When the building was erected in 1396, architects were just beginning to dabble in the problem of covering large spaces with small domes, and the result is the first example of a monumental Ottoman multidomed mosque. The 20 domes, supported on 12 stout pillars, are better admired from within, where the final result comes together in the mosque's five naves and four bays. Upon entering the mosque, eyes are naturally first drawn to the three-tiered ablution fountain beneath a large light well. Although this has its practical purposes, the result is an embracing sensation of serenity, and many worshipers remain on the raised platforms surrounding the fountain for long moments of meditation.
The date of completion (802H -- H is for hicret, the day Mohammed left Mecca for Medina) is inscribed on the pulpit door, but several waves of renovations were necessary after the invasion of Tamerlane, with major restorations completed after the earthquake of 1855. Over the years, other, minor housekeeping projects were undertaken, including the application of a thick layer of synthetic varnish on the wooden minbar (pulpit) and on the mahfel (balcony used by the muezzin) that over the years became darkened by tar. Then in 1983, someone thought it would be a good idea to slap a layer of oil-based paint onto the mosque walls and all of the decorative carvings on the minbar and mahfel. Then a few years ago, a local expert in historic architectural ornamentation noticed some red specks peeking out from behind a carving, spurring a project completed in 2009 that has successfully restored the mosque's original decorative aspects.