Godfrey Goodwin’s study immediately established itself as the definitive work on the subject when it was first published, and it remains the best comprehensive survey in English and virtually the only account of the last two centuries of Turkish architecture.
The aim of this book is to show that Ottoman architecture, far from being merely a decadent mixture of Persian, Byzantine and other styles, is a historic style in its own right which had considerable influence on the Romantic movements of the West and for many Europeans epitomized the architecture of the Sultanate.
The book treats the subject in historical perspective, with compelling discussion of the effects of conquests, religion and social life. Not only are the great mosques fully described, but also the layout and function of the buildings around them, from baths and shops to mausoleums, together with fortifications, waterworks and bridges. The final chapter is concerned with domestic architecture and the Ottoman concept of the town.
The text is complemented by a glossary of Turkish words, a chronological table listing Ottoman rulers and the relevant historical events, detailed notes and an extensive bibliography.
'A stupendous achievement. There is no Ottoman building of any importance, secular as well as religious, in the whole of modern Turkey which he does not describe'
'There is nothing to compare with this book for comprehensiveness ... a visual feast'