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Known For: Princess of the Ottoman Empire
Dates: Hijri 929 – 986 (AH)
Common Era 1522 – 1578 (CE)
Mihrimah Sultana was the daughter of Suleiman the Magnificent and Roxelana. She became an influential figure in the reigns of her father and brother, Selim II and was a well-known patroness of the arts.
Mihrimah was quite close to her father and traveled with him on surveys of his empire. In fact, she went into battle with him at the Battle of Gizabar outside of Egypt. This closeness translated into political clout for Mihrimah also appeared to have had great influence on her father’s policies. Promising to supply 400 ships, Mihrimah encouraged her father in his campaign against Malta. The siege ended in a loss for the Ottoman and was among the most bloody and well-known contests of the century.
Like her mother, Mihrimah maintained a correspondence with the King of Poland, Sigismund II, indicating the prestige her name held abroad. Moreover, after her father’s death and her brother’s ascension to the throne, she lent him some 50,000 gold sovereigns to sate his immediate needs.
Under her brother’s reign, Mihrimah became an even more esteemed figure and acted as Valide or Queen Mother. As Valide, Mihrimah had access to considerable economic resources and sponsored a number of major architectural projects. Best known of these are two mosques in Istanbul named after her and designed by the man behind her father’s Suleymaniye Mosque, Sinan. Mihrimah Mosque is architecturally imaginative and found at Edirne Gate and Iskele Mosque is one of the Uskudur neighborhood’s most recognizable landmarks.
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