According to the sources available on Sinan's works, he produced more than
four hundred works. It may be safer to say that these works were built or
renovated during his lifetime. We shall not attempt to describe each and every
one of Sinan's works but rather concentrate on the most important ones within
their categories, as well as those which are most representative of his art.
Some Important Religious Complexes (Kulliye ) Kulliyes were complexes with
diverse social functions, the most important of which was the religious one. The
main building of the complex was the mosque, followed by the medrese. The
complex would usually also include the following premises: a public kitchen or
refectory, a guesthouse, a hospital, a school, a hamam, a fountain, a water
distribution kiosk and different shops. The tomb of the person who had ordered
the project would generally be situated within the complex. Kulliyes situated on
the main caravan routes would include, in addition to the kervansaray, a prayer
hall, a hamam, a refection hall, shops and stables. The kulliyes were powerful
social poles, and the fact that they were conceived .as vaklfs ensured their
continuity. The activities they brought about considerably stimulated the urban
development of the areas in which they were built. Therefore many kulliyes were
built in newly settled areas in order to help them develop. The duties and
rights of each kulliye were specified in detail in the foundation charter and
the people in charge of the vaklf implemented the terms of the charter.
The kulliyes designed by Sinan are exquisitely conceived, be it from the
point of view exquisitely of the site chosen, the integration to an often rough
and uneven terrain, or the harmony achieved with the city's general skyline.
Most of them are situated on hilltops or on the sea shore where they can easily
seen. They strike the eye as one approaches the city, constituting an
inseparable part of its silhouette. The choice of the site is not only related
to the Kulliye's appearance from afar, but also to the view one has of the city
from inside the complex, a view enhanced with the spectacle of the sea offered
by the shores of the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. It is in adapting his design
to sloping terrains that Sinan has shown a most special talent. Solving such
problems seems to have been like some sort of entertaining crossword puzzle for
him. These kulliyes entertaining can be easily reached from different ground
levels while offering a rich variety of perspectives. The different buildings
forming the kulliye are very skilfully situated at levels corresponding to their
function and importance. The final result is a well graded complex offering a
fine appearance visible from afar, and forming an organic whole dominated by the
Above text and pictures are from the book titled "Turkish Art and Architecture in Anatolia and Mimar Sinan".
You can purchase "Turkish Art and Architecture in Anatolia and Mimar Sinan" book and other Turkey related books from Explore Turkey Bookstore.