The Suleymaniye Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul. As with other imperial mosques in Istanbul, the Süleymaniye Mosque was designed as a kulliye, or complex with adjacent structures to service both religious and cultural needs. The original complex consisted of the mosque itself, a hospital , primary school, public baths, a Caravanserai, four Qur'an schools, a specialized school for the learning of hadith, a medical college, and a public kitchen, which served food to the poor.In the backround,The Yeni Cami, The New Mosque or Mosque of the Valide Sultan is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the Eminönü district.
It is the largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul.The Süleymaniye Mosque, built on the order of Sultan Süleyman "was fortunate to be able to draw on the talents of the architectural genius of Mimar Sinan".
It is considered to be a kind of architectural answer to the Byzantine Hagia Sophia, commissioned by the Emperor Justinian. The Hagia Sophia, converted into a mosque under Mehmed II, served as a model to many other Ottoman mosques in Istanbul. Sinan's Sulimaniye is a more symmetrical, rationalized and light-filled interpretation of earlier Ottoman precedents, as well as the Hagia Sophia. It is possible that dialogue between Italy and Istanbul contributed to Sinan's enthusiasm for symmetrical and rational forms, as promoted by writers like Alberti.
The Suleymaniye plays on Suleyman's self-conscious representation of himself as a 'second Solomon.' It references the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the site of the Temple of Solomon, as well as Justinian's boast upon the completion of the Hagia Sophia: "Solomon, I have surpassed thee!" The Suleymaniye, similar in magnificence to the preceding structures, asserts sultan Suleyman's historical importance. The structure is nevertheless smaller in size than its older archetype, the Hagia Sophia.
The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1558.This "vast religious complex called the Süleymaniye; blended Islamic and Byzantine architectural elements. It combines tall, slender minarets with large domed buildings supported by half domes in the style of the Byzantine church Hagia Sophia.The Süleymaniye was ravaged by a fire in 1660 and was restored by Sultan Mehmed IV. Part of the dome collapsed again during the earthquake of 1766. Subsequent repairs damaged what was left of the original decoration of Sinan.