Monument, built by Mimar Sinan when he was 80 years old and he called his mastership work, is one of the masterpieces of Ottoman-Turkish architecture and history of World Architecture. It is an imposing mosque with its four rising minarets, magnificently decorated interior, its library, where handwritten manuscripts are located, meticulous craftsmanship, bright Iznik glazed tiles and rising towards it single large dome with educational institutes, connected by a marble courtyard, outer courtyard and covered bazaar. Selimiye Mosque and Social Complex, represents the peak of Sinan, the most elite architect of the Ottoman Empire with its dominating architectural composition.
Monument, built by Mimar Sinan when he was 80 years old and he called his mastership work, is one of the masterpieces of Ottoman-Turkish architecture and history of World Architecture. The building is owned by Sultan Selim Foundation. It is in the city of Edirne in Yeni Mahalle. The mosque, which is the symbol of Edirne and the Ottoman Empire is in the center of the city in the location which used to be called Saribayir and Kavak Square. It is known that Yildirim Bayezid had a palace built here. It was commissioned to be built by Sultan Selim II between 1569±1575. This building, which catches the eye from a far distance with its four minarets, also shows that Architect Sinan is also a master of urban planning. The mosque, made of cut stone, covers a 1.620 m2 indoor area and a total of 2.475 m2 area. Known to be the building to be founded on the largest area in the history architecture, Selimiye Mosque stands out with its dome, whose height from the ground is 43.28 m with a diameter of 31.30 m. The dome, which is larger than that of Hagia Sophia’s, stands on 8 large pillars, connected by 6 m wide arches. Four half domes in the corners and one half dome in the shrine support the dome. The building is lit by 32 windows in the dome drum and many windows in 6 rows and on top of each other on the facades. It is the most successful example of mosque plan with 8 bases, created by Architect Sinan.
It has a portico in front of it, surrounded by 18 domes and 16 pillars. There is an elegant water tank with a fountain, made of marble in the middle. The narthex has 5 domes on 6 round and thick columns. The dome above the entrance gate with marble decorations is fluted and the others are plain. The mosque has four elegant minarets, which are 3.80 meters in diameter and 70.89 m high. Access to the balconies on the entrance side is through one way and through other ways to the three balconies in the other two. In addition to its architectural features being beyond reach, it is very important with its decorative features, such as stone, marble, glazed tile, wood and mother of pearl. Its shrine and minbar are among the masterpieces of marble craftsmanship. It has the muezzin’s gathering place, which sits on 12 marble columns, in the middle. It has a library on the right side. Sultan’s gathering place is on the left of the shrine. Authentic carvings on the ceiling of the lower part of this shows all the liveliness of the period. Authentic carvings, which decorate the dome and the arches, are cleaned with repairs. Glazed tile decorations of the building have a special place in Ottoman and world art. These glazed tiles, which are the most beautiful examples of 16th century glazed tile making art, were made with under glaze technique and were made in Iznik. Walls of the shrine, minbar kiosk wall, Sultan’s Gathering Place walls, women’s gathering place, arch corner beads and window pediments on the kiblah side were decorated with marble. There are red and blue flower and leaf decorations on large glazed tile panels on the walls of the shrine and cartridges with al-Fatiha Surah in sulus with white on navy blue above windows and a wide verse border is on the very top. The glazed tile panel on the shrine kiosk is decorated with red in the middle on navy blue and leaves, hyacinth, and tulips under a tree with white spring flowers.
Minarets; Minarets with a diameter of 380 centimeters are 70.89 meters high. Height of the minarets, including the finial, is 84 meters according to some sources and 85 meters according to others. Three different ways lead to the balconies of the minarets on both sides of the main gate. The other two minarets have single stairs. The stone carvings of the two minarets in the front are hollow and that of the other minarets are raised. Minarets being close to the dome shows the mosque as if it is extending towards the sky. The most important feature of this mosque is that it can be seen from everywhere in Edirne. The Dome; A technique, which has never been used in a mosque or ancient temple, was used in Selimiye. Although the main dome rises on stepped half domes, Selimiye Mosque is covered by a single dome, which is 43.25 meters high and 31.25 meters in diameter. The dome sits on a drum, resting on 8 columns. The drum is connected to elephant’s feet with 6 meter wide arches. Thus, Sinan provided width and spaciousness for the interior, he covered and ensured that the place is understood easily at once. The dome also determines the outlines of the outer appearance of the mosque. Upside-down Tulip Motive; There is an upside-down tulip motif under the marble pillars of the muezzin gathering place. According to rumors, there was a tulip garden in the land, where the mosque was going to be built. Owner of the land did not want to sell his land at the beginning. In the end, he sold his land, requesting Architect Sinan to have a tulip motif in the mosque. Architect Sinan placed the motif upside down. Tulip motif indicates that there was a garden of tulips on this land and its being upside down represents the cantankerousness of the owner.
Courtyard; The building has 3 doors, which open onto the north, south and the courtyard. The inner courtyard is decorated with porches and domes. There is a water tank with fountain, made of marble with special carvings. Primary school, Quran School, Religious Sciences School, madrasa and alms house in the courtyard. Primary school is used as children’s library and madrasa is used as a museum today. The mosque was lit with torches in the past. The soot, which came from the torches was exiting through a specially made hole to create air stream. Although the tomb of Muhammed Adil Shah in Bijapur in India is covered by the largest dome in the world at a diameter of 44 meters, the place makes a very weak and dull impression due to bad lighting. Pantheon cathedral in Rome is monotonous because it is very large but cylindrical and almost tires the eyes. The dome makes a dive suddenly and disrupts the peacefulness of the building and the outer dome hides the incompetency of the inner dome by an enormous torch at St. Pierre Church. Hagia Sophia’s building disappears unclearly towards side corridors and galleries and where it ends is uncertain. However, Selimiye Mosque is a balanced building to the slightest detail in exquisite harmony and attracts everyone, who enters it and never let go. Hagia Sophia’s building disappears unclearly towards side corridors and galleries and where it ends is uncertain. However, Selimiye Mosque is a balanced building to the slightest detail in exquisite harmony and attracts everyone, who enters it and never let go. The fact that the dome looks depressed on the outside among high minarets stems from the fact that the building is covered by a single dome.