Selimiye Mosque – Crown jewel of Ottoman Empire recognized as UNESCO World Heritage site in Turkiye

Baku, April 18, AZERTAC

Added to the UNESCO World Heritage list in 2011, the Selimiye Mosque – crown jewel of the Ottoman Empire - and its social complex in Edirne was built in 1575 by Mimar Sinan, the most renowned Ottoman architect of the 16th century.

Sinan, the most famous of Ottoman architects in the 16th century, considered the complex, which includes madrasas (Islamic schools), a covered market, clock house, outer courtyard and library, to be his best work.

The interior decoration using Iznik tiles from the peak period of their production testifies to an art form that remains unsurpassed in this material.

The mosque with its charitable dependencies represents the most harmonious expression ever achieved of the külliye, this most peculiar Ottoman type of complex.

The imposing mosque stepping up to its single great dome with four soaring slender minarets, spectacular decorated interior space, manuscript library, meticulous craftsmanship, brilliant Iznik tiles and marble courtyard together with its associated educational institutions, outer courtyard and covered bazaar, represent the apogee of an art form and the pious benefaction of 16th century imperial Islam.

The single great dome supported by eight pillars has a diameter of 31.5 over a prayer space of 45mx36m, and with its four soaring minarets it dominates the city skyline.

The innovative structural design allowed numerous windows creating an extraordinary illuminated interior. The mosque complex was recognised by Sinan himself as his most important architectural work.

The comprehensive restoration work for the UNESCO World Heritage site Selimiye Mosque, regarded as the peak of Turkish-Islamic architecture, begun in northwestern Edirne province in 2021.

The restoration of the mosque, which is owned by the foundation of Sultan Selim II, is being carried out by the General Directorate of Foundations. The restoration is expected to be completed in 2025. Within the scope of the works, the mosque will be open to worship and visit.





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