Monday, January 11, 2016

A Tower, Two Mosques and a love story

Mihrimah was the beloved daughter of Sultan Süleyman the Magnificent and the only sister to his five sons from his beloved Hürrem Sultan. Her name  is Mihrimah which means the "sun and moon" in Farsi.

When Mihrimah is seventeen,a good age to get married in those years,there are two lovers of hers. One of them is Rüstem Pasha(the governer of Diyarbakir) and the other one is Sinan the Architect,the head architect of palace.

The padisah weds Rüstem Pasha and Mihrimah as Sinan is 50 and already married but it is clear that Sinan is deeply in love with Mihrimah Sultan.Though he isn’t able to achieve his dream, he wanted to reflect his feelings to his art.

Sinan was commissioned to design the  Mihrimah Sultan Mosque near the Bosphorus in Uskadar in 1548. The design mimics the silhouette of a woman in a skirt. After Rustem Pasa died, Sinan designed a new mosque without palace approval. He built the Mihrimah Sultan Mosque on the highest hill of Istanbul in Edirnekapi (1565).

‘Mihrimah’ means the ‘sun and moon’ and so Sinan designed the Uskadar mosque with less windows, symbolizing the moon. The Edirnekapi mosque has many windows signifying the sun. The Edirnekapi mosque also has one minaret to symbolize Sinan's loneliness and longing for one woman.

The love story suggests that on 21 March (Spring Equinox and Mihrimah's birthday), the sun will set over the single minaret in Edirnekapi and the moon will rise over the mosque in Uskadar.

 You can see both mosques from the Galata Tower. For hopeless romantics, the story is a great excuse to climb the medieval tower during a springtime sunset.