Mimar Sinan: The Best Ottoman Architect


Ottoman Architect Sinan

Famous Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan and His Works

Mimar Sinan was born in Christian family. He was selected under the Devşirme (Literally recruiting in Turkish) system for Janissery (Ottoman elite troops) training schools. He managed to get to Imperial School (Enderun) which was located in the Topkapı Palace and only the brilliant children were selected for this school.

He rose rapidly through the ranks, ending up as commander in Janissery units. His ability as a builder of military constructions eventually brought him to the attention of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent. He was appointed as chief of the Ottoman architects.

Ottoman Imperial Mosques of Istanbul

Ottoman Mosques

Ottoman Mosques of Istanbul

Mimar Sinan’s Architectural Innovations

He embraced the cultural inheritance of Ottoman Empire from Seljuk Turks (Ancestors of Ottomans) and Byzantine Empire. He claims that he was deeply impressed by the architecture of Hagia Sophia and worked very hard to surpass its wisdom.

Sinan devoted himself to a prodigious output of architecture. He was involved in the design of mosques, tombs, fountains, hamams, aqueducts and schools.

Interior of Suleymaniye Mosque

Dome of Suleymaniye Mosque

Architect Sinan’s Masterpieces

His greatest achivement was to establish links between the past, present and the future. That is why he is known as the greatest urban planner and architect of the entire Ottoman Era. (Throughout 624 years)

He regarded the Şehzade Mosque (Istanbul) as the work of his apprentice days, Suleymaniye Mosque (Istanbul) as the work of his maturity, and the Selimiye Mosque (Edirne) as his masterpiece.

Mosques in Istanbul by Mimar Sinan

Suleymaniye Mosque

Mimar Sinan Structures in Istanbul

  • In Hagia Sophia: Twin bolder minarets on the western side.
  • In Sultanahmet Park: Ayasofya Hurrem Hamamı – A still functioning Turkish Bath

Ayasofya Hamami (Turkish Bath)

Ayasofya Hamami Turkish Bath

Ayasofya Haseki Hurrem Sultan Bath

Sultan’s Room in Topkapi Palace

Mimar Sinan Structures in Istanbul, Turkey

Sultan’s Room

Architect Sinan’s Tomb

Sinan lived a long life. He was the chief architect for 3 generations: Sultan Suleiman I, Selim II and Murat III. He died at the age of 98 in Istanbul. His tomb is located next to one his masterpiece: Süleymaniye Mosque.

World famous Blue Mosque is built by his first assistant, Sedefkar Mehmet Agha. That is why I often recommend, in the articles, to see Suleymaniye Mosque, the work of the master.


Blue Mosque

Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan by Serhat Engul


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