Suleymaniye Mosque

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What to see and things to do in TURKEY

Turkey is the only country that is bridge between Asia and Europe continents. Both natural and cultural richness and nearness to natural resources Turkey’s geopolitical location is the primary. Because of this Turkey hosted lots of nation and, was the aim of many empires and witnessed lots of war for this reasons. Anatolia and Rumelia that has been the residential area of numerous community, forms Turkey’s borders. Within these borders by holding traces of history in 7 different region of the country, in spite of developing technology and industrialization there are still wonders that protects its beauty and exhibits it to us with all its generosity.
Istanbul is the evidence for that by summarizing all of the properties of the country in two shakes. It embodies Turkey’s all properties with its architecture and hidden heavens. In addition to this, Turkey is opening doors for everybody from every part of the world with its all cities and all localities. On the one hand Ephesus, Bursa, Çanakkale and so on for the historical vacations, on the other hand nonesuch natural beauty that amazes visitors Pamukkale, Cappadocia, 4 season vacation possibility serving Karadeniz(Blacksea) Ege(Aegean) and Akdeniz(Mediterranean) Regions Turkey is hosting millions of guest every year. Either you can breathe relax and green fresh air in the middle of summer or live an unforgettable summer vacation in Mediterranean shores. If you want relieve your stress by skiing over Bursa’s magnificent Uludağ in winter or taste different winter meals of the country in the eastern part of Turkey. Turkey is one of the fantastic countries that you can spend your vacation in every city and every region with hospitable people of it. It is impossible for you to not to come across with different countries’ mosques, different period’s churches and synagogues in every corner of the Anatolia which hosted every kind of people from every nation during the ages. Armenian, Catholic, Bulgarian churches Roman patriarchates various cathedrals and synagogues that blinds you with their different architecture is existing in every part of Turkey. And also Christian world’s important pilgrimage center House of Virgin Mary is in the countries’ on of the most precious cities. You can be sure that this region which is hosting numerous pilgrim, can welcome you with different alternatives. Of course it is not just sightseeing places of Turkey that gains currency. The countries each region has got their own culture climate and cuisine also. The diversity that you cannot find over the world is just available in court kitchen. All kind of meals and all kind of pleasure addressing Turkish cuisine will make you lick your fingers. Again each locality will open a door to a different culture and meet you with different tastes and you will be amazed richness of the cuisine.
It is not possible to fit beauties of this world wonders in this few minutes. There is no need to be pessimistic if you do not have time to travel all over the country. There is a website that gives you detailed information about Turkey’s most beautiful cities.There are also high mountains, such as Ağrı, Kaçkar, Süphan and Ilgaz that allows you climbing sports and you may also enjoy winter sports in such mountains as Uludağ, Palandöken, Sarıkamış. These mountains contains facilities for skiing. If you wish, you may relax your spirit in the gren plateaus of Karadeniz while drinking your well steeped tea. As a country that surrounded on three sides by seas, Turkey, with her clean bays, long beaches and bright waters, is an excellent place for summer vacation. If you do not make parasailing in Fethiye Ölüdeniz, you may not complete your list of places to see.For discovering the handicraft such as marbeling[Ebru], calligraphy[hat] and ceramic or excellent Turkish rugs which are sewed by hand or local houses of Harran and Safranbolu, or Turkey’s foods and cloths awaits you!

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Location : Istanbul / Suleymaniye

Suleymaniye mosque, or better known as the mosque of Suleyman the Magnificent, was built in the 16th century by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Suleyman the Magnificient, also known as the Legislator. It stands on a hilltop (3rd hill) dominating the Golden Horn and contributing to the skyline of Istanbul. The mosque is the largest mosque of Istanbul.

The mosque was ordered by the sultan Suleyman, and architect Sinan built it in 7 years, between 1550-1557 AD. Like all big and important mosques of that period, also this mosque was built as a complex including a hospital, library, madrasa, kitchen and hospice for the poor, hamam, and shops. It's one of the best examples of Ottoman Islamic architecture in Istanbul.

The mosque is less ornate respect to the other mosques of the time, but its simple decorations gives another athmosphere to this masterpiece. As in all great mosques, it has an outer courtyard and the inner courtyard with four minarets in the corners. Two of these minarets are taller (74 meters - 242 feet) than the other two (56 meters - 184 feet) and these have 3 balconies on each meanwhile shorter ones have two balconies on each. This symbolizes Suleyman as the fourth sultan after the Conquest of Constantinople and the tenth sultan from the beginning of the Ottoman Empire. All of these balconies (called as "serefe") have separate stairways inside. The inner courtyard (or late-comers courtyard) is surrounded by a portico of small columns and domes to protect people from the sun or rain depending on the season, and it has a fountain for the ablutions in the middle (which is dry today).

There are 3 entrances to inside of the mosque, one being from the inner courtyard on the axis of the mosque and other two being on the sides of the outer courtyard. Inside, the floor is covered with carpets. The chandeliers are low and dim so it gives you an idea of the time when it was lit with candles,and there are 138 windows. The marble Mihrab is directly ahead of you, meanwhile the Minbar is on the right of mihrab and the sultans' lodge is on the left corner. Above, you'll notice the great dome which has a diameter of 27 meters (88 feet) and a height of 53 meters (173 feet). There are massive arches and four large columns lifting the main dome and smaller half domes thus creating a large space. Indoors, there are simple but beautiful decorations such as floral designs, geometrical patters, and calligraphy from the Koran. The acoustics of the hall is incredibly sharp.

In the outer courtyard to the southeast, there is an old cemetary where important people were buried once upon a time. Sultan Süleyman, his wife Hürrem, and architect Sinan have their own mausoleums within the compound as well.

Today Suleyman's mosque is one of the most popular sights in Istanbul. Normally tourists enter the mosque from the inner courtyard and after taking the shoes off. Camera and flash is allowed in the mosque.

In November 2010 the Suleymaniye mosque is re-opened to public after a long restoration period of three years.

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