The architectural form of the mosques built by Mimar Sinan clearly reflected to contemporary viewers from within Ottoman culture the status and wealth of the respective buildings’ patrons. Not only the quality of construction materials and the level of sophistication in the craftsmanship displayed in the architectural details and furnishings, but also the presence and number of domes and minarets established a hierarchy based on a certain “decorum,” as expressed by the art historian Gülru Necipoğlu. In addition to these two variables of the patrons’ status and the form and size of their establishment, their correlation to a third variable in the context of this Ottoman architectural decorum deserves closer scrutiny: What has so far not been considered is the role played by Qur’anic recitation, which constituted an integral part of the experience of mosque space.
Nina Ergin is an art historian specializing in Islamic architecture and particularly Ottoman visual culture. She has published on the lesser monuments in the canon of Ottoman monuments, such as hamams and soup kitchens, as well as sensory aspects of the built environment, such as soundscapes and smellscapes.