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Ulu Camii is the major mosque of Bursa and a landmark of early Ottoman architecture. It was built by Ali Neccar in 1396-1399, at Sultan Bayezid I's command. The mosque is large and rectangular, with twenty domes arranged in four rows of five supported by twelve columns. Supposedly twenty domes are built instead of twenty separate mosques that Sultan Bayezid I promised for winning the Battle of Nicopolis. It has two minarets. Inside the mosque there are 192 monumental wall inscriptions written by famous calligraphers. There is also a fountain (şadırvan) inside the mosque where worshipers can perform ritual ablutions before prayer; the dome over the şadırvan is capped by a skylight, creating a soft, serene light below. The story of the şadırvan inside the mosque, which is unheard of, that the land belong to an old lady who objected to her store taken by padişah. Because consent is not given for the piece of land, prayer cannot be conducted on it thus a şadırvan is built. Architecturally şadırvan helps to have light inside the mosque that is big.

The horizontally spacious and dimly lit interior is designed to feel peaceful and contemplative. The subdivisions of space formed by multiple domes and pillars create a sense of privacy and even intimacy. This atmosphere contrasts with later Ottoman mosques (see for example the work of Süleyman I's chief architect Sinan). These later mosques have increasingly elevated central domes, which create a vertical emphasis that is intended to be more overwhelming, in order to convey the power and majesty of the Ottoman Empire. It is a beautiful piece of architecture

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Additional Photos by mete kislal (metek) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 582 W: 28 N: 280] (3001)
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