Mimar Sinan
1489 - 1588
Turkish Architect
Sinan, whose Christian name was Joseph, was the son of Greek Orthodox parents in Agirnaz, Turkey. In 1512 he was drafted into the service of the Sultan in Istanbul. He became a construction officer in the Ottoman army. He first revealed his talents as an architect by designing military bridges and fortifications.

In 1539 he completed his first nonmilitary building and for the remaining 40 years of his life was to work as an architect.

He built 79 mosques, 34 palaces, and over 300 other structures, from hospitals to bridges, schools, roads, and bathhouses. He carefully integrated his buildings into the surrounding landscapes designing often elaborate gardens to compliment his buildings.

As the court architect of the Ottoman Sultan, Sinan built three famous mosques: the 'Sehzade Mosque' and the 'Mosque of Suleiman' both in Istanbul, and the 'Sultan Selim Mosque' at Edirne. Like all his mosque constructions they were based on the design of the Hagia Sophia, the 6th century masterpeice of Byzantine architecture.

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Sultan Ahmed Mosque