Considered to be the greatest Ottoman architect, Mimar Sinan was the Ottoman Empire’s State Architect for a decade, transforming the landscape of Istanbul as well as other Turkish cities with his masterpieces. Constructing or supervising more than 370 structures, Mimar Sinan was as busy as he was talented.
Sinan is believed to have been born in 1490 and to have grown up in the village of Ağırnas near the city of Kayseri. He spent his youth helping his father who was a stonemason and carpenter and therefore acquired a foundation knowledge in building work. Due to the devshirme system (a tax practice of the Ottoman Empire where boys of Christian families, aged eight to eighteen were taken to be raised to serve the state) Sinan was conscripted into the Ottoman Janissary as well as attending an auxiliary school where he learned carpentry and mathematics and soon assisted leading architects. He was ambitious and receiving his training as an architect this way.