Ibby Magallon

Written by Ibby Magallon

Modified & Updated: 03 Mar 2024

Jessica Corbett

Reviewed by Jessica Corbett

Source: Turkishfoodtravel.com

The Süleymaniye Mosque, located in Istanbul, Turkey, is not only a magnificent architectural masterpiece but also holds a significant place in history and culture. Built during the reign of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent in the 16th century, this mosque stands as a symbol of the power and grandeur of the Ottoman Empire.

With its impressive domes, towering minarets, and intricate details, the Süleymaniye Mosque is a sight to behold. But beyond its awe-inspiring beauty, there are many intriguing facts that make it even more remarkable. From its unique architectural design to the historical events that have unfolded within its walls, the Süleymaniye Mosque has a story to tell.

In this article, we will take a closer look at 11 intriguing facts about Süleymaniye Mosque, shedding light on its cultural significance and shedding light on lesser-known aspects of this iconic landmark.

Key Takeaways:

  • The Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul is a stunning symbol of Ottoman architectural brilliance, with its grand size, intricate calligraphy, and tranquil gardens, making it a must-visit destination for history and architecture enthusiasts.
  • Designed by the renowned architect Mimar Sinan, the mosque’s impressive complex, including a madrasa, library, and hospital, reflects the rich cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire and continues to inspire architects worldwide.
Table of Contents

A Symbol of Ottoman Architectural Brilliance

The Süleymaniye Mosque stands proudly in Istanbul, Turkey, showcasing the exquisite craftsmanship and architectural prowess of the Ottoman Empire. It is considered one of the most significant landmarks in the city, attracting visitors from all around the world.

A Monument to Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent

The mosque was commissioned by the great Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent in the 16th century. It was built to commemorate his reign and to serve as a place of worship for Muslims in the region.

Imposing Size and Grandeur

The Süleymaniye Mosque boasts impressive dimensions, with its main dome reaching a height of over 53 meters (175 feet). This majestic structure dominates the Istanbul skyline and can be seen from various parts of the city.

An Architectural Masterpiece by Mimar Sinan

The mosque was designed by the renowned Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan, who is considered a master of his craft. His genius is evident in the harmonious blend of Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements found throughout the mosque.

Home to an Extensive Complex

The Süleymaniye Mosque is not just a standalone religious building. It is part of a larger complex that includes a madrasa (Islamic school), a library, a hospital, and even a hamam (traditional Turkish bath). This expansive complex served various functions and provided important services to the community.

Impressive Calligraphy Adorns the Walls

One of the striking features of the Süleymaniye Mosque is the intricate calligraphic inscriptions that decorate its walls. These beautiful writings from the Quran and Islamic scriptures are a testament to the rich cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire.

Stunning Courtyard and Gardens

The mosque is surrounded by a sprawling courtyard and meticulously landscaped gardens. Visitors can take a moment to relax amidst the tranquil beauty of the outdoor space, soaking in the peaceful atmosphere.

Tomb of Sultan Suleiman and Hurrem Sultan

Within the mosque complex, you will find the tombs of Sultan Suleiman and his beloved wife, Hurrem Sultan. These ornate tombs are lavishly decorated and serve as a final resting place for these influential figures from Ottoman history.

An Oasis of Serenity

Stepping inside the Süleymaniye Mosque is like entering a world of tranquility. The hushed ambiance, the soft illumination of the stained glass windows, and the beautiful architectural details create an atmosphere conducive to reflection and prayer.

A Witness to History

Throughout its existence, the Süleymaniye Mosque has witnessed numerous historical events, reflecting the dynamic nature of Istanbul’s past. It has been a place of worship, a refuge during times of conflict, and a symbol of resilience for the local community.

An Architectural Inspiration

The Süleymaniye Mosque has left a lasting impact on architectural styles not only in Turkey but also across the world. Its unique design and structural innovations have influenced countless architects and continue to inspire awe and admiration today.

Whether you are captivated by its architectural splendor, fascinated by its rich history, or drawn to its tranquil ambiance, the Süleymaniye Mosque is undoubtedly a must-visit destination for anyone exploring the vibrant city of Istanbul. With its grandeur and legacy, it stands as a testament to the enduring beauty and cultural significance of the Ottoman Empire.


In conclusion, the Süleymaniye Mosque is a truly remarkable landmark that holds great historical and cultural significance. Its grand architectural design, stunning interior, and rich history make it a must-visit destination for travelers and history enthusiasts alike. From its impressive domes and minarets to its intricate tile work and breathtaking views of Istanbul, the mosque continues to be a symbol of Ottoman magnificence.Whether you are interested in religious sites, architectural wonders, or simply immersing yourself in the beauty of Turkish history, the Süleymaniye Mosque is a place that should not be missed. So, next time you find yourself in Istanbul, make sure to pay a visit to this iconic landmark and experience the spiritual and cultural atmosphere that it exudes.


1. How old is the Süleymaniye Mosque?

The construction of the Süleymaniye Mosque began in 1550 and was completed in 1557, making it over 460 years old.

2. Can non-Muslims visit the mosque?

Yes, non-Muslim visitors are allowed to visit the Süleymaniye Mosque. However, it is important to dress modestly and respectfully.

3. Are there any entrance fees for visitors?

No, there are no entrance fees to enter the Süleymaniye Mosque. It is open to the public free of charge.

4. Are there any restrictions for photography inside the mosque?

Yes, photography is allowed inside the mosque, but it is important to respect the worshipers and refrain from using flash photography.

5. Can visitors go up the minaret for a view?

Unfortunately, visitors are not allowed to go up the minaret of the Süleymaniye Mosque. However, the mosque offers stunning panoramic views of Istanbul from its courtyard.

6. Is the mosque easily accessible for wheelchair users?

While the mosque is located on a hill, there are ramps and accessible entrances available for wheelchair users. It is recommended to bring a companion for assistance.

7. Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are available for visitors who wish to learn more about the history and architecture of the Süleymaniye Mosque. These tours provide a deeper insight into the significance of the mosque.

8. Are there any nearby attractions to visit along with the Süleymaniye Mosque?

Absolutely! The Süleymaniye Mosque is located in the historic district of Istanbul, and there are numerous attractions nearby, including the Grand Bazaar, Spice Bazaar, and Topkapi Palace, among others.

9. Is there a dress code for visiting the Süleymaniye Mosque?

Yes, visitors are required to dress modestly when visiting the mosque. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees, and women should also cover their heads.

10. Can visitors participate in the mosque’s daily prayers?

Yes, visitors are welcome to observe the daily prayers at the Süleymaniye Mosque. However, it is important to maintain a respectful demeanor and follow the instructions given by mosque staff.

11. Is there a specific time to visit the mosque?

The mosque is open for visitors throughout the day, but it is recommended to visit during non-prayer times to fully appreciate the beauty and tranquility of the atmosphere.

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