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Sultan Selim Mosque (Edirne)

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Plan of the Complex
  • Construction year: 1574-1575
  • The city it is located in: Edirne
  • The borough it is located in: Central Edirne
  • The neighbourhood it is located in: Merkez
  • Address: Mimar Sinan Avenue, Edirne
  • How to reach the place: The Sultan Selim (Selimiye) Mosque and Complex are located in central Edirne. This is the welcoming view as we approach Edirne..
  • Monument type: Mosque
  • The function today: Mosque
  • The ownership: Directorate of Pious Foundations
  • The bibliography that link the building to Sinan: TE, TB, TM
  • Information about the monument: The Selimiye Complex is not as comprehensive as the Süleymaniye or the Fatih Complexes. The variety in the structures that make up this Complex is also more modest. It is composed of the mosque, madrasa, arasta, and school buildings. The madrasas were built right behind the Qibla wall of the mosque, symmetrical to it. The view of the majestic dome of the Selimiye Mosque as seen on the sloping path towards the Qibla wall between the madrasas is certainly breathtaking. The Selimiye Mosque is one of the most important buildings of Ottoman architecture. Without doubt, along with the Suleymaniye Mosque, it is one of Sinan’s most famous and majestic works of architecture. The unparalleled Selimiye Mosque is also Sinan’s interpretation for the loyalty of Sultan Selim II to Edirne, who spent the years of his regency and the first year of his sultanate there; it is a fitting tribute to the city that gave him the support he needed towards his sovereignty. A visit to this building, which is considered among the significant buildings of world architecture, will be an unforgettable journey back into history… Wondering around the buildings in the Complex and in the Mosque, you can easily spend a whole day here. Experiencing the Selimiye, from its place in the silhouette of the city from afar to all its minute architectural details, meticulously planned and executed, is truly an architectural feast. Its crowning silhouette over the city view will remind you that you are about to encounter an extraordinary building. The large dome with four identical minarets at the corners of the square plan seems even more imposing as one approaches the Selimiye. Upon entering the mosque, the well-lit dome engulfs one as if it is suspended in air. It spite of the great size of the interior space, a feeling of serenity introduced by the well-balanced proportions of the architectural elements dominates; in fact, each architectural or decorative element inside is an art or architecture masterpiece in its own right. The calligraphy that adorns the interior is by the famous calligrapher Karahisari. The marble minbar is the most majestic, perhaps the most beautiful one of its kind representing Ottoman architecture. Sinan has placed an elevated Müezzins’ Tribute at the center, right below the crown of the main dome, in an unprecedented way never seen before or after him. Its symbolic placement at the axis of the dome, the fountain underneath this elevated gallery, and the decorations that were re-exposed following the recent restoration, all make it unparalleled to any other in their beauty. In addition to this Tribute, there is also a Sultan’s Prayer Gallery inside, near the eastern wall, towards end of the upper gallery level. Sultan Selim II was personally involved in the designing of the decorations for this Gallery, as documented in the correspondences of the Sultan. During a short Russian occupation of Edirne, some of the original Iznik tiles in this Gallery were removed and taken away by Russian soldiers. The places of these tiles have been left in plain paint, while all others are original. The Sultan’s Prayer Gallery is closed to public at this time.
  • The other monuments of Sinan similar to this building: Sultan Selim Hadith College (Edirne), Sultan Selim Darülkurra (Edirne), Taşlık Mahmut Pasha Mosque, Sokollu Mehmet Pasha Bath House (Edirne), Rüstem Paşa Caravanserai (Edirne), Defterdar Mustafa Paşa Mosque (Edirne), Ali Pasha Caravanserai,
  • The other monuments similar to this building: Üç Şerefeli Mosque, Covered Bazaar (Bedesten), Eski Mosque, Edirne City Historical Museum, Edirne Museum, Ekmekçizade Caravanserai, Deveci Han
  • Last Update: 4.12.2015
  • Comments: Click here to read comments about this monument.
  • © 2006 Respect to Sinan. All rights reserved. [Çekül Foundation] [Union of Historical Towns]