[skip to content]

Department of the History of Art and Archaeology

Ottoman Architecture in Istanbul: 15th-19th Century

Course Code:
Course Not Running 2014/2015
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 1 or Year 2
Taught in:
Term 1


Objectives and learning outcomes of the course

The course explores the history of Ottoman architecture from the conquest of Constantinople/Istanbul in the 15th to the 19th century. It discusses the history and culture of the city through the religious and monumental patronage of the sultans and the elite. It examines the significance of the architect Sinan in the development of Ottoman architecture, The students will learn to analyze ground plans and they will also get acquainted with the history of Ottoman Iznik ceramics and its association with architectural decoration. The course will follow a chronological historical order in the study of the architecture. The students will have access to a course specific webpage that provides several hundreds architectural photos to help them learn, research and revise.

On successful completion of the course, a student will be able to demonstrate:
  • Knowledge of key themes in the chronological development of the visual culture of the Ottoman Empire.
  • Ability to evaluate critically innovation and continuation of regional artistic traditions, and to understand such developments within a wider Islamic context.
  • Awareness of the political, social and historical contexts for artistic production in the Ottoman Empire.
  • Facility in research skills and methodologies required for students majoring in the study of the history of art and archaeology.

Scope and syllabus

This course adopts a thematic approach to study of Islamic Art and Architecture with focus on the specific Ottoman case. The various components of Ottoman Art will be the focus of the course, but the course as a whole presents opportunities to explore the Byzantine architectural legacy in Istanbul, the Islamic patterns of architecture and patronage and the European Baroque influences. Whilst the thematic issues will remain similar, the geographical and chronological range of examples will vary from year to year.

Method of assessment

Essay 1 3,000 words (33%), Essay 2 3,000 words (34%), Image Test (33%).

Suggested reading