Works of Mimar Sinan - Continued

Mimar Sinan is credited with designing 84 mosques, the most notable among them being the lavishly decorated blue-tiled Rustem Pasha Mosque and the Kadirga Sokullu Mosque in Istanbul. The Taqiyya al-Sulaimaniyya Khan Mosque that he built in Damascus is still one of the prominent landmarks of the city.

Sinan excelled in another field of architecture. He has to his credit mausoleums, which are at once unique and exquisite.

The Mausoleum of Sehzade Mehmed is a rare piece of architectural beauty with its intricate designs and a sliced dome. The Mausoleum of Rustem Pasha is on classical lines.

True to his creativity, Sinan experimented with mausoleum architecture too. The result was the Mausoleum dedicated to Suleyman the Magnificent with an octagonal shape and a flat dome. The spectacular square mausoleum of Selim II is still regarded as the torchbearer of Turkish mausoleum architecture.

Nowhere else is Sinan's architectural ingenuity more explicit than in the bridges he has raised. Here he had wedded aesthetic form with functionality and had come up with highly original structures. Some of his famous creations are the 635m long Büyükçekmece Bridge in Istanbul, Silivri Bridge outside of Istanbul, Lüleburgaz (Sokullu Mehmet Pasha) Bridge on Lüleburgaz River, Sinanli Bridge over Ergene River and Drina Bridge (the last being the inspiration behind Ivo Andric's classic "The Bridge on the Drina")

While reforming the water supply system in Istanbul, Sinan had constructed several aqueducts, of which the Maglova Arch over the Alibey River with its arched layers is the finest.

Mimar Sinan was a prolific artist, who reached higher standards with every work. His volume of work is mammoth, to say the least and legend has that he constructed:
  • 84 mosques
  • 57 universities
  • 52 smaller mosques
  • 41 bath-houses
  • 35 palaces
  • 22 mausoleums
  • 20 inns
  • 17 public kitchens
  • 8 bridges
  • 8 store houses
  • 7 schools
  • 6 aqueducts
  • 3 hospitals

His works are spread from the Balkans, through Anatolia to Damascus, Syria and even Jerusalem and of course in Istanbul.

Sinan died in 1588 and his body rests in a tomb outside the Sulemaniye Mosque. Ornate as his creations were, his own tomb is surprisingly a simple one, which lies across a street named after him. As a tribute, a crater in Mercury has also been named after him.

Nevertheless, more than the body of work, Mimar Sinan is hailed as the pioneer of Ottoman architectural style and a highly indigenous master who has had profound influence on posterity.

Mimar Sinan  |  Life and Inspirations of Mimar  Sinan  |  Works of Mimar Sinan  |  Works of Mimar Sinan - Continued