The Suleymaniye mosque is the second largest but by far the finest and most magnificiant of the imperial mosque complexes in the city. Suleymaniye Mosque is an architectural masterpiece. It was constructed by the great Ottoman Architect Mimar Sinan.
The mosque construction work began in 1550 and it was finished in 1557 on the order of Sultan Suleyman I ( Suleyman the Magnificent ). Suleyman was the richest and most powerful Sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
It is considered to be a kind of architectural answer to the Hagia Sophia ( Byzantine ) commissioned by the Emperor Justinian. Sinan's Suleymaniye mosque is a more symmetrical, rationalized and light-filled interpretation of earlier Ottoman precedents, as well as the Hagia Sophia.
Suleymaniye mosque is 59 meters in length and 58 meters in width, the main dome is 53 meters high and has a diameter of 26.5 meters. It is domed, with four minaret towers. Inside of the mosque you will be impressed by its size and also simplicity: tiles from Iznik province and colored glass-work brings harmony to a place of prayer and silence. 4 massive solid columns support this mosque: one from Baalbek, another from Alexandria and two from old Byzantine Palaces. The paintings inside of the mosque are dated from the 19th century and were recently renovated.
Numerous earthquakes that have shaken Istanbul over the centuries have not caused a single crack in the mosque.