Edirne Would Not Exist Without Mimar Sinan - GeziBilen

Edirne Would Not Exist Without Mimar Sinan

Edirne, known as the former capital of the Ottoman Empire, owes its cultural richness mostly to this period. It has always held a special place for the sultans, and therefore, great importance has been given to architectural structures. Of course, such a valuable city was not to be left in the hands of strangers! That's why Mimar Sinan, the most talented architect of the time, was assigned to construct many buildings, from mosques to bridges. It is our duty to talk about the works of this esteemed Ottoman architect in Edirne, which continue to be remembered with their many achievements even today.

Selimiye Mosque and Complex

When we think of Edirne, the first structure that comes to mind is Selimiye Mosque. Although it is not certain, it is said that II. Selim's love for the city was in a different dimension due to his service here during his youth, and that's why he wanted the work to be located in Edirne. The capacity of the structure, its dome, minarets, and the İznik tiles, calligraphy, and marble craftsmanship inside satisfy our visual hunger. In addition to the mosque, there are two more buildings that make up the complex. One of them is the Dar-ül Kurra Madrasa, known today as the Vakıf Museum, and the other is the Dar-ül Hadis Madrasa, which continues its function as the Turkish and Islamic Works Museum. The fact that the mosque and the complex are included in the UNESCO World Heritage List demonstrates the historical significance and value of the structure.

Taşlık (Mahmut Paşa) Mosque

It is an architectural structure commissioned by Mahmut Pasha, who was the grand vizier during the reign of Sultan Mehmed the Conqueror. That's why it is also known as Mahmut Pasha Mosque. Mimar Sinan was not the original architect of Taşlık Mosque. If you ask, "Since it is not among the works of the Great Sinan, then why are you talking about it?" let us tell you our reason immediately. When the structure was examined, architectural features in line with Sinan's style were observed, and it was concluded that Sinan was not the person who built the mosque, but the person who carried out the restoration. Taşlık Mosque, which was damaged due to natural disasters, was demolished in 1937. Subsequently, efforts were made to bring this valuable work to life. Although there was a break for a while, it was opened for worship in 2007 and started to serve again.

Defterdar Mustafa Pasha Mosque

This mosque, located in the center of Edirne on Talat Pasha Street, was built by Mustafa Pasha, who was the defterdar (finance minister) of Edirne. It is located in a spacious courtyard. According to Evliya Çelebi, the most important traveler of the Ottoman era, the structure has a magnificent dome. However, it is stated that the dome collapsed due to a major earthquake in the 18th century and was covered with a wooden roof in the 1870s. Of course, restoration was carried out again in the 20th century, and a result similar to its original state was achieved.

Ali Pasha Market

Ali Pasha Market, located in the center of the city, was built to provide regular income to the külliye (religious complex) of Hersekli Semiz Ali Pasha, located in Babaeski. Since Ali Pasha was also the architect of his other works, he did not deviate from his knowledge and requested that this structure be built by Mimar Sinan. Despite the chaos of life, this market, which resisted and tried to survive over the years, unfortunately burned down completely in 1992. However, it was restored and brought back to life five years later. It is known that this structure, built as a market by Mimar Sinan, is the first and only structure that still exists today.

Rüstem Pasha Caravanserai

Our next stop is a 16th-century structure built by Damat Rüstem Pasha, the son-in-law and grand vizier of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. It is an interesting example of classical Ottoman architecture and has two floors. It is divided into two sections: Büyük Han (Great Inn) and Küçük Han (Small Inn). After the restoration in 1972, it won the Aga Khan Architecture Award. If you say, "I want to reward myself too," it means you have found your place to stay during your visit to Edirne. Because this building still serves as a hotel today, built by Mimar Sinan as a caravanserai.

Sokullu Mehmed Pasha Bath

It is one of the most valuable examples of 16th-century Turkish art. It has a double bath plan with separate entrances for women and men. Although the marble stones inside were lost because it was used as a storage depot during World War II, it has been restored later. For those among us who say, "What would it be like if I could live in those times and experience it!" it is worth mentioning that the structure still serves as a bathhouse today.

Yalnızgöz Bridge

This bridge, built on a branch of the Tunca River, is a part of the structure that provides access to the II. Bayezid Complex. It was built upon the request of Sultan II. Selim. It is called "yalnızgöz" (one-eyed) because it has a single arch and single span on one side of the bridge.

Justice Pavilion

This structure, also known as the Justice Tower, is located in Sarayiçi. It greets us even before we enter the region. Deep down, we cannot help but think, "This is the structure that represents justice!" Although the Great Sinan did not mention it in his works, it is known as the work built by Mimar Sinan for Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. It is a square-planned tower with three floors in height. It served as a sherbet house on the first floor, the Court of Cassation on the second floor, and the Imperial Council (Divan-ı Hümayun) on the third floor.

Kanuni Bridge

Here is another unique structure that came out of the hands of Mimar Sinan... Edirne Kanuni Bridge is located on the southern branch of the Tunca River and represents the first bridge connecting Sarayiçi neighborhood to the city. Therefore, if you happen to communicate with a local and hear the term "Saray Bridge," please do not be surprised. The Ottoman bridge, built at the request of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman in 1553-54, was damaged due to a flood in the early 20th century. However, it was repaired towards the end of the century. Now, it continues to survive without losing its strength.

Taşlımüsellim Aqueducts

It is known that Taşlımüsellim aqueducts, which have great importance in supplying water to Edirne, were built by Mimar Sinan in 1530. Our talented architect did not state this with his own mouth. However, Ahmet Badi Efendi, an Ottoman historian and calligrapher born in Edirne, stated that Mimar Sinan built the structure for Hürrem Sultan upon the sultan's request. Most of the water channels supplied from two sources, Sinanköy and Taşlımüsellim, have been worn out.

We wanted to share the traces of our talented architect who could fit an unbelievable number of works into a human life in our lands in Edirne. We hope that one day you will be able to see these structures with your own eyes.

Written by: Berfin Aktaş


  • helloworld
    21.01.2022 08:33

    elinize sağlık


Our main goal is to contribute to the promotion of countries by explaining the historical, cultural and natural beauties of the countries.

GeziBilen Logo
Google Play Badge
AppStore Badge
AppGallery Badge
Contact Us

0 (212) 274 2121


Balmumcu Mah, Bestekar Şevkibey Sk, No:26 Beşiktaş-İstanbul

  • GeziBilen Gezi Noktaları2500 Travel Points

    Are you ready to explore 2500 Travel Points?

  • GeziBilen ÜlkelerExperience in 4 different languages

    Our all content is in Turkish, German, English and Russian

  • GeziBilen Rotalar185 Thematic Routes

    Dozens of thematic routes exclusively prepared for each city

Other Contens