EDIRNE SELIMIYE MOSQUE AND ITS SOCIAL COMPLEX
The Selimiye Mosque and its social complex, which have been the masterpieces of Ottoman art and have a particular place in the history, were placed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 2011 as the tenth site in Turkey on the list. The Selimiye Mosque has been the symbol of Edirne, the capital of Ottoman Empire before the conquest of Istanbul. The mosque is visible from all part of the city in its entire splendor. With its monumental dome and four slender minarets, it has been praised for centuries. The construction of the mosque started in 1568 and lasted seven years. Thousands were employed during the construction.
The mosque was designed and built by Mimar Sinan, the architect royal, who regarded it as his “masterwork”. The dome is certainly the centre of attention with an awe inspiring span of 31.22m and a soaring height of 42.30m. Four slender minarets reach the highest possible height for such small intersections. Every minaret contains three sherefes and three stairways, each leading to a different platform, and also as a unique design feature, these stairways are completely independent from each other. The glazed tile decorations of the Mosque are also highly acclaimed. The tiles were manufactured in Iznik which was at its zenith as a centre of excellence. Here are one hundred and one different designs of tulip used in the decorations. The mihrab and minbar are considered to be one of the finest examples of marble carving.
Around the rest of the mosque were many additions: libraries, schools, hospices, baths, soup kitchens for the poor, markets, hospitals, and a cemetery. A market place was commissioned to the architect Davud Aga during the reign of Sultan Murad III, so as to create a steady income for the upkeep of mosque.
World Heritage List: Selimiye Mosque and its Social Complex
Some selected examples (please click on pictures to enlarge):