Credit: “Wikipedia”/ by Darwinek

The Selimiye Mosque is an Ottoman mosque, which is located in the city of Edirne, Turkey. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II, and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1569 and 1575. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture.

Credit: “Wikipedia”/ by Khalid Mahmood

Selimiye Mosque was built at the peak of Ottoman military and cultural power. As the empire started to grow, the emperor had found an immediate urge to centralize the city. Sinan was asked to help to construct the Selimiye Mosque, making the mosque distinctive and served the purpose of centralizing the city. n order to accentuate and draw attention to the centralize structure of the mosque, the traditional placement of different sized minarets was abandoned from the design as Sinan believed that cascade of smaller domes and half-domes used earlier would play down the gigantic single-shell dome. Besides, four identical minarets were planted at each corner of the marble forecourt to enforce attention on the surrounded central dome. The four vertically fluted symmetrical minarets amplify the upward thrust, shooting towards the sky like rockets from each corner of the mosque, according to Ottoman scholar Gulru Necipoglu. With the great dome rising subtlety from the center, it had harmoniously interplayed with the half domes, weight towers, and buttresses crowded around it. It was believed that the circular architecture was to affirm the oneness in humanity and called out the simple ideology of circle of life. The visible and invisible symmetries that were called out from the exterior and interior of the mosque was to evokes God’s perfection through the plain and powerful structure of the dome and the bare stone.

Credit: “Wikipedia”/ by Edal Anton Lefterov

The interior of the mosque received great recognitions from its clean, spare lines in the structure itself. With the monumental exteriors proclaiming the wealth and power of the Ottoman Empire, the plain symmetrical interiors reminded the sultans should always provide a humble and faithful heart in order to connect and communicate with God. To enter, it was to forget the power, determination, wealth and technical mastery of the Ottoman Empire. Lights were seeped through multitude of tiny windows, and the interchanging of the weak light and dark was interpreted as the insignificance of human. The Selimiye did not only amaze the public with the extravagant symmetrical exterior, it had also astonished the people with the plain symmetrical interior for it had summarized all Ottoman architectural thinking in one simple pure form.

Credit: “Wikipedia”

Credit: “Wikipedia” / by Edal Anton Lefterov


Basic information

Edirne, Turkey
Geographic coordinates
41°40′41″N 26°33′34″E
Sunni Islam (Hanafite)
Heritage designation
2011[29th June]

Architectural description

Mimar Sinan
Architectural style


43 m (141 ft)
Dome dia. (inner)
31.25 m (102.5 ft)
Minaret height
83 m (272 ft)
Cut stone, marble[/vc_wp_text]


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