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Mihrimah Sultan

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Title: Mihrimah Sultan  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Suleiman the Magnificent, Valide sultan, Mosques commissioned by the Ottoman dynasty, Pelin Karahan, Selim II
Collection: 1522 Births, 1578 Deaths, 1588 Deaths, 16Th-Century Ottoman People, Ottoman Women
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Mihrimah Sultan

Mihrimah Sultan
Portrait by Cristofano dell'Altissimo titled Cameria Solimani, 16th century
Valide Sultan of the Ottoman Empire
Tenure 7 September 1566 – 15 December 1574
Predecessor Ayşe Hafsa Sultan
Successor Nurbanu Sultan
Born (1522-03-21)21 March 1522
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Died 25 January 1578(1578-01-25) (aged 55)
Constantinople, Ottoman Empire
Burial Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul
Spouse Damat Rüstem Pasha
Issue Ayşe Hümaşah Sultan
Sultanzade Murad Bey
Sultanzade Mehmed Bey
House House of Osman
Father Suleiman the Magnificent
Mother Hürrem Sultan
Religion Islam

Mihrimah Sultan (Ottoman Turkish: مهر ماه سلطان‎, Turkish pronunciation: ) (21 March 1522 – 25 January 1578) was the daughter of the Ottoman Sultan Suleiman I and his wife Hürrem Sultan.[1] Mihrimah Sultan's name is also spelled Mihrumah, Mihr-î-Mâh, Mihrî-a-Mâh or Mehr-î-Mâh. She was born in Constantinople. Mehr-î-Mâh means "Sun (lit. clemency, compassion, endearment, affection) and Moon".


  • Life 1
  • Death and burial place 2
  • Notes 3
  • References 4
  • External links 5


Portrait by Titian, c. 1555
A letter that has written by Mihrimah Sultan to Sigismund II Augustus in 1548

Mihrimah traveled throughout the Ottoman Empire with her father as he surveyed the lands and conquered new ones. It is written in Persian literature that she traveled into battle with her father on an Arabian stallion called Batal at the Battle of Gizah in northern Egypt outside Alexandria.

In Constantinople on 26 November 1539, at the age of seventeen, Mihr-î-Mâh was married off to Damat (literal translation, son-in-law) Rüstem Pasha (1505 -10 July 1561), the Grand Vizier under Suleiman. Though the union was unhappy, Mihrimah flourished as a patroness of the arts and continued her travels with her father until her husband's death.

The fact that Mihrimah encouraged her father to launch the campaign against Malta, promising to build 400 galleys at her own expense; that like her mother she wrote letters to Sigismund II the King of Poland; and that on her father's death she lent 50,000 gold sovereigns to her brother Sultan Selim to meet his immediate needs, illustrate the political power which she wielded.

She was not only a princess, but functioned as Valide Sultan (position was usually held by living mother of the reigning Ottoman Sultan) to her younger brother Selim II (r. 1566 - 1574). In Ottoman Turkey, the valide sultan traditionally had access to considerable economic resources and often funded major architectural projects. Mihrimah Sultan's most famous foundations are the two Istanbul-area mosque complexes that bear her name, both designed by her father's chief architect, Mimar Sinan. Mihrimah Mosque at the Edirne Gate, at the western wall of the old city of Constantinople, was one of Sinan's most imaginative designs, using new support systems and lateral spaces to increase the area available for windows. The second mosque is the İskele Mosque, which is one of Üsküdar's most prominent landmarks.

Death and burial place

She died in Constantinople on 25 January 1578 and was buried in Süleymaniye Mosque.

Her elder brother, Mehmed, died in 1543. She also had four younger brothers: Abdullah (died in 1526), Selim (died in 1574), Bayezid (died in 1561), and Cihangir (died in 1553).


  1. ^ Leslie P. Peirce, The Imperial Harem: Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire, (Oxford University Press, 1993), 18, 201.


  • Imperial Harem : Women and Sovereignty in the Ottoman Empire 1993 by Leslie Peirce, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-508677-5.

External links

  • Photos of Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapi
  • Photos of Iskele Mosque (aka Mihrimah) in Uskudar
  • Mihrimah Sultan Mosque in Edirnekapi
  • Mihrimah Sultan -- an Ottoman princess’ legacy survives
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