Ottoman Architecture

mehmet-ii
Mehmed II, the conqueror, reign 1444-1481

Constantinople succumbed in 1453 to Mehmed II, known as Fatih, conqueror. A new name ”İstanbul” coming from the Greek phrase ”to the city” Mehmed II built the markets of Kapalı Çarşı for merchnant activity. The square bay with a rounded dome became the standard unit of Ottoman architecture like in the Kapalı Çarşı and used in palaces, hospitals, schools, baths and mosques. Hagia Sophia was the great prize for Sultan and quickly converted into a royal mosque.

Transformation of Constantinople to İstanbul and Ottoman city succesed by royal mosques and minarets. Mehmet II built a new mosque, the Fatih Cami and extensive imaret with three smaller rounded domes which inspired by the great Byzantine churches. The Fatih Cami occupied the center of vast and perceftly square plaza. On the north and south sides stood sets served for study of canonical law which divided into Muslim and non-Muslim sectors. Also the conquerer Mehmed intended the imaret as a welfare institution that demonstrated the benefits of Ottoman peace.

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In 15, Mehmed II decided to move from his palace in the center of city where the acropolis of ancient Greek city of Byzantium once. The Topkapı Saray compex offered a more secluded residence with fortified walls surronding a hill, wooded park and also willfully asymmetrical and more like a garden than a building.  Additionally the Saray has strong connection to natural features adn the framed views to Bosphorus landscapes. The most important policital space in Topkapı, the Diwan or council hall jutted into the northwest corner of the courtyard. The saray is serving as a museum, here is the offical page: http://www.topkapisarayi.gov.tr/tr

topkapi-sarayi-i
The Topkapı Saray

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Sinan was the greatest architect of Ottoman Empire. The Ottoman military played an overarching role in the administration and state architects. Sinan referred to as Hoca Sinan or Mimar Sinan(the architect) emerged as the most prolific and accomplished over 300 projects throughout the realm. Sinan gained the title of architect of Adobe of Felicity at late age of 47. He built 22 major mosques and imarets in İstanbul. his military career was the main key for his architectural design, he witnessed a variety of design solutions and gained command of engineering through the production of bridges and transport ships.

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Sinan’s earliest commissiıns for monumental works came from two female clients who ere Hurrem, wife of Suleyman I and her daughter Mihrümah. The Haseki Hürrem complex covered the mosque with a single hemispherical dome and designed the hospital, an institution for women with an unusual octogonal court for honor of Hurrem.

The two imarets built for fonor of Mihrümah and also occupied remote sites in the city. The Mihrümah Cami has most splendid domes which a 20meter diameter hemispherical cupola rising 35meter on massive octagonal piers which was in a similar mindset to that Gothic master builders.

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The Şehzade Cami was the first work for Süleyman I. Sinan abutted the central dome with four semidomes which inspired by Hagia Sophia.

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Sinan returned to the composition of Hagia Sophia for Süleymaniye, begun in 1552 which created a central dome nearly as large as the Byzantne prototype, flanked by two semidomes and four octagonal buttress towers rose at the cornes of dome. The Süleymaniye’s imaret covered slightly less aarea than Fatih’s complex and occupied the true center of İstanbul.

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Sinan built his largest mosque in Edirne during the 1570s for Suleyman I successor, Selim II. Selimiye Cami’s dome spread slighty larger than Hagia Sophia and the m,inarets were among the tallest of all Islam. Sinan designed the mihrabs as a semiclosed chmaber with a semidome. Also he articulated the facade in the courtyard with an alternating ryhthm of wide and narrow bays, intimating a kind of Ottoman mannerism.

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