View of Selimiye mosque in Edirne, Turkey. Unesco heritage site. Famous works of Ottoman architecture. Selimiye Mosque, designed by Mimar Sinan in 1575.

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Selimiye Mosque

Top choice in Edirne

Designed by Ottoman architect Mimar Koca Sinan (1497–1588), whose best-known works adorn İstanbul's skyline, this exquisite World Heritage–listed mosque is Edirne's most cherished building. Built between 1569 and 1575 by order of Sultan Selim II at Edirne's highest point, the mosque features four striking 71m-high minarets and was positioned in the centre of an extensive külliye (mosque complex), which included a medrese (Islamic school of higher studies), darül Hadis (Hadith school) and arasta (arcade of shops).

The main entrance is through the western courtyard, home to a lovely marble şadırvan (ablution fountain). Inside, the broad, lofty dome – at 31.3m, marginally wider than that of İstanbul's Aya Sofya – is supported by eight unobtrusive pillars, arches and external buttresses, creating a surprisingly spacious interior. As they only bear a portion of the dome's weight, the walls are sound enough to hold dozens of windows, the light from which brings out the interior's colourful calligraphic decorations.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Edirne attractions

1. Edirne Turkish & Islamic Art Museum

0.05 MILES

The small rooms of the elegant darül Hadis (Hadith school) in the northeastern corner of the Selimiye Mosque's courtyard house an eclectic collection of…

2. Janissary Gravestones

0.06 MILES

On the northeastern edge of the Selimiye Mosque, this cemetery includes the final resting place of many janissaries (an elite infantry unit in Ottoman…

3. Selimiye Foundation Museum

0.07 MILES

This museum is housed in a handsome building in the Selimye Mosque's külliye (mosque complex; in a medrese in the southeastern corner of the courtyard)…

6. Old Mosque


Though not as prominent on Edirne's skyline as the Selimiye and Üç Şerefeli mosques, the Eski (Old) Mosque is an important landmark in the city and has a…

7. Üç Şerefeli Mosque


Edirne's merkez (town centre) is visually dominated by this mosque, which was built by order of Sultan Murat II between 1437 and 1447 and has four…

8. Muradiye Mosque

0.41 MILES

Built for Sultan Murat II between 1426 and 1436, this mosque interestingly once housed a Mevlevi (whirling dervish) lodge. The mosque's T-shaped plan has…