Selimiye Cami, a symbol of the Ottoman Empire and Edirne, was commissioned by Sultan Selim II and built between 1569 and 1575 at the center of the city. It is considered one of the main masterpieces of Ottoman Art and a landmark in the history of architecture worldwide. The renowned architect, Great Sinan, considered the Selimiye Mosque to be his finest work.
Constructed from faced stone, the mosque boasts an impressive 2,475 square meter area, making it the largest mosque in the world. It was built on the site of an Ottoman palace established by Sultan Yıldırım Bayezid, but was later demolished due to its lack of durability. The exceptional artist Sinan went on to create this magnificent mosque.
Despite efforts by engineers and architects from around the world to uncover its secrets, the building’s construction remains a mystery. As a result, it has been added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Candidate List.
The Selimiye Mosque features four elegant minarets, each with three balconies that measure 3.80 meters in diameter and 85 meters in height. The two minarets located in the corners of the northeast and northwest courtyards have three stairs, allowing the muezzins to reach their designated area without any obstacles. This is a unique and practical feature of the mosque.
MUEZZIN GATHERING PLACE
The muezzin gathering place, where the muezzins announce the imam’s sayings during prayer, is made of either wood or stone and placed on anterooms and pillars that are 2-3 meters long. The original railing, made of walnut, was damaged but was later restored and decorated with apple tree damask motives and red and green colors in 1984.
REVERSE TULIP FIGURE
One of the most eye-catching features of the Selimiye Mosque is the reverse tulip motif. Nearly all surfaces, including paintings and tile work, are adorned with 101 different tulip designs of various sizes, colors, and shapes. The tulip motif is also carved into the marble column supporting the muezzin gathering place. According to Muslim beliefs, the tulip symbolizes gratitude to God, as its name means “God” in Arabic (“هلال”).
Another story suggests that the tulip represents the mosque’s durability.
HUNKAR (SULTAN) GATHERING PLACE
The Hunkar Gathering Place is located on the left corner of the mosque. It rests on four special columns connected by four arches. The area once featured original tiles, but these were removed during the Ottoman-Russian Wars of 1878 and taken to another location.
The entrance to the mosque consists of two equal rectangular shapes, one of which is the magnificent door and the other is a roofless, pot-shaped sadirvan made of white marble. This beautiful sadirvan embodies the Ottoman Classic Architecture style.
The mosque also features numerous Iznik tiles, including tiles that bear the inscription of the Surah Al-Fatihah, ordered by Ottoman Sultan Selim II. Various parts of the mosque were richly decorated with these beautiful tiles.
Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is a true masterpiece of Ottoman architecture and a must-visit destination for history buffs, architectural enthusiasts, and anyone who loves to explore the beauty of the past. This magnificent mosque not only showcases the technical prowess and artistic brilliance of its architect, Sinan, but also provides a glimpse into the rich cultural heritage of the Ottoman Empire. From the soaring dome to the intricate tile work, every aspect of this mosque is a testament to the skill and creativity of its creators.
Visitors can marvel at the size and grandeur of the dome, which is one of the largest in the world, and appreciate the intricate details of the minarets, which serve as a symbol of the mosque’s grandeur. The muezzin’s gathering place is also a highlight, with its beautifully carved wooden railings and ornate motifs. The reverse tulip figure, which can be found throughout the mosque, is a reminder of the religious significance of this building, and the intricate tile work is a testament to the craftsmanship of the artisans who created it.
But the beauty of Edirne Selimiye Mosque extends far beyond its physical features. The mosque is a place of spiritual significance, where people come to pray and reflect. The calm and serene atmosphere provides a peaceful escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, making it a truly unique and memorable destination.
So why visit Edirne Selimiye Mosque? Whether you’re an architectural enthusiast, a history buff, or simply someone who loves to explore new destinations, this mosque is a must-visit. With its rich cultural heritage, stunning architecture, and spiritual significance, it’s a destination that will leave you with a sense of awe and wonder.
If you’re planning a trip to Turkey, consider taking a tour of Edirne Selimiye Mosque with Tour Maker Turkey. Our knowledgeable guides will take you on a journey through the history and beauty of this magnificent mosque, giving you an in-depth understanding of its significance and cultural heritage. Book your tour today and experience the magic of Edirne Selimiye Mosque for yourself!