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Mimar Sinan: Architect of the Empire
26.07.2021 Stephanie Chang
architecture
Mimar Sinan

Contrasted against the modern buildings of Istanbul, Mimar Sinan’s classical Ottoman architecture like the Süleymaniye Mosque, is still evocative of the power and splendour of the past. Stephanie Chang discusses the architecture of these iconic buildings, and assesses how they fit into a city which continues to grow with modernity.

The cityscape of cosmopolitan Istanbul is evolving to such an extent that Turkish Prime Minister, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan recently gave orders that relevant ministries should seek to preserve the city’s historic horizon, which is dominated by the presence of the Süleymaniye Mosque. Designed by renowned classical architect Mimar Sinan (1489-1588), the mosque’s elegant yet formidable silhouette has become the iconic symbol of the cityscape. Referred to as ‘the crown on the hill’, Sinan’s Suleymaniye Mosque harkens back to the city’s historic position straddling Islamic and Byzantine traditions.

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