This multiview postcard of Süleymaniye Mosque was sent to me by Cuneyt from Turkey as a private swap!
The Süleymaniye Mosque (Turkish: Süleymaniye Camii) is an Ottoman imperial mosque located on the Third Hill of Istanbul, Turkey. It is the second largest mosque in the city, and one of the best-known sights of Istanbul. The Süleymaniye Mosque was built on the order of Sultan Süleyman (Süleyman the Magnificent) "was fortunate to be able to draw on the talents of the architectural genius of Sinan Pasha" (481 Traditions and Encounters: Brief Global History). The construction work began in 1550 and the mosque was finished in 1558.
The design of the Süleymaniye plays on Suleyman's self-conscious representation of himself as a 'second Solomon.' It references the Dome of the Rock, which was built on the site of the Temple of Solomon, as well as Justinian's boast upon the completion of the Hagia Sophia: "Solomon, I have surpassed thee!" The Süleymaniye, similar in magnificence to the preceding structures, asserts Suleyman's historical importance. The structure is nevertheless smaller in size than its older archetype, the Hagia Sophia.
The Süleymaniye was ravaged by a fire in 1660 and was restored by Sultan Mehmed IV. Part of the dome collapsed again during the earthquake of 1766. Subsequent repairs damaged what was left of the original decoration of Sinan (recent cleaning has shown that Sinan experimented first with blue, before turning red the dominant color of the dome). During World War I the courtyard was used as a weapons depot, and when some of the ammunition ignited, the mosque suffered another fire. Not until 1956 was it fully restored again. [wikipedia]