The Süleymaniye Mosque, known also as the mosque of Süleyman the Magnificent, was built in the 16th century by the great Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan for Sultan Süleyman the Magnificient.The mosque is the largest mosque of Istanbul. It crowns one of İstanbul's seven hills and dominates the Golden Horn adding more beauty to the skyline of Istanbul.
The Mosque has four minarets with their 10 beautiful balconies which represent the fact that Sultan Süleyman was the fourth of the Ottoman sultans to rule the city and the 10th sultan after the establishment of the Ottoman Empire. Once you go inside, you will find the mosque breathtaking; it is 59 meters in length and 58 meters wide. The main dome is 53 meters high, exactly double its diameter of 26.4 meters. There are massive arches and four large columns lifting the main dome and smaller half domes thus creating its large space. Indoors, there are simple but beautiful decorations such as floral designs, geometric patterns, and calligraphy from the Quran.
Suleymaniye Mosque is a part of a complex which consists a large number of courtyards and a caravansary (inn where travelers could rest). More than 3,500 workers were employed during the construction. The Süleymaniye complex includes several sections such as a mosque, a caravansary, a public kitchen which served food to the poor, a hospital, a Quran school-Madrasah, and a bath-house (hamam).
In the garden behind the main mosque there are two mausoleums including the tombs of Sultan Süleyman I, his wife Roxelana (Hurrem Sultan).
Today the Süleymaniye Mosque is one of the most popular sights in Istanbul. Normally tourists can visit the mosque from the inner courtyard except during the worship times, and they have to take their shoes off. Cameras are allowed in the mosque.