The Selimiye Mosque is a masterpiece by the famous Ottoman-era Turkish architect Mimar Sinan-Selimiye. This mosque, built at the request of Sultan Selim II, is one of the most striking examples of Turkish-Islamic architecture. In 2011, the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne was included in the UNESCO World Heritage List.

Sultan Selim II ascended the throne after the death of his father Suleiman the Magnificent in 1566. He continued his father’s wars of conquest and further expanded the borders of the Turkish Empire. His greatest success was the conquest of the island of Cyprus.

After this military victory, he decided to build a mosque in honor of his victories. He plans to build a mosque in Istanbul first, but one night he dreams that the Prophet Muhammad advised him to build a mosque in Edirne.

He summoned the 80-year-old architect Mimar Sinan and ordered him to start building the mosque. The construction of the mosque began in 1568 and was opened for worship in 1574, immediately after the death of Sultan Selim II. Mimar Sinan proved his ability as an architect with the Shehzadebashi and Suleymaniye Mosques in Istanbul and was named Chief of World Architects. He builds mosques, inns, tombs, bridges.

In response to Christian statements that Hagia Sophia in Istanbul was the largest and most beautiful temple in the world, he decided to build a large mosque with a large central dome. He knows that the dome of St. Sophia is not very strong and has collapsed several times. He personally led the activities to strengthen this dome and strengthened it with two minarets.

The mosque is famous as the architectural site with the largest covered area, built of cut stone and covers an area of ​​2 thousand 475 square meters. The dome is 31 meters and 30 centimeters in diameter, 43 meters and 28 centimeters high and is placed on large transverse columns with a width of 6 meters standing on 8 large supporting columns. The mosque has four minarets with three sheriffs, 70 meters and 89 centimeters high and 3 meters and 80 centimeters thick. The sheriffs of the minarets are reached by a common staircase from the entrance, while the sheriffs of the other two minarets are reached by separate staircases. This allows three imams to go out simultaneously to the different chiefs of a minaret. The mosque is decorated with marble, dalian stone, high-gloss faience, wood carvings and mother-of-pearl inlays. The courtyard of the mosque is prepared as a park for walks and there are also cafes for relaxation.

The mosque’s pulpit, made of marble, is a masterpiece of Turkish Islamic architecture. It is decorated with beautiful frescoes. Unlike the later representatives of the Renaissance, Leonardo da Vinci and Michelangelo, for whom everything must be magnificent, Mimar Sinan prefers to leave a small flaw in the mosque. The dome of Selimiye is 43 meters high and has a diameter of 32 meters and thus it precedes the dome of St. Sophia. The dome is located on an octagonal supporting structure, which provides greater strength and durability. Another feature of the mosque is the simplicity of the interior and exterior decoration, which, however, combines synchrony with beauty. With its four minarets, the Selimiye Mosque in Edirne continues to arouse admiration today.

Selimiye rules over the city of Edirne and is its most important symbol. Every year it is visited by tens of thousands of tourists from abroad who want to get to know this architectural masterpiece of Mimar Sinan.