Suleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul
Known to Europeans as the Magnificent and to his subjects as the Lawgiver, Süleyman I was both a brilliant military strategist and an acclaimed legislator. The sultan shook the world of the 16th century as he raised the Ottoman Empire to the height of its glory from his seat in Istanbul.
Monument to a mighty ruler, Istanbul's many-domed Süleymaniye complex looks over the Golden Horn, Bosporus, and Sea of Marmara to Asia. Built in the 1550s by court architect Sinan, the mosque was surrounded by colleges, a hospital, a soup kitchen, baths, and the tombs of Süleyman and his wife, Roxelana. Istanbul—then known as Constantinople—became the seat of Ottoman power in 1453, when Süleyman's great-grandfather Mehmed II seized the Byzantine capital.
—From "The World of Süleyman the Magnificent," November 1987, National Geographic magazine