Selimiye Mosque

Situated on a small hill in the centre of Edirne, the kulliye is composed of the mosque, a medrese, a dar-ul hadis and a timekeeper's room. The arasta (row of shops) which, due to the slightly sloping nature of the ground, acts as a retaining wall at the bottom part of the courtyard, was enlarged after Sinan. With its dome and four minarets, the mosque can be seen from a long way as one approaches the city, which it has come to symbolise.

    The courtyard is very large. Sinan may have planned to include more buildings in it.Here, Sinan attempted to apply the Rustem Pasa plan on a monumental scale (the dome has a diameter of 3l.22 m and a height of 42.25 m), with the addition of a protruding mihrab, producing the most acclaimed work in Ottoman architecture. The single dome covers the whole depth of the mosque while the salient mihrab and lateral spaces add an extra perspective. The span lengths are reduced due to the greater number of piers causing the dome to appear more elevated and dominant than in the case of domes supported by square structures, where the arches and their windowed intermediary walls are indeed at least as large, and thereFore as impressive as the dome itself. The dome of the Selimiye covers some 30% of Che mosque's floor surface (2000 m2). In the Sehzade and the Suleymaniye, this ratio is 17%. In terms of general space perception on the other hand, the Selimiye reaches a value slightly below that of The Sehzade.»

                                  (R. Gunay)