WIT Press
A History of Ottoman Architecture

A History of Ottoman Architecture

Authors: J. Freely, Bosphorus University, Turkey


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This book is a history of the architecture produced in Turkey under the Ottoman Empire. It focuses on extant buildings in the Republic of Turkey, particularly those in Istanbul and the empire’s earlier capitals in Bursa and Edirne.

Begining with a brief history of the Ottoman Empire, it then outlines the main features of Ottoman architecture and its decoration, followed by a brief biography of the great Ottoman architect Sinan.

Successive chapters follow the development of Ottoman architecture, first in Iznik (Nicaea), then in Bursa and Edirne, the first and second capitals, and finally in Istanbul, the capital from 1453 until 1923. The first of the several chapters on Istanbul describes the rebuilding of the city, Greek Constantinople, after its conquest in 1454 by Sultan Mehmet II, who began the construction program that created a new Muslim capital. The remaining chapters follow the development of Ottoman architecture in Istanbul during the reigns of Mehmet’s successors, particularly Süleyman the Magnificent, who with his chief architect Sinan erected the most splendid mosque complexes that still adorn the old city.

The book will interest instructors and students interested in the history of architecture, especially that of the Ottoman Turks, whose culture has left its mark not only on Turkey, but in the Balkans and throughout the Middle East. General readers with an interest in architecture, the history of architecture and/or the Ottoman Turks will also enjoy the book.

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