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Mosque of Suleyman The Magnificent
The Mosque of Suleyman The Magnificent was built in 1550-1557 by the famous Architect Sinan, the great architectural genius who served Suleyman the Magnificent. It is the most important Ottoman work in Istanbul. Together with its numerous annex structures, it spreads out over an enormous area. The height of the dome is 53 meters and the diameter is 25.5 meters. In the hall behind the pulpit stand the mausoleums of Suleyman and his wife Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana). The complex also included a hospital, a medical school, a printing house, library, Turkish baths, medresses (schools), a public kitchen for the poor, and a caravansary. To improve the acoustics of the interior, large earthenware jars were placed in the domes and semi domes. There is a ventilation system over the entrance door to collect the soot from the hundreds of burning candles. Mihrap (the altar) has some of the finest examples of 16th-century Ottoman-Iznik(Nicaea) tiles. The minarets are four in number, emblematic of the fact that Suleyman the Magnificent was the fourth Sultan after the conquest of Istanbul(1453), and the 10 serefes on the fourth minaret signify that he was the 10th Ottoman Sultan. The calligraphies are the works of the famous calligrapher Ahmed Karahisari and his son Hasan Celebi. The stained-glass is the work of Ibrahim the Sot.
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