If you’ve become a Sinan-ophile, you can visit another of his substantial creations, which dominates the centre of LÜLEBURGAZ, 79km southeast of Edirne on the D100. The Sokollu Mehmet Paşa Külliyesi, originally commissioned by the governor of Rumeli in 1549, wasn’t completed until 1569, during Sokollu’s term as grand vizier. What you see today is an imposing mosque and medrese abutted by a covered bazaar and guarded by two isolated towers. The mosque proper is peculiar, possessing only one minaret; where the others might be, three stubby turret-like towers jut instead. The medrese, still used as a Koranic academy, is arrayed around the mosque courtyard, entered by two tiny arcades on the east and west sides; in the middle of the vast space stands a late Ottoman şadırvan. The mosque’s portico, built to square with the medrese, is far more impressive than the interior, and most visitors will soon drift out of the north gate to the market promenade, whose shops are still intact and in use. Just outside the gate, a huge dome with a stork’s nest on top shades the centre of the bazaar.
Beyond, there was once a massive kervansaray, equal in size to the mosque complex. All of it has vanished save for a lone tower, balanced by another, the Dar-ül-Kura, at the south edge of the entire precinct, beyond the mosque’s mihrab. The former hamam, across the street from the complex, is now chock-a-block with tiny restaurants in its outer bays, though the main dome has collapsed.