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    Historical Influences on the Architecture of the Suleymaniye Mosque Essay

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    How has diverse civilizations and architecture throughout history influenced the architecture of the Suleymaniye Mosque?

    The chief issue that will be covered by the writer in this thesis is the inquiry of how different civilizations and architectural manners have influenced the Suleymaniye Mosque’s design and construction. The ground for this probe is to place characteristics, which have been acquired from other civilizations, and besides the manner in which Architect Sinan developed an architectural manner that was besides influenced through the usage of other landmark edifices around him such as the Hagia Sophia. Having said this, it is of import to place his technology expertness, which will be discussed further in the 2nd chapter of the thesis. It will be utile to besides hold a expression at the influence that Architect Sinan acquired during his life-time through other architectures and whether he has reflected these onto the devising of the Suleymaniye Mosque.

    The initial subdivision of the thesis will be centered on familiarising the reader with the history of Mosques severally and how they have transformed over clip up until the Ottoman Empire, every bit good as during the age of Sinan ; where his manner and plants will be discussed. This will give the reader an apprehension of how the stylistic and structural features of traditional signifiers have developed over clip and evolved into Ottoman Mosques and accordingly the Suleymaniye. Which brings us onto the 2nd chapter of the thesis.

    As mentioned, the 2nd subdivision will mostly cover the Suleymaniye Mosque’s history, map and construction. It is of import to observe that the Suleymaniye Mosque has been through Restoration many times due to temblors ( which are a common happening in Istanbul ) and wars, and how this has changed certain facets of the edifice. The writer will besides look into whether or non the mosque has adapted to the altering times and societal demands which the passing of clip has brought with itself. Further, as seen from the tabular array of contents, the functionality of the mosque will besides be explored. As portion of a larger composite, besides known as the ‘Suleymaniye complex’ , the Suleymaniye is a little but of import portion of this composite which besides bears with it different functionalities. These will be described, as it will besides give more of an penetration into the possible changing nature of the Suleymaniye Mosque through the acquisition of different functionalities within the complex itself. The construction is a major characteristic within the mosque, as it was influenced over clip by many civilizations and architectures such as the Hagia Sophia once more, and Palladio, every bit good as act uponing other architecture such as Michel angelo ‘s dome found above the roof of St Peter ‘s, Rome.

    The 3rd chapter will ab initio look into the influence of other civilizations such as the Islamic influence, the influence of the Byzantine Empire every bit good as the Barque-Style. However, as Turkey is entirely an Muslim state, and has been an Islamic state for many old ages pre-dating the Ottoman epoch, it is clear that the chief influence will be the Muslim civilization. However, it is of import to besides look into other cultural influences particularly since people from other civilizations besides populate Turkey. Istanbul itself has been a metropolis which seen the presence of people from different states and or civilizations brought by war etc. The issue of diverse cultural influences will originate within this survey when we talk about the construction of the Suleymaniye mosque and its features as different parts have been influenced or attained from a assortment of different civilizations. The Mosque has merged Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements.

    Within the concluding chapter of the thesis, the writer will see the influential consequence of other architecture on the Suleymaniye mosque. Again, civilization will be prevailing in this chapter excessively in order to understand how architecture is of an influence. For illustration, Architect Sinan has combined tall, slight towers with big vaulted edifices reinforced by half domes in the manner of the Byzantine churchHagia Sophia. Many other manners from other civilizations are apparent within the Mosque, for illustration when the Suleymaniye Mosque was destroyed by afire in 1660and was restored on the bid of grand Turk Mehmed IV by architect FossatA± . However the Restoration changed the mosque into a more churrigueresque manner architecture.

    Taking elements from foreign civilizations and faiths and uniting them into something original can be recognized in the Suleymaniye Mosque. The originality of the great Ottoman mosques did non develop by taking all the foreign influences ; alternatively it is a mixture that developed by the process of integrating of foreign civilization by the Turks of Byzantine civilization. This is the symbol of the Ottoman Empire, a multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural imperium. This will project an apprehension on the history of the Mosques and Ottoman Architecture that will hence lead to a decision of the influences on the Suleymaniye Mosque. The beginnings mentioned in the bibliography will be of great usage in geting the relevant information. These can be accessed through the web. The thesis will besides necessitate looking beyond these articles and books, as a site visit is required.

    2 ) The suleymaniye mosque

    The Suleymaniye mosque was built in Istanbul between 1550 and 1557. It is the largest of the Ottoman edifice endeavors and is regarded as one of Architect Sinan’s ( Mimar Sinan ) most celebrated chef-d’oeuvres, every bit good as one of the most of import illustrations of Ottoman architecture. Sinan was born in the last decennary of the 16th century. Bing enrolled as a adolescent into the Janissary Corps that is a school for learners, he advanced his, woodworking, aarchitectural and technology accomplishment. Sinan served in assorted military functions during the reign of Suleyman the Magnificent, where he bit by bit developed blessing for his technology accomplishments and accomplishments. During the Moldavian run was when Sinan was chosen to be the main designer by the Prime Minister, Lutfi Pasha. Sinan was the main designer for about 50 old ages and was responsible for the design, building and Restoration of over 400 edifices, of which the Suleymaniye being one of the most of import. During his clip as head designer, he contributed to theaˆ?formation of an architecture thataˆ?is now recognized as ‘Ottoman Architecture’ . His most advanced blends andaˆ?interpretations of signifiers were reservedaˆ?for the mosques he built for Sultans. [ 1 ] Due to the experiences he gained through the practical facets of his architectural life every bit good as his travels, he developed a repute of an advanced interior decorator of mosques and vaulted constructions, which he so applied to the Suleymaniye Mosque. Out of all of Sinan’s plants, the Suleymaniye Mosque aimed to transcend any other imperial mosque in beauty and size, which in most people’s sentiments was a success.

    In the late 1540’s, the Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent ordered Sinan to construct a mosque within akulliye( composite of edifices next to a mosque ) . Just like most imperial mosques, the Suleymaniye Mosque is more than merely a topographic point of worship. The complex consisted of assorted societal, spiritual and educational maps such as schools, a infirmary, a caravansary, Turkish baths, and more. [ 2 ] The mosque is located on the Old Palace, on a hill overlooking the Golden Horn. The mosque is symbolic in the metropolis of Istanbul, as it sits on the highest hill, therefore implies the power and strength of the Turkish Ottoman Empire. The composite was planned as a great Centre of larning comprising ofmadrasas( a School for Islamic direction ) for surveies in divinity and holy jurisprudence and medical specialty. Wide walkways environ the composite, where the outer sides consist of two rows ofmadrasason the longer sides and societal service edifices along the 3rd side. Over clip their has been add-ons of farther edifices into the complex such as the Hadith college, which have resulted in a deficiency of symmetricalness within the complex by trying to accommodate the edifices into older street webs. The mosque is located at the Centre of the complex positioned towards theqiblah( way of the Mecca, south-east ) . Around the mosque is a broad courtyard mensurating 44 by 58 metres, which has a fountain in the center and a minaret in each corner, with a colonnaded peristyle with columns of marble, granite and porphyritic rock. [ 3 ] The courtyard surrounded by an arched colonnade is a standard characteristic of Ottoman imperial mosques. Some of the marble and granite columns used for the Suleymaniye were collected from an old Byzantine Hippodrome, and from other locations in the metropolis. In add-on many stuffs where besides collected from Roman and Byzantine edifices in Greece, Egypt, and other parts of the Ottoman Empire. This shows the diverseness of civilizations involved in the aesthetical and structural characteristics within the mosques design.

    The courtyard is enclosed on three sides by stonewalls, through the Windowss of which the sanctuary and funerary garden may be viewed. The 4th side has no wall built, leting a bird’s-eye position of the metropolis and Golden horn. The minarets of the Suleymaniye have a sum of 10 balconies ; this was due to Suleyman the Magnificent being the 10th Ottoman grand Turk. Two taller minarets both frame the forecourt and tag the entryway to the interior infinite of worship where the sidewalls of the forecourt meet the mosque. [ 4 ]

    The mosque has many structural features that resemble the Hagia Sophia. Sinan knew the Hagia Sophia good as he contributed to its saving. For about 500 yearsByzantine architecturesuch as the church of Hagia Sophia functioned as theoretical accounts for many of the Ottoman mosques including the Suleymaniye. [ 5 ] Although both were constructed in really different times, one stand foring the Christian-Byzantine Empire and the other stand foring the capableness of the designer Sinan and the Islamic-Ottoman Empire, they have similarities as the Hagia Sophia influenced the Suleymaniye. Similar to the Hagia Sophia four giant wharfs hold up the chief domes over a square program. However the support system is much more complex ‘two half-domes stand on the axis ofqiblahand hugearched walls filled with Windowss stand on the cross-axis’ . The multiple domes and the arches back uping them besides help to beef up and administer the weight of the monolithic cardinal dome. [ 6 ] Equally good as the columns being an indispensable portion of the complex dome and support system of the mosque, it besides had important symbolic value sacredly, symbolically and besides architecturally. Although this supports the thought of influence of Hagia Sophia on the mosque, it besides shows that the Suleymaniye mosque remains a alone piece of architecture due to its complexness, from the colliding facets Sinan applied to the mosque. Taking elements from foreign civilizations and faiths and uniting them into something original can be recognized in the Suleymaniye Mosque merely by analyzing at the structural qualities and stuffs. The originality of the great Ottoman mosques did non look by taking all the foreign influences, nor can it simply be reduced to the Byzantine manner. It is a mixture that developed by the process of integrating of foreign civilization by the Turks of Byzantine civilization. This is what Ottoman Empire is, a multiracial, multilingual, and multicultural imperium, which is what will be explored farther throughout this survey.


    1. Cansever, Turget. “ The Architecture of Mimar Sinan. ” Architectural Design. V. 74. n. 6. Nov/Dec 2004. pg 64-70.

    2. Celebi, Sai Mustafa. Book of Buildings: Memoirs of Sinan the Architect. Kocbank: Istanbul, 2002. pg. 68.

    3. Freely, John and Augusto Romano Burelli. Sinan: Architect of Suleyman the Magnificent and the Ottoman Golden Age. Thames & A ; Hudson: London, 1992. pg. 15-18, 26-33, 44-45, 74-77, 123-137.

    4. Goodwin, Godfrey. Sinan: Ottoman Architecture and Its Valuess Today. Redwood Press Limited. Great Britain, 1993. Pgs. 33-45.

    5. Nelipuglu, Gulru. The Age of Sinan: Architectural Culture in the Ottoman Empire. Reaktion Books: London, 2005. pg. 207-221.

    6. Yayinlari, Ege. Sinan: An Interpretation. Istanbul, Turkey, 1997. Pgs. 28-30.

    7. Grabar, Oleg, erectile dysfunction. 1990. Muqarnas Volume VII: An Annual on Islamic Art and Architecture. Leiden: E.J. Brill. Page 92

    8. Art History, Volume I: Prehistoric-1400, pgs 520 – 522

    9. Sinan and Palladio: two civilizations and nine squares, International diary of architectural heritage, vol. 6, no. 1, 2012 Jan./Feb. , pgs. 1-18.

    10. The Suleymaniye Mosque: a computational fractal analysis of ocular complexness and layering in Sinan ‘s masterwork, ARQ: architectural research quarterly, vol. 16, no. 2, 2012 June, p. 171-182.

    11. Global architecture: the masterworks / Will Pryce, London: Thames and Hudson, 2009.Pgs 193 – 195

    12. Particular issue. Mimar Sinan: the urban vision, Environmental design, vol. 5, no. 5/6 ( 1/2 ) , 1987, p. 6-221.

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