Istanbul has two lagoons within its city borders called as the Big Lagoon (Büyükçekmece) and Small Lagoon (Küçükçekmece). Both are located on the European side and are on the direction to Bulgarian (212 km) and Greece (202 km ) borders.
The big lagoon is the last one which is to the end of Istanbul, it is meeting the Marmara Sea at a strategic point. It was the first stop of the Asian - European Trade route coming from Europe during the time of the Ottoman Empire. Because of the importance of the site, important structures were built in order to control the pass, to regulate trade, give service and host the traders and visitors.
The place consists of four building where traders and public people where welcome. All structure were were designed and built by the famous and Great Master Mimar Sinan.
1 - The Kanuni Sultan Süleyman Bridge
It is build on the historical trade route connecting Istanbul to Europe at the point where the Big Lagoon meets the Sea of Marmara. The construction of the bridge started in 1566 upo the orders of "Kanuni Sultan Süleyman" (The Magnificent) and was completed in 1567 during the time of Sultan Selim II.
The Great Master "Mimar Sinan" said "This is the masterpiece among my buildings". The stone bridge is 636 meters long and 7.17 meters wide. The bridge has four sections and 28 arches. During the construction the waters of the lake were pumped out and 40.000 m3 of stone was used to build the bridge.
The bridge was restored to its original state during 1986-1989 and it is the symbol of the Büyükçekmece district of Istanbul.
2 - The Leaded Han (Caravanserai)
It was the nearest lodging place to Istanbul on the Asian-European trade route and the European exit of the city. Upon the orders of The Magnificent, Mimar Sinan started to built the Han as 48 meters long and 22.3 meters wide of cut stones.
The original buildings roof was totally covered of lead therefore the name "Leaded han" (Kurşunlu Han).
3 - The Sokullu Mehmet Pasha Mosque
Sokullu Mehmet Pasha, the prime minister, gave the order in 1567 to built a mosque at the existing complex near to the Bridge and Han. The wooden extension was modified in later times with the addition of an important feature. The minaret is unique and there are only two examples in the world. The minaret is sculptured from a single piece of stone. The other example of the such a minaret is in Egypt.
4 - The Fountain
The fountain is built in the classical style with three corners of cut stone. Mimar Sinan built the fountain at the same time while building the bridge. During the construction of the bridge and the fountain Sultan Süleyman (The Magnificent) was in the Szigetvár (Hungary) campaign in 1566.
The fountain is still in use and is used as a fresh water supply.