camii ve şifreleri from http://www.mailce.com/suleymaniye-camisi-ve- sifreleri.html