The Mihrimah Sultan Mosque, Uskudar

Ordered by the daughter of Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, it is part of a kulliye which is masterfully integrated into a sloping site which reaches down to the seashore and includes a medrese, a guesthouse, a refection hall, a primary school, and tombs that were added later on. The guesthouse and the refectory were destroyed bya fire in 1722.

The first mosque to be designed with a semi-dome by Sinan, this building has its main dome supported by semidomes on three sides, with the effect of widening the inner space. As one finds oneself under the dome as soon as one enters the mosque, the feeling of depth is very limited. But one is also immediately surrounded by the ambient bare space. An extra covering has been added in front of the middle part of the latecomers’ porch, which softens the hardness of the entrance facade. The mihrab front is particularly successful, with its semidome, exedras and small cupolas, its graded wall, and its round and arched windows.