Figure in Mimar Sinan’s Tomb

Did you know that Mimar Sinan, one of the rare masters, designed his own tomb like a compass, and even walked around with a compass on his turban?

In the history of our country Ali Kuşçu, Osman Hamdi Bey, Piri Reis, Farabi, Akşemseddin Cahit Arf, Kerim Erim like many important scientists There are people who have contributed greatly to the world science literature. We are so proud of all of them.

Of course we should all know their names and what they do, but one of them is known and loved by everyone: Architect Sinan. We watch with admiration the magnificent structures of Mimar Sinan, which have survived all these earthquakes without a single crack.

It is not difficult to guess that Sinan is very familiar with compasses due to his profession.

Like every traditional architect, Sinan compasses was working with. There is often an emphasis on compass in his constructions and even in some of his discourses. For example Tezkiretü’l-Bunyan He describes how he developed his mastery in architecture in the following words:

“Under my master’s hand, with my feet fixed like a compass, I observed the center and the periphery. Finally, like a compass, I was tempted to travel to the lands to increase my manners by arcing.”

You may be shocked to learn that a part of the Süleymaniye Mosque, one of his most magnificent works, was actually designed as a compass:

Architect Sinan Tomb Compasses

We see a compass motif in the Süleymaniye Mosque, the magnificent work of Mimar Sinan, whose columns did not even crack against many earthquakes. Sinan built his own tomb in Sulaymaniyah in a street crossing both sides. He designed it in a V shape and built it like a compass..

Yes, Mimar Sinan’s tomb is also in the form of a compass:

(The photo on the left is a small-scale depiction of Mimar Sinan’s tomb in Süleymaniye, located in the Miniatürk open-air museum.)

In the only true depiction of Mimar Sinan, he is seen attaching a compass to his turban:

real architect sinan depiction

This depiction has been in circulation for a long time, of course, but people thought that those two black lines on Sinan’s turban were a kind of jewellery. Upon closer examination, this it actually turned out to be a compass.

Prior to this depiction by Murat Bardakçı, all the depictions of Mimar Sinan we have seen so far were fictitious and were made years after Sinan’s death. This depiction revealed by Bardakçı was made by Melchior Lorck, who came to Istanbul during the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent and drew the Istanbul Panorama.

In fact, one of Mimar Sinan’s compasses is in the Military Museum Collection.

Architect Sinan Compass

On the inventory of the Military Museum and Cultural Site Command ‘It belongs to Mimar SinanThere is a compass with the definition of ‘. The accuracy of this definition was investigated and it turned out to be correct. in this inventory The compass really belongs to Mimar Sinan.

This type of compasses Caliper Caliper is called. Caliper calipers are used to measure diameters and are not used by architects. engineers used by. However, the fact that Mimar Sinan has the title of ‘Architect’ does not completely define him. It is possible to call him an engineer.

Of course, it would have been better if this compass, which belonged to Mimar Sinan, was in a more public and accessible place such as Topkapı, rather than the Military Museum. Maybe even in his tomb in Sulaymaniyah.

Mimar Sinan’s this interest in compasses We see him tell us in wonderful ways. Who knows, maybe there are more compasse details like this that haven’t been revealed yet…


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