Name of Monument:

Bayezid II Complex (külliye)


Edirne, Turkey

Date of Monument:

Hegira 893 / AD 1488

Architect(s) / master-builder(s):

There are several opinions as to the identity of the architect. According to some researchers, the complex was built by the architect Hayreddin [Khayr al-Din], while according to others it was built by the architect Yakub Shah bin Sultan Shah. Calligrapher: Sheikh Hamdullah [Hamd Allah].

Period / Dynasty:



Sultan Bayezid II (r. AH 886–917 / 1481–1512).


The Bayezid II Complex is of the külliye type comprising a large collection of buildings of which the mosque is central. Located on the north shore of the Tunca River, it occupies an area of some 22,000 sq m and is surrounded by walls. It consists of a mosque, two guest-houses (tabhanes) adjoining the mosque, a madrasa, a hospital (darüşşifa), a soup-kitchen (imaret), food-storage areas, and (outside the courtyard walls) a double bathhouse (hammam) and a bridge. The double bathhouse at the west of the complex no longer survives. The bridge over the Tunca River, built to connect the külliye to the city, has large spans of pointed arches.
The madrasa and darüşşifa are on the western side of the central courtyard, which is accessed through a gate in the north wall of the outer courtyard. The imaret is on the eastern side, while the mosque is on the south side. On the east side of the courtyard gate is the fountain of Sinan Ağa.
The single-domed, cubic mosque is adjoined by tabhanes on its east and west sides. Each of these guest-houses has a four-iwan plan and contains nine bays. The rectangular courtyard, north of the prayer hall, is accessed through three gates in its north, east and west walls. The courtyard is surrounded on all four sides by domed porticoes and has a marble fountain in the centre. The seven-bay portico for latecomers extends along the façade of the mosque and its central dome, decorated with muqarnas, is higher than the others. The building's two minarets rise from the outer corners of the tabhanes. Each has one balcony, both are almost 38 m high, and have grooved bodies, 3.25 m in diameter. The dome covering the square prayer hall is approximately 20.55 m in diameter and rises on pendentives.
The mihrab, minbar and sultan's loge are all made of marble. The geometric decoration on the minbar and the gallery are noteworthy. The wooden door wings, cupboards and window shutters are richly decorated. In addition to geometric and floral decoration, the ornament includes various inscriptions.
The single-storied madrasa occupies a rectangular area and has an open courtyard with porticoes on all four sides; the fountain in the centre of the courtyard is in a ruined state. The entrance is in the middle of the east side. The north, south and west wings contain a total of 18 students' cells behind the porticoes. Both the portico bays and the students' cells are domed. The classroom is a square space of approximately 7.36 m x 7.37 m located in the centre of the west side. It is covered with a large dome, and the mezzanine built onto its east wall, which looks like a balcony, is the library.
The darüşşifa to the west of the mosque is made up of a main building and two courtyards. The main building is hexagonal and consists of a central domed space with six iwans opening onto it, and rooms between the iwans. Both the iwans and the rooms are each covered with a single dome. The south iwan is deeper than the others and extends to the outside.
The imaret to the east of the mosque comprises a kitchen, oven, dining hall, pantry, storage space, and stables. It was built in two clusters of structures.
Today the darüşşifa and the madrasa have been appropriated by Trakya University and are open to visitors as a Museum of Health and a Fine Arts Museum.

View Short Description

One of the monumental Ottoman complexes, it was built on the bank of the River Tunca. Covering an area of 22,000 square m the complex comprises a mosque with two tabhanes (guesthouse) adjoining it, a madrasa, a hospital, an imaret (soup-kitchen), storerooms within the walls, a double-bathhouse outside which has not survived, and a bridge over the river. Its foundations were laid with a ceremony attended by the sultan himself. It is known that musical therapy was applied at its hospital and its madrasa is said to have served for medical training.

How Monument was dated:

Historical documents tell us that Sultan Bayezid II himself participated in the ceremonies to mark the foundation of this complex in Rabi' al-Akhir 889 / May 1484. The mosque, according to the inscription by Sheikh Hamdullah over the main portal, was completed in AH 893 / AD 1488. It is thought that the other buildings of the complex were also finished on the same date. The fountain lying east of the gate to the outer courtyard was ordered built in AH 1080 / AD 1670 by Sinan Ağa.

Selected bibliography:

Eyice, S., “Beyazıt II Camii ve Külliyesi [The Mosque and Complex of Beyazıt II]”, Türkiye Diyanet Vakfı İslam Ansiklopedisi [Encyclopaedia of Islam by the Religious Affairs Foundation of Turkey], Vol. 6, 1992, pp.42–5.
Kuyulu, İ., “II. Bayezid Külliyesi”, Erken Osmanlı Sanatı, Beyliklerin Mirası [Early Ottoman Art: The Legacy of the Emirates], Madrid, 1999, pp.189–93.
Müderrisoğlu, F., “Edirne II, Bayezid Külliyesi [Bayezid II Complex in Edirne]”, Vakıflar Dergisi [Journal of the Waqfs], XXII (1991), pp.151–98.
Ri'fat O., Edirne Evkâf-ı İslâmiyye Tarihi Camiler ve Mescitler [The History of Islamic Foundations, Mosques and Masjids in Edirne], (simplified from the Ottoman by ü. (Ayan) özsoy), Ankara, 1999.
Yüksel, İ. A., Osmanlı Mimarisinde II. Bâyezid Yavuz Selim Devri (886–926/1481–1520) [The Reigns of Bayezid II and Yavuz Selim in Ottoman Architecture (886–926/1481–1520)], Istanbul, 1983.

Citation of this web page:

İnci Kuyulu Ersoy "Bayezid II Complex (külliye)" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2020. 2020.;ISL;tr;Mon01;22;en

Prepared by: İnci Kuyulu Ersoyİnci Kuyulu Ersoy

İnci Kuyulu Ersoy is Head of Western and Contemporary Art, Department of Art History, Faculty of Letters, Ege University, Izmir. She was born in Nazilli, Turkey, in 1957. She graduated from TED Ankara College in 1976 and from Hacettepe University, Social and Management Sciences Faculty, Department of History of Art in 1980. She received her MA in 1982 and her Ph.D. in 1989 from Ankara University, Faculty of Linguistics and History-Geography, Department of Art History.
She was appointed as research assistant to the Department of Art History, Ege University. She became assistant professor in 1989, associate professor in 1994 and full professor in 2000 at the same university. She is also Head of Turkish Art History at the Institute for Research on the Turkic World. She has researched and published widely on Turkish art.

Translation by: Barry WoodBarry Wood

Barry Wood is Curator (Islamic Gallery Project) in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He studied history of art at Johns Hopkins University and history of Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University, from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2002. He has taught at Harvard, Eastern Mediterranean University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has also worked at the Harvard University Art Museums and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. He has published on topics ranging from Persian manuscripts to the history of exhibitions.
, İnci Türkoğluİnci Türkoğlu

İnci Türkoğlu has been working as a tourist guide and freelance consultant in tourism and publishing since 1993. She was born in Alaşehir, Turkey, in 1967. She graduated from the English Department of Bornova Anatolian High School in 1985 and lived in the USA for a year as an exchange student. She graduated from the Department of Electronic Engineering of the Faculty of Architecture and Engineering, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, and the professional tourist guide courses of the Ministry of Tourism in 1991. She worked as an engineer for a while. She graduated from the Department of Art History, Faculty of Letters, Ege University, Izmir, in 1997 with an undergraduate thesis entitled “Byzantine House Architecture in Western Anatolia”. She completed her Master's at the Byzantine Art branch of the same department in 2001 with a thesis entitled “Synagogue Architecture in Turkey from Antiquity to the Present”. She has published on art history and tourism.

Translation copyedited by: Mandi Gomez

MWNF Working Number: TR 35


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