The great Sinan put his stamp on the entire city and this mosque, constructed in the 1560s next to the Edirnekapı section of the historic land walls, is one of his best works. Commissioned by Süleyman the Magnificent’s favourite daughter, Mihrimah, it features a wonderfully light and airy interior with delicate stained-glass windows and an unusual ‘birdcage’ chandelier.
Occupying the highest point in the city, the mosque’s dome and one slender minaret are major adornments to the skyline; they are particularly prominent on the road from Edirne. Sinan was in love with Mihrimah, who was married to grand vizier Rüstem Paşa, and he symbolised his frustrated affection in the symmetry between this mosque and its identically named counterpart in Üsküdar. As the sun sets behind this mosque, the moon rises behind the other – a reference to Mihrimah’s name, which means ‘sun and moon’ in Farsi.
Remnants of the külliye (mosque complex) include a still-functioning hamam.