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Suleiman Mosque and Hurrem Mausoleum

We are going to visit the Suleiman Mosque and the Hurrem Mausoleum in Istanbul. Explore its impressive architecture.

Visiting the Suleiman, or Suleiman, Mosque and the Hurrem Mausoleum is an experience not to be missed when visiting Istanbul. It has a rich history that leaves visitors feeling awed and inspired. This historical site is not just a place of worship, it is an important part of Turkish culture and heritage and here, visitors can learn about the powerful leader of the Ottoman Empire, Sultan Suleiman I, and his wife Hürrem Sultan, also known as Roxelana.

Suleiman Mosque

When was the Suleiman Mosque built?

The mosque itself was built for Suleiman I between 1550-1557 by Mimar Sinan, and is considered one of the most beautiful mosques ever built by the Ottomans; even until 2019 it was considered the largest in the city.

Information to visit the Suleiman Mosque (Süleymaniye Camii)

How much does it cost to go to the Suleiman Mosque?

Admission to the Suleiman Mosque is free; however, visitors can make donations to help maintain the place, but these are in no way mandatory.

How to get there?

The nearest metro station is Vezneciler. From Sultanahmet Square, it can be reached by walking for about 25 minutes.

Suleiman Mosque

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Who was Suleiman?

Many people know him as the Magnificent, the 10th Sultan of the Ottoman Empire, but Suleiman was much more than just a ruler. He left an indelible mark on history through his military campaigns, diplomatic efforts, and cultural achievements.

Suleiman ascended the throne of the Ottoman Empire at the age of 26 in AD 1520. C., succeeding his father Selim I. During his 46-year reign, from 1520 to 1566, he transformed Constantinople into one of the largest cities in Europe at the time.

Suleiman’s reign brought many reforms and innovations both at home and abroad.

Who was Hurrem Sultan?

Hurrem Sultan, or Roxelana, was an important figure in 16th-century Ottoman history. She went from being a slave in the imperial harem to becoming the main consort and later wife of Suleiman the Magnificent. Hurrem Sultan played an important role in politics during her time, and also had a powerful influence on Suleiman’s rule as Sultan of the Ottoman Empire. The Suleiman Mosque and Hurrem Mausoleum are dedicated to her memory in Istanbul, Turkey.

The earliest record of her life is disputed, but most scholars agree that she was born around 1500 in Ruthenia (present-day Ukraine) as either Roxelana or Alexandra Lisowska.

With Hurrem began what is known as the Sultanate of women, due to her extraordinary political influence.

Hurrem Sultan

Who is buried in the Suleiman Mosque?

Two mausoleums can be seen in the mosque complex. Suleiman the Magnificent is buried in one of them, but he is not alone because he is accompanied by six other tombs, among which are those of his daughter Mihrimah, those of Sultan Suleiman II and his mother Saliha Dilasüp, those of Sultan Ahmet II and his consort Rabia Sultan and his daughter Asiye.

Who is buried in the Hurrem Mausoleum?

The second Mausoleum that can be seen is dedicated to Sultana Hurrem. But besides the sultana, which is in the middle of the building, there is Prince Mehmed, grandson of Hurrem, son of Selim II, the third tomb belongs to Hanim Sultan, daughter of Hatice, who was Suleiman’s sister.

Hurrem tomb

Our visit to the Suleiman Mosque

We arrived at the site and as soon as we crossed the door a man spread a perfume on us, the truth is that I was afraid that he would charge us, but nothing, he just smiled. The truth is that the perfume smelled very nice.

The first thing we did was visit the Suleiman Mausoleum and outside the mausoleum you could see other tombs that made up a quiet garden in which, as in the whole city, cats were kings.


On the outside of the mosque, you can see a huge patio with spaces for washing feet, which must be done to pray. In addition, in the back there is a space with very nice views towards the Bosphorus.

The interior of the Suleiman Mosque

To enter the mosque, as in all, you have to take off your shoes. What is different from Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque is that you can really breathe here. Maybe we were lucky, possibly it is because it is not considered an essential place to see in Istanbul in one day and not because it is not relevant or beautiful, probably because it is a little further away from Sultanahmet Square.

Anyway, the thing is that just entering the mosque, we could calmly observe the details on the ceiling, of which the central dome is 47 meters high, which can leave you mesmerized, so I recommend you to sit on the carpet … don’t be ashamed, that’s what it’s for, and the locals do it.

Another thing that we observed when looking up was the innumerable lamps and the colored windows, which we could not see in all their splendor in any way, since the day was cloudy.

Inside the mosque, the cats also walked like kings. Cats really are the kings of Istanbul.

Cat in Suleiman Mosque

Curiosities about the Suleiman Mosque

  • It was badly damaged in 1660 due to a fire, being restored under the sultanate of Mehmet IV, changing its style to Baroque.
  • During the First World War, the immaculate courtyard was used as a weapons depot, as a result, there was another fire and the Mosque was restored again in 1956.
  • The Suleiman Mosque was the largest in Istanbul for 462 years, this fact changed only in 2019 when the Çamlıca Mosque.
Suleiman Mosque

Do not miss this legacy of the history of the Ottoman Empire

In conclusion, Suleiman Mosque and Hurrem Mausoleum are wonderful examples of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul, Turkey. This historic site is a must-see for anyone looking to explore the city’s cultural heritage.

The exterior and interior of both structures are decorated with intricate details that speak of their grandeur. Whether you are an explorer of historical sites or just a casual visitor, this place offers a unique opportunity to appreciate the beauty and craftsmanship of this type of construction.

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Olga Grijalva

Olga is a traveler and travel content creator with 17 years of experience. Her goal is to share useful information to help you plan your adventures. She has visited more than 40 countries and is excited to share her experience with you.