SINAN’S ISTANBUL: PIYALE PASHA MOSQUE"It is a solid mosque at the mouth of a stream, with its qibla sitting on a high ground. It has been built for Grand Admiral Piyale Pasha, the conqueror of the Chios Island. There are six domes resting on large red columns. The mihrab and minber are simply beautiful. The windows are bronze, not iron. It’s been said that "[Piyale Pasha] brought the bells of all the infidel churches he conquered and used them on the windows of the mosque ... "
The Piyale Pasha Mosque, described above by the great Ottoman traveler Evliya Çelebi, was built by Sinan for Grand Admiral Mehmet Piyale Pasha (1515-1578). Although the mosque was built as a part of a larger complex including a dervish lodge, a madrasah, a bathhouse and a tomb, most of the buildings in the complex have vanished in time, but the mosque and the tomb are still standing.
Piyale Mehmet Pasha of Croatian origin was born as the son of a shoemaker in the city of Tolna in Hungary and was raised in the palace of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent after he was brought to Istanbul as a devshirme. Sultan Süleyman was instrumental in marrying Piyale Pasha with Gevherhan Sultan, daughter of his son Şehzade Selim, and thus helping him in climbing the steps of the Ottoman bureaucracy. In a short period of time, Piyale Pasha became the Grand Admiral, and won many victories in the Mediterranean. The mosque, which was started to be built in 1565, could be completed in 1573-1574.
Unlike other mosques where Sinan's spatial and structural composition is gathered around a single central dome, the Piyale Pasha Mosque has a six-domed structure. The identical domes are arranged in two rows. The main worship area measures thirty-five meters to twenty meters. The six domes, each about nine meters in diameter, are carried by two thinned granite columns. The large courtyard of the mosque is surrounded by high walls. There are three gates, one on the east side and two on the west side
Although some suggested that the architect of the mosque may not be Sinan, architectural historians mostly agree that on this mosque, Sinan reinterpreted the old plan type of the six-minareted early Ottoman mosques with an experimental intention.
According to a rumor, Piyale Pasha had the mosque plan drawn like his war ship, and after it was completed he stood up at a minaret, imagining himself on his ship sailing through the sea.