Mimar Sinan and his followers

Although the exact year of his birth is still disputed, the brilliance of Mimar Sinan, which translates as Sinan the architect, is not. Fathered by a stonemason, Mimar Sinan became a military engineer in the Ottoman Empire where he rose through the ranks to become first an officer and finally a commander in the Janissary, the Sultan’s private guard. He was given the honorific title of ağa, or agha as it is known in English, meaning chief, master or lord. While on campaigns with the Janissaries he refined his architectural and engineering skills, becoming expert at constructing fortifications, roads, bridges and aqueducts. At about the age of fifty, he was appointed to the position of chief royal architect. In this capacity he produced many of the projects for which he is still famous today, such as his masterpiece the Selimiye mosque in Edirne. In the course of his life Mimar Sinan was responsible for the construction of more than 300 major structures as well as other less well known buildings, including schools. His apprentices went on to design many famous buildings such as the Sultanahmet Mosque in Istanbul, and the Stari Most in Mostar.


08 Hotel viewLooking through to Sultanahmet Camii (the Blue Mosque), Sultanahmet 2007

11c Uskudar Cinli Cami

The minber (pulpit) in Çinli Camii, Üsküdar, 2012


Behind Rustem Paşa Camii, Eminönü in 2007

Suleyman Cami 2

Süleymaniye Camii, Fatih, 2007

3f 8.8.12 Eyup Sultan Sardivan

The Şardıvan (ritual ablutions area) at Eyüp Sultan Camii, Eyüp 2012

Ist 03 Fatih funeral 3

Women at Eyüp Sultan Camii, Eyüp 2003

For more on the great mosques of Istanbul by Mimar Sinan I can recommend Istanbul Revealed: Sinan’s Mosques.

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About Goreme1990

I’m Lisa Morrow, the person behind www.insideoutinistanbul.com. I was born in Sydney, Australia and grew up a leafy middle class North Shore suburb. After finishing high school I went to Sydney University but failed to find my niche. After working as a public servant, cleaner, sales assistant, waitress, bar maid and car counter, I went overseas. Once there I hitchhiked through the UK, travelled in Europe and arrived in Turkey just as the Gulf War was starting. My three months stay in the small central Anatolian village of Göreme changed my life. On my return to Australia I earned a BA Honours Degree in Sociology from Macquarie University. An academic career beckoned but the call to travel was louder. After several false starts I moved to Turkey and lived there for ten years. In 2017 I moved to Lisbon, Portugal, but continue to travel regularly to Istanbul. In addition to my blog I've written a travel narrative memoir called "Waiting for the Tulips to Bloom: Adrift in Istanbul" and two collections of essays, "Inside Out In Istanbul: Making Sense of the City" and "Exploring Turkish Landscapes: Crossing Inner Boundaries". I have a regular segment on San Francisco Turkish radio and in early 2017 I released an audio walking tour called "Stepping back through Chalcedon: Kadikoy Walk", through VoiceMap. In addition I write for various international and Australian magazines and websites, as well as for this blog. A full list of my published articles, with links, can be found on the Writing on Turkey and Writing Beyond Turkey pages.
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