The Suleymaniye Complex

Built by Kanuni Sultan Suleyman, it forms one of the highest points in the city skyline, standing on one of the highest hills of the Istanbul peninsula, from where it can be seen from numerous places. Among these are the areas of Fatih, Eminonu, the Golden Horn and Galata, as well as Uskudar and Beylerbeyi on the Asian cost. The mosque and the other buildings have been placed at different levels through an arrangement of terraces and retaining walls. sinan brilliantly managed to make the best of the terrain and to create a very impressive symmetrical composition. The complex is composed of four medreses, a dar-ul hadis medrese (a school specialised in the study of the Hadiths: sayings and deeds of the Prophet reported by followers and tradition), a medical school, a primary school, a hospital, a refection hall, a guesthouse, a kervansaray, a dar-ul kurra (koranic recitation school), special rooms for visiting students or trainees, shops, a hamam and the tombs of Kanuni suleyman, his wife Hurrem Sultan and sinan himself. Together with those of Fatih (the Conqueror) and Atik Valide in Uskudar, this complex constitutes one of the three largest Ottoman kulliyes. All the buildings of the complex fit in harmoniously with the towering central mosque, while the courtyards, streets and passages between the neighbouring walls and buildings form an interesting combination of exterior spaces.