"Short stories and travel reports from my life adventures around the globe".

Spellbound by Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul.

September 25th, 2020.

Our journey from Cambodia to Turkey was a long one. And that’s putting it lightly. First we flew from Phnom Penh to Singapore (2 hours 5 minutes) where a grossly overpriced “special COVID rate” hotel awaited us at Changi Airport. 24 hours later (long story), we boarded an empty flight from Singapore to Istanbul. That one was 11 hours, thank you very much.

2020 The Highs and Lows.

I’ve always wanted my own plane.

Sladja and I felt like zombies on that early morning airport bus into Istanbul. But not so zombified that we couldn’t feel excited by the crazy project we had dared to throw together. You see, we were supposed to be on our way to Serbia to sit out the rest of the pandemic.

Sunrise in Istanbul from the airport bus

Sunrise in Istanbul from the airport bus.

In Belgrade, I would be applying for temporary residency so that we’d be able to stay together. However, we then realised that Turkey (where we had to transfer) was one of just a few countries in the world still open to visitors. No restrictions. Hmm, should we?  Throwing caution to the wind, we decided to delay our Serbia settling with an 18-night stay in the Turkish capital.

Spellbound by Suleymaniye Mosque.

Renting an apartment in the Sisli district of Istanbul

At home in Sisli.

Needing separate rooms and strong WIFI to keep our teaching schedules running, we secured an apartment in the trendy Sisli district on the European side of the city. On that first day we definitely would’ve benefited from an early night to get our body clocks back on track. Instead though, we couldn’t resist heading out into the city for some late afternoon exploring.

Ortanca Park in Istanbul.

Ortanca Park in Sisli, near our apartment.

Before long, light was falling as we picked out a walking route to our very first Istanbul mosque. As lovers of Islamic architecture, we knew the city was going to deliver some amazing structures over the course of our stay. And we thought why not cross off a real beauty on our first night.

Dusk at Suleymaniye Mosque.

Dusk at Suleymaniye Mosque.

Think of Istanbul’s great mosques and, for the most part, folk get all gooey over the likes of Hagia Sophia and The Blue Mosque. Which are both gorgeous, obviously. And yet, there is a strong case for the spellbinding Suleymaniye Mosque. An Ottoman Imperial masterpiece perfectly perched atop the city’s Third Hill, it was completed in 1557 following seven years of backbreaking construction.

Adventures in Istanbul.

An evening visit to Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

We arrived at dusk, not long after the call to prayer, which we’d heard from several streets away. This was poor planning on our part, due to the fact that we now wouldn’t be able to enter the mosque while it was in use. Soon, it was going to close for the night. So we swiftly ducked into the splendid inner court for a look, while we could.

Suleymaniye Mosque by night.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

What a special moment it was as we entered the court, bathed in a blue glow from the early evening sky. Inside the mosque itself, behind thick wooden doors, we could hear traces of the Imam doing his thing. This lent the courtyard a pleasingly hypnotic feel as we considered the history that lay here.

The history of Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

After all, this was the complex that Suleiman the Magnificent had envisioned as the biggest and boldest mosque of the city. And so it was, at least for 462 years until Çamlıca Mosque sprang up in 2019. Spoilsports.

Suleiman the Magnificent.

“Build me a mosque… make it BIG”. 

Not knowing how long we would have, and anticipating a sudden rush of exiting people at any moment, we savoured a brief but nevertheless full circular of the court’s finely sculpted, colonnaded covered walkway. A tasteful concoction of marble, granite and porphyry, a word I’m not ashamed to say I had to look up. The soft pinky-red glaze patterns on the arches, meanwhile, are brilliantly subtle. 

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Exploring Suleymaniye Mosque.


Keen to avoid being swallowed up by the imminent crowds, we grabbed a few final shots and called it a night. Indeed I wanted a photo of myself in front of one of its four stupendous minarets. Each one containing ten galleries. Because, you know, Suleiman the Magnificent was the 10th Ottoman sultan. 

Discovering Suleymaniye Mosque.

A magical minaret.

This brief flirtation with Suleymaniye Mosque had not been enough, we knew we’d have to go back. The next morning, after a gloriously long and restful sleep, we awoke early full of beans. Thus, after a quick breakfast, we wasted no time in setting off for a second look.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

This time we were able to enjoy the full splendour of the pretty mosque garden. Autumn was busy weaving its magic across the trees and plants as we sauntered down the path to the main entrance.

The pretty garden at Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

With nothing but the sounds of tweeting birds in the air, I initially thought Sladja and I had the place all to ourselves. But then I spotted a lone man resting quietly under a tree. For a moment our eyes locked and he gave me a solemn nod.

Exploring Istanbul.

Turkish man resting under a tree at Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

From a corner of the garden, we stumbled upon an absolutely breathtaking panoramic. Delightful rows of Turkish bathhouse rooftops preceding a stretch of the Bosphorus and the city beyond.

Turkish baths rooftops Istanbul.

The Suleymaniye Mosque Rooftops.

Working our way back to the courtyard we’d entered the night before, we came upon a handful of local men performing wudu. These guys had gotten here early, as according to our calculations we had at least an hour before the next call to prayer was due.

Worshippers washing their feet outside Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

As special as it had been to experience the courtyard at night, our daytime arrival caused us to catch our breath all over again.

A visit to the stunning Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul

Suleymaniye Mosque.

It was so perfectly crafted and gleaming I wondered if there had been some recent restoration work. But apparently its last major makeover took place between 2007-2010.

Prior to that there had been a significant rebuild after the Great Fire of 1660 that saw well over half of Constantinople completely destroyed. Another renovation took place to fix damage caused by a devastating earthquake in 1766.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

The central fountain at Suleymaniye Mosque Istanbul

The courtyard’s Central Fountain.

Interestingly, the courtyard served as a weapons depot during the First World War. Which of course eventually led to another fire and yet another refurbishment in 1956.

Suleymaniye Mosque in focus.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Tentatively approaching the entrance steps to the interior, we realised that the morning cleaning session was in progress. Uh oh. There was sweeping, vacuuming and odd jobs going on inside and spilling out into the courtyard. Would we be able to go in?

Morning cleaning at Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Luckily, a local man saw us looking bashful and asked if he could help. When we told him we were very much hoping for a stroll inside, he went and asked somebody for us. A minute or so later he returned with a smile. “Please, enjoy our beautiful mosque!” So we removed our shoes and Sladja covered her hair and shoulders.

Mosque dress code in Istanbul.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

I’m certainly glad we didn’t miss out on the interior, a fine mix of Islamic and Byzantine elements crowned by a sizeable half-dome inscribed with verse from the Quran. Suleiman hired the royal architect Mimar Sinan to design it, a man whose life work consisted of around 300 of the Ottoman Empire’s finest mosques.

Adventures in Istanbul.

Inside Suleymaniye Mosque.


I particularly liked the continuation of the arches with their brighter red and white voussoirs. A happy reminder, in fact, of my visit to The Mezquita in Cordoba, Spain, back in 2017.

A blogger's guide to Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Adjoining the mosque, just to the south of the main courtyard, sits an ancient cemetery. To miss it would be a crime, just duck under the stone doorway and suddenly one is completely lost in a picturesque garden packed with historic graves.

Entrance to the graveyard at Suleymaniye Mosque

Entrance to the cemetery.

Beautifully kept and wonderfully peaceful, we spent some time strolling down the various paths. Trying (and failing) to make sense of the gravestones and their mysterious inscriptions.

Cemetery Suleymaniye Mosque.

Suleymaniye Mosque.

For over 450 years, key royal, religious and political figures have been laid to rest here. Unfortunately, English language information about who precisely has proven hard to track down.

Suleymaniye Mosque Cemetery.

Ancient graves at Suleymaniye Mosque

Suleymaniye Mosque.

In any case, the graves here are clearly a mere warmup act for what visitors really want to see when they come to the cemetery. Because, yes, it also contains two large mausoleums home to a number of royal tombs.

The beautiful cemetery of Suleymaniye Mosque

Looking for the Royal Tombs.

First, you’ve got the Mausoleum to Suleiman the Magnificent himself! He died in the autumn of 1566 aged 71 during a military expedition to Hungary. Historians reckon the mausoleum was built that year and probably finished in 1567.

Mausoleum of Suleiman the Magnificent

Mausoleum of Suleiman the Magnificent.

The octagonal structure kept funny opening times during COVID, so we felt lucky to have been granted access. Right place at the right time, I guess. Mr. Magnificent lies alongside his daughter, Mihrimah Sultan, in addition to two successive sultans, Suleiman II and Ahmed II.

Tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Inside Suleiman’s magnificent tomb.

Although tiny, the mausoleum is lavish, showcasing a veritable feast of Islamic art. Several walls, for example, are covered in polychrome Iznik tiles.

Iznik tiles Tomb of Suleiman the Magnificent

Iznik tiles, baby.

Most impressive of all, dominating the back wall, are a string of inscriptive panels quoting verses of The Quran.

Mausoleum of Suleiman the Magnificent.

Visit Istanbul.

Inside Suleiman’s magnificent tomb.

Interestingly, Suleiman’s wife, Hurrem Sultan (Roxelana), got a mausoleum all of her own. This one dates back to 1558, when she passed away just a few years after her husband.

She was one of the most powerful women in Ottoman history. A close adviser to her husband, a diplomat in her own right and commissioner of public facilities. Not to mention the mother of future sultan Selim II. Sadly for us, we didn’t get to view her tomb, as it was closed that day. Bummer.

Tomb of Hurrem Sultan.

Tomb of Hurrem Sultan.

All in all we could have no complaints. Our first Istanbul mosque visit had been a resounding success. As such, it remains perhaps my favourite. Though as you’ll see in my upcoming articles, it definitely has some fierce competitors.

Guide to visiting Istanbul by Leighton Travels

Suleymaniye Mosque.

Like this? Take a look at my series of articles on Istanbul.

I’ve been living, working and traveling all over the world since 2001. So why not check out my huge library of travel reports from over 30 countries.

Leighton Travels logo travel reports and short stories.


  • Anna

    Haha amazing… you must be reading my mind! I’m currently reading Orhan Pamuk’s “Istanbul – memories and the city”. I haven’t been but Istanbul is often on my mind and is high on my must see list! Lovely photos and info as always Leighton! Good to have you back here!

    July 2, 2023 - 3:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah what a coincidence. Sladja is an avid reader, would you recommend the book? Thanks for kicking off the comment thread Anna, there are going to be a lot of Istanbul articles hitting these pages over the next few months. Will probably put them out in two batches with a break of location in between.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:39 pm Reply
      • Anna

        The book is “ok”… I think since you’ve been to Istanbul you might get more out of it. It isn’t one of Pamuk’s best books though. What type of books does Sladja like? I’m a huge reader and might have some recommendations (actually on my site I have a title called “books books books”, she could look there and find a list of my all time faves!

        July 3, 2023 - 3:04 am
      • Leighton

        Sladja reads anything and everything. At the minute she’s hung up on post World War I fiction ha ha. She had to remind me that Pamuk was the dude who wrote ‘Museum of Innocence’. She is generally a bit ‘meh’ with Pamuk but that novel did at least inspire us to go and see the actual museum on our second visit to Istanbul last summer. I will definitely point her in the direction of ‘books books books’, thanks Anna.

        July 3, 2023 - 10:12 am
      • Anna

        Sladja sounds like someone I would like to hang out with and talk books! And with you we could talk football!!!

        July 3, 2023 - 10:16 am
      • Leighton

        That’s very sweet Anna and who knows, maybe one day we can all do just that!

        July 3, 2023 - 10:34 am
  • Monkey's Tale

    Welcome back!! We’ll be in Istanbul in August, this makes me very excited! I haven’t done much research yet so I’ll save this post and make sure this mosque is on our list. Maggie

    July 2, 2023 - 4:51 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah that’s great Maggie. I have a whole chunk of Istanbul posts on the way, I hope it gives you plenty of ideas.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:40 pm Reply
  • kagould17

    Stupendous indeed. I well know your feeling of arriving in a place so exhausted, you just want to sleep, but so excited that you have to go out exploring. Glad you managed a 2nd look at this mosque and that the locals were so helpful. It just goes to show that people everywhere are the same. If you look interested or lost, they will reach out to help you. Thanks for sharing this visit Leighton and have a great Sunday. Allan

    July 2, 2023 - 4:58 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Allan. We had such good experiences with the people of Istanbul. That was heartwarming, especially during a time that was clearly very stressful for everyone. Sladja and I are now on a two-week break from teaching, so it is a particularly happy Sunday.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:42 pm Reply
  • Bahanur

    Ohh, I was wondering if you had ever been to my country 😂 Well, I am one of those Turkish people who doesn’t like Istanbul. I believe it’s worth seeing, but living there is a different story. I love reading stories of this city through others’ eyes because outsiders catch the details locals fail to appreciate! Great photos, as usual! 😊

    July 2, 2023 - 5:17 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Bahanur, thanks for checking in. I think that’s normal, I am the same with my feelings for London. For years I disliked it and kinda avoided it. Later, I was happy to visit from time to time but wouldn’t dream of living there. These days I have a real affection for it and plan to go back ever 2-3 years if possible. We loved Istanbul for so many reasons, despite the ‘big city’ frustrations that a metropolis of that size invariably has. I hope that positivity shines through in this series.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:45 pm Reply
  • David Linebarger

    Great pics and commentary on this magnificent mosque. Felt as if I were there.

    July 2, 2023 - 5:31 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks so much David, I appreciate you reading and leaving a comment. I hope you’ll find plenty more to enjoy from my Istanbul series in the coming months.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:46 pm Reply
  • anoush

    Welcome back, Leighton. An excellent write-up and photos as always. Istanbul is a magnificent city and this mosque is wonderfully captured through your lens. The Iznik tiles are absolutely gorgeous. Glad you got to go back and see the mosque properly. It is always nice to read about helpful and kind locals.

    July 2, 2023 - 5:38 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Anoush! It’s good to be back and starting a new series to boot. Bar one or two unsavoury incidents, we had such good experiences with the people from Istanbul. I wouldn’t rule out another trip one of these years.

      July 2, 2023 - 5:47 pm Reply
  • Mallee Stanley

    This is a country I still haven’t visited, yet I too admire Islamic architecture. Your article tempts me and I look forward to more—and, I’m glad you’re back writing.

    July 2, 2023 - 6:08 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Mallee, thanks for the encouragement, much appreciated. I have an awful lot of Istanbul articles to post, hope you find plenty to enjoy along the way.

      July 2, 2023 - 7:22 pm Reply
      • Mallee Stanley

        Look forward to reading more

        July 3, 2023 - 5:05 am
  • Memo

    Hooray! You answered my prayers. And in a city I have so much to learn about. Great photos and background. The Iznik tiles remind me so much of the tiles made in Puebla. They cover entire buildings in custom made tiles. I’ll be taking a one week on line class on Istanbul soon. Your posts will give me a head start. Great start to a new city. Glad to have you back.

    July 2, 2023 - 6:52 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Memo, your online studies continue to impress me. I suspect that my work will pale in comparison to the stuff you’ll be absorbing. Thanks for the encouragement, I finished ‘No Eyes’ a few days ago and will be in touch soon.

      July 2, 2023 - 7:35 pm Reply
  • Stan

    yes!!! wordpress has missed you greatly as i’m sure this comment thread will attest. what an exciting new destination, i know you will do it the usual full justice and more. this mosque is incredible, I hadn’t known it by name. very wise to do the daytime visit in addition to night mode. great history both to the mosque and its fabulous graveyard. the closing photo is very clever, nicely done and props to your good lady.

    July 2, 2023 - 7:44 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Kind thanks, Stan. In truth I could’ve stretched my two month hiatus to three, but thought I better get back before people forget who I am altogether 😉 It’s exciting to start posting about a new city and country, particularly one that charmed us so. Thanks for joining me at the start of these Istanbul chronicles!

      July 2, 2023 - 7:49 pm Reply
  • Toonsarah

    Oh wow, I can see why this was a favourite of yours! It’s stunning, both in the blue evening light and in regular daylight, and both outside and in 😲 Istanbul is on our radar for a possible trip next year, so I must remember this.

    July 2, 2023 - 8:01 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Sarah, I’m glad Suleymaniye Mosque appeals. One is truly spoilt for choice in Istanbul when it comes to mosques. I’ll be posting about a bunch individually but saving many for a roundup article further down the line. Thanks for dropping in!

      July 2, 2023 - 8:54 pm Reply
  • Rebecca

    Welcome back to blogging, Leighton! It’s incredible you braved such a long journey to Turkey, let alone during COVID when travel restrictions were at an all-time high…I’d gone to Turkey just the year prior, and to visit those mosques were truly a mesmerizing, almost hypnotic experience. Definitely a beautiful country with so much good food, too!

    July 2, 2023 - 8:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Welcome back Rebecca! The thing is, we had to stop in Turkey anyway on our way “home” to Belgrade. So it was just a case of taking a deep breath and saying “let’s hang for a few weeks”. It sounds like you also had a great time in Istanbul, I hope you enjoy this series!

      July 2, 2023 - 8:57 pm Reply
  • Jason Lawrence

    So good to see you back Leighton, you are one of the best bloggers on WP!

    Thanks – Jason

    July 2, 2023 - 8:47 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Jason! I hope you enjoy the upcoming instalments from Istanbul!

      July 2, 2023 - 9:31 pm Reply
  • shortgirlontour

    Welcome back, Leighton! Gorgeous pictures as always 🙂 I was also in Turkey during this time 🙂

    July 2, 2023 - 8:56 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Ah, it’s a small world eh? Thanks for contributing to the thread, I hope you enjoy the series and that it brings back some of your own Istanbul memories.

      July 2, 2023 - 9:00 pm Reply

    Well, us too! Either I’ve forgotten, or never knew, but we too were in Turkey then, arriving on 22nd September that year and staying until November. We didn’t touch Istanbul on that one though, having been twice before. What a magnificent city it is, with so, so much to offer. Just being there feels very special. And yes this place is just fabulous ….as is the right to be called “….. the Magnificent”, don’t you think.

    July 2, 2023 - 9:18 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      This world is getting smaller by the second. How amusing that we were in Turkey at the same time. I wouldn’t mind being called Leighton the Magnificent, but not sure Sladja would trade that in for my current pet names.

      July 2, 2023 - 9:26 pm Reply
  • Travels Through My Lens

    It’s great to have you back on WP, Leighton. I enjoyed your article and photos of beautiful Istanbul and Suleymaniye Mosque. The colors are stunning and the attention to detail is amazing. I’m looking forward to your future posts. All the best!

    July 2, 2023 - 10:11 pm Reply
    • Sheree


      July 2, 2023 - 10:22 pm Reply
      • Leighton

        Thank you Sheree.

        July 3, 2023 - 9:53 am
      • Sheree

        Pleasure Leighton

        July 3, 2023 - 7:40 pm
    • Leighton

      Thanks Tricia, it’s good to be back and have everyone back too! 🙂

      July 5, 2023 - 12:51 pm Reply
  • Steven and Annie Berger

    Istanbul is such a great city. I forgot Turkey was open for tourists during covid. Glad you could travel and be safe while most of us were at home. Thanks for the great post and looking forward to seeing more.

    July 2, 2023 - 10:43 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Steven, I hope you and Annie enjoy the series!

      July 3, 2023 - 9:54 am Reply
  • bronlima

    So good to see you back again. Missed your posts. Looking forward to seeing you both soon!

    July 2, 2023 - 11:22 pm Reply
  • Little Miss Traveller

    The mosque is absolutely beautiful Leighton. We also visited but it was teeming with visitors when we were there so you were fortunate to admire its tranquility. The minarets and tiles are fabulous.

    July 3, 2023 - 1:06 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hi Marion, thanks for checking in. We were so “lucky”, if that’s the right word, to have seen this city at a relatively quiet moment. Many of Istanbul’s mosques, with the exception of Hagia Sophia, were largely sleepy and free of visitors.

      July 3, 2023 - 9:56 am Reply
  • Mike and Kellye Hefner

    This was a spectacular tour of the Suleymaniye Mosque, Leighton. It’s not only beautiful, but it has so much interesting history. I thought the inside was just as gorgeous as the outside. And what is it that draws all of us living beings toward cemeteries? We do it all the time, but I have to say those mausoleums are magnificent! I’m looking forward to seeing more of Istanbul through your lenses and words.

    July 3, 2023 - 2:07 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Kellye, I’m glad you enjoyed this mosque, inside and outside. We are both mad about cemeteries, love exploring them and reading all the names on the gravestones. Trying to imagine the lives they lived and the times. I’m really excited to share this series, and to be back on WordPress.

      July 3, 2023 - 9:58 am Reply
      • Mike and Kellye Hefner

        I am so glad you’re back, Leighton, sharing your wonderful stories and photos.

        July 3, 2023 - 7:29 pm
  • Lookoom

    You have some beautiful photos of this mosque and I agree, the architecture of Islam has reached a high level of excellence, while remaining relatively sober. There is a balance of mass and line that is pleasing to the eye, the result of centuries of accumulated knowledge.

    July 3, 2023 - 2:12 am Reply
    • Leighton

      You conclude it perfectly. When it comes to mosques, there are so many splendorous buildings to see in the Turkish capital. Most of which are bypassed by the casual visitor, especially if you’ve only got a few days as it’s natural to gravitate towards the heavyweight structures such as Hagia Sophia and the Blue Mosque. Thanks for chipping in, I hope you enjoy this new series on Istanbul.

      July 3, 2023 - 10:01 am Reply
  • qprgary

    Good to see you back, are you settled yet? We love Istanbul and the architecture is fantastic we used to stop over for a couple of days on the way to the coast but full of Russians now.

    July 3, 2023 - 12:54 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Gary, great to hear from you. We are reasonably settled and still working towards stability in terms of paperwork and all that boring stuff. Now enjoying some time off work which is great, especially as summer has finally arrived in this part of Armenia. Hope all is well with you and the missus and that Malaga plans are coming together.

      July 3, 2023 - 4:21 pm Reply
      • qprgary

        Going to take a while not good time to unload properties but things in motion just going to be a while longer winding things up

        July 4, 2023 - 11:55 am
  • WanderingCanadians

    I love that you took a bit of a risk and decided to spend some time in Turkey before trying to head to Serbia. Despite a long journey to get there, good for you for wanting to explore around a bit. The lighting in your pictures looks amazing from the late afternoon sun. And it looks like you had the place all to yourselves. I’m glad you returned to the Suleymaniye Mosque the next day to spend more time as it looks stunning.

    July 3, 2023 - 3:40 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey guys, it’s great to be back and have everyone back with comments. Istanbul was such an opportunity at that time and one that we realised wouldn’t exist in that way ever again. One downside (as you’ll read later on) is that a number of the city’s most historic sights were closed or under restoration. But what we did get to see was pretty quiet on the whole.

      July 3, 2023 - 4:25 pm Reply
  • wetanddustyroads

    Turkey is a place we’ve always had in the back of our minds to visit one day … and now you’ve just reminded me again why! The mosque is such a beautiful building and what a lovely view from the roof! Welcome back Leighton – it’s like you were never “away”!

    July 3, 2023 - 4:53 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks Corna, it seems quite a few WordPressers are either planning or considering a trip to Istanbul. I hope you enjoy the series ahead, the city has so many strings to its bow.

      July 3, 2023 - 5:46 pm Reply
  • grandmisadventures

    Welcome Back! I don’t think you could have found a better place for a detour between the two chapters of life than Istanbul. The Suleymaniye Mosque is incredible. I love that glowing ambiance in the evening, but in the daylight you can really see the beautiful colorful details. It’s always interesting to see cemeteries in other places and how some aspects are similar while others are so different. There is something so beautifully poetic about the mausoleum being a bright, colorful, and welcoming place instead of the dark, gloomy, and depressing that they can often be. A great post for your return 🙂

    July 3, 2023 - 7:36 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Meg! It’s great to be back, to be welcomed back, and to have you all back. I’m glad you enjoyed this look at Suleymaniye Mosque. And you’re right, there is a celebratory vibe to the design of those mausoleums. In fact, the level of craftsmanship to the art that adorns the interiors are equal to if not more stunning than the actual mosque.

      July 3, 2023 - 8:23 pm Reply
  • Supraja Lakshmi N

    I was spellbound by your post about the Suleymaniye Mosque. It is such a stunning and majestic building with a rich and complex history. I loved how you shared your personal impressions and emotions as you explored the mosque and its surroundings. You also gave us some interesting facts and insights about the architecture, the art, and the culture of the place. Your photos are amazing and capture the beauty and atmosphere of the mosque. Thank you for letting us experience this wonder through your eyes.

    July 5, 2023 - 10:09 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hi Supraja, thanks for reading and leaving such a lovely comment. This mosque, like so many others in Istanbul, is an incredible sight packed with such intricate artwork. I hope you enjoy the rest of my Istanbul series, it would be my pleasure to have you along for the ride.

      July 5, 2023 - 4:06 pm Reply
  • Lyssy In The City

    Welcome back!! So glad to hear things are going well. The Mosque is absolutely beautiful! I am thinking it’s swarmed with visitors now. I especially love the panoramic views, so stunning!

    July 5, 2023 - 3:57 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers, Lyssy. It is indeed good to be back 🙂

      July 5, 2023 - 4:08 pm Reply
  • NortheastAllie

    Good to have you back! I am really impressed at how elaborate this mosque is. So many layers of details and design!

    July 5, 2023 - 11:32 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks for visiting Allie!

      July 6, 2023 - 10:00 am Reply
  • Laura

    Leighton- some of these photos truly had my jaw dropping in awe; I have never experienced a sight quite like this during my travels before. The amount of detail and colour that is incorporated in this mosque is completely exceptional. As someone prone to being spellbound by beauty, you would have been hard-pressed to get me out of there haha. I’m so happy to have you back and to read more of your posts!

    July 6, 2023 - 1:45 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Laura, I knew I needed to kick off this Istanbul series with something special. It was hard choosing something, even just among the city’s mosques, of which there are so many stunners. I kinda decided to leave the real heavyweights, like Hagia Sophia and Dolmabahce Palace, for later. Thanks for your enthusiasm, it is infectious!

      July 6, 2023 - 10:02 am Reply
  • littlelilly

    Wow, this is a good read, Leighton! Thanks for sharing. The mosque and its architecture is stunning.

    July 6, 2023 - 3:41 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Hey Lily. Thanks for reading, commenting and indeed for following Leighton Travels! You are very welcome aboard. I hope you enjoy this new series from Istanbul, plenty more to come over the next few months!

      July 6, 2023 - 10:04 am Reply
  • travelling_han

    It’s so nice to see you posting again, I’d missed your updates 🙂 What an adventure to delay arriving in Serbia for 18 nights in Istanbul, one of the most amazing cities in the world. And it looks like you had it largely to yourselves. This mosque is absolutely amazing, and I adore the arches, just stunning architecture 🙂

    July 7, 2023 - 9:36 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks so much Hannah, it’s good to be back and to be writing about a city as special as Istanbul.

      July 7, 2023 - 10:42 pm Reply
  • Ayi Ariquater


    July 8, 2023 - 6:38 pm Reply
  • Ana

    Nice views!!

    July 10, 2023 - 11:41 am Reply
  • Diana

    Good to see you back! I’m very much enjoying your posts about Turkey!

    July 11, 2023 - 4:52 am Reply
    • Leighton

      Cheers Diana, it’s good to be back. I hope you’re having a great summer!

      July 11, 2023 - 9:51 am Reply
  • Lingo in Transit

    Your badly timed dusk visit to Suleymaniye Mosque was not in vain! Beautiful dusk pictures with the lights on. The interiors of the Mausoleum are stunning.

    July 25, 2023 - 10:28 pm Reply
    • Leighton

      Thanks so much, in the end getting to see the mosque at both nighttime and in the morning threw up such brilliant contrasts. Appreciate the read and comment!

      July 25, 2023 - 10:30 pm Reply

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