Thursday, April 26, 2012

Edirne, Turkey April 16-17, 2012

stone design on minbar in Sinan's mosque

Huge dome in Sinan's masterpiece Selimiye mosque

Sultan's room in mosque


outside of Sinan's mosque, Selimiye mosque, built in  1566-1575 he was 79 when he completed it.

outside of Eski Cami (old mosque) with its nine domes. built in brick and stone in 1402-1414.

inside of Selimiye mosque, the huge pillars and arches help support the weight of the dome

Eski Cami (Old Mosque) damaged by earthquake in 18c was restored. 

ceiling painting in old mosque

wonderful calligraphy on walls of eski cami 

seemed very modern

lovely wooden patio

 Uc Serefeli Camii (3rd mosque) 
on walls of  3rd mosque


lovely twisted minarets in front of 3rd mosque, name comes from the 3 balconies on the minarets which you can see here

fruit soaps, the specialty in Edirne

an ottoman bridge
even the cookies on the bus had wonderful designs

stained glass in madrasa at selimiye complex

madrasa (koranic school) in Sinan's mosque, now a very nice, small museum

side view of Sinan's mosque

lovely tulip tiled section of wall in mosque
the great Mimar Sinan himself

We took the 2 hour bus ride from Istanbul to Edirne to visit the famous Sinan masterpiece, the Selimiye mosque, and we were not disappointed.   Edirne was the Ottoman capital city (from 1365-1453) and had close to 300 mosques in the past. It is located
in far western Turkey about 10 km from the Greek and Bulgarian borders. It was founded  by the ancient Greeks, conquered and renamed by the Roman emperor Hadrian in the first century AD as well as being conquered  by Constantine in 328 AD. THose Romans got everywhere! The city was captured by Sultan Murat I in 1360/2. Sinan the main architect of the Sultans for 50 years regarded his two mosques in Istanbul as apprentice work (Sehzade) and (Suleymaniye) as journeyman's work and finally Selimiye as his masterpiece.

He seemed like a humble, kind and brilliant man. One of the quotes in the museum was as follows:  "I traveled the Arab and Persian lands in the service of Sultan learning something from the dome of each palace, the corner of each ruin that I saw, I increased my knowledge and refinement. On my return to Istanbul I served the leading men  of my time and became a Janissary."

And " I hope that those of pure heart who look upon my works from now until the end of time and doomsday will treat me kindly, and when they see the earnestness of my endeavor and dedication remember me in their prayers. May God's will be done". 


  1. Thanks for the history info. :) Amaaazing ceilings and I love the calligraphy on the walls. Cute bus cookie. :D

  2. What a great trip!! Beautiful fotos and I too love the soaps. They look good enough to eat