The Sehzade Mosque is an Ottoman imperial mosque located in the district of Fatih, on the third hill of Istanbul, Turkey.
The Sehzade Mosque was commissioned by Sultan Suleiman I in memory of his eldest son, Prince Mehmet.
It was the first major commission by the Imperial Architect Mimar Sinan, and was completed in 1548. It is considered by architectural historians as Sinan’s first masterpiece of classical Ottoman architecture.
The mosque is surrounded by an inner colonnaded courtyard (avlu) with an area equal to that of the mosque itself. The courtyard is bordered by a portico with five domed bays on each side, with arches in alternating pink and white marble. At the center is an ablution fountain (sad?rvan), which was a later donation from Sultan Murat IV. The two minarets have elaborate geometric sculpture in low bas-relief and occasional terracotta inlays.
The mosque itself has a square plan, covered by a central dome, flanked by four half-domes. The dome is supported by four piers, and has a diameter of 19 meters and it is 37 meters high. It was in this building that Sinan first adopted the technique of placing colonnaded galleries along the entire length of the north and south facades in order to conceal the buttresses.
The interior of the Sehzade Mosque has a symmetrical plan, with the area under the central dome expanded by use of four semi-domes, one on each side, in the shape of a four leaf clover. This technique was not entirely successful, as it isolated the four huge piers needed to support the central dome, and was never again repeated by Sinan. The interior of the mosque has a very simple design, without galleries.
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