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Ottoman Period

Ottoman Complexes

Madrassahs & Libraries

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Medresses & Libraries

A good number of madrassahs either within complexes or independently were established in Istanbul, cultural and education center of Ottoman Empire and Islamic World. First and large complex madrassahs were:

  • Semaniye and Tetimme madrassahs located in a symmetrical arrangement within the Fatih Complex. Second important example is;
  • Composed of 19 spaces within the Beyazid Complex. The First and Second and additionally,Fourth and Fifth madrassahs are situated were.
  • The madrassah in Sultan Ahmed Complex is a classical example formed of domed rooms taking place in the perimeter of central courtyard.
  • The madrassah within the Nuruosmaniye Complex is very large.
  • The madrassah within the Abdulhamit I Complex is a two-storied independent building. Charity fountains, mesjids (mosques without minaret) libraries, tombs are additionally annexed to independent madrassahs.
  • Gazanferaga (1599)
  • Kuyucu Murat Pasha (1606)
  • Merzifonlu Kara Mustafa Pasha (1682-1690)
  • Çorlulu Ali Pasha (1708)
  • Rustem Pasha (1550) madrassah is pointed out as an example among madrassahs of single building.


Establishment of libraries in the Ottoman Empire, independent or as a part of Complexes started in the l7th century. The oldest example known among the libraries which have the quality of a foundation is the Köprülü Library (1661). There is a library also within the Amcazade Huseyin Pasha Complex.

Among the Libraries taking place in a mosque, like one made in Baroque style separated by cast bronze banisters, which is located next to the Suleymaniye Mosque can be mentioned (1751- 1752).

It is observed that decoration in library architecture densifies in the l8th century Libraries such as Feyzullah Efendi in Fatih, Sehit Ali Pasha in Vefa (1715), Mahmut I in Ayasofya and Atif Efendi in Vefa are the examples of this kind.

The Library Mustafa Efendi had made in Sultanhamam (1741 and 1742) is converted to a business place. Latest examples of Large Complexes are Nuruosmaniye and Hamidiye Libraries.

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