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The Tomb of Sinan is located to the rear of the Suleymaniye Mosque on the site of a former Ottoman imaret or soup kitchen. This simple tomb with walls enclosing a triangular garden is in stark contrast to the magnificent work he created as one of the greatest ever architects.

Born in 1489, Mimar Koca Sinan was raised as a Christian, in the small town of Agirnas near Kayseri in Turkey. He was conscripted into the army where he trained as an engineer and an architect and in 1538 he became the head of the Corps of Court Architects. Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent instructed Sinan to build a new mosque in memory of his favourite son. This was the Sehzade Mosque, and it is considered to be Sinan’s first true masterpiece.

By 1550 Sultan Suleyman the Magnificent was at the peak of his powers and he instructed Sinan to build a mosque on a hillside dominating the Golden horn. Suleyman was a rich man after the success of his European campaigns, so money was of no object as far as this project was concerned. Sinan and his assistants completed the task in seven years, the result being the magnificent Suleymaniye Mosque.

With such a formidable reputation Sinan was responsible for an unprecedented building boom that changed the city of Istanbul and much of which we are privileged to be able to see today. During this period Sinan was given the title of State Architect, a position he would hold for ten years.

Sinan died in 1588 at the age of 98.

Tomb of Sinan

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