Turkey: Edirne – Selimiye Mosque

Selimiye Mosque in Edirne is considered one of the greatest examples of Islamic architecture and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. It was built by Sultan Memet II in 1568-76 as an imperial mosque and was the largest mosque in the Ottoman Empire for nearly five centuries. Edirne was selected not only because of Selim II’s obsession with the of city, but also for its geographic significance of being located within the European part of the Ottoman Empire. Edirne actually had been the capital of the Ottoman Empire in the 15th century before Istanbul, and then effectively the second city of the Empire through the 17th century. The mosque is truly massive, with four spiky minarets rising to the skies and a central dome that is stupendous from both outside and inside and is bigger then Aya Sophia in Istanbul. The inside of the dome is ornate and seem almost floating in midair, and your neck soon starts to hurt from staring upwards.