The mosques of Istanbul represent the splendour of Islamic architecture. Their central domes, rising above the skyline of the city, convey both the ideals and ambitions of powerful Ottoman Sultans and the brilliance of the architects who created them. This book places these buildings in their historical, religious and social context. It traces the evolution of the Ottoman mosque from small, fourteenth century examples in the first Ottoman capitals, Bursa and Edirne, to those built after the capture of Constantinople in 1453, and to the vast centralised structures commissioned by Suleyman the Magnificent in the sixteenth century. The daring experiments in space, light and structure, by MichelangeloÃs Ottoman contemporary Mimar Sinan
make a high point of the book, but the innovations of the Baroque and Neoclassical eras which follow are also fascinating. The author shows how these buildings are set in complexes of social and educational buildings that form the nuclei of neighbourhoods. He also offers. an insight into Ottoman life and the patronage of the sultans and viziers as well as powerful women of the court. With full colour illustrations and a lively, informative text, Mosques of Istanbul is indispensable, both to the visitor and to those wishing to understand Ottoman architecture. The book concludes with maps and itineraries in Istanbul, Bursa and Edirne that lead visitors through carefully planned sequences of mosques by easy and convenient routes.