Possessing magnificent beauty and intelligence, Hürrem is the shadow that holds the heart of Suleiman, the greatest king who ever ruled the Turkish Empire.
According to ancient origins, Hürrem was originally a slave in Topkapi Castle, but soon after became the most powerful woman in the Ottoman Empire, present-day Turkey. Hürrem’s name was given to her by King Suleiman I as “a cheerful person”, but in the eyes of many opponents she was the emperor’s most dangerous weapon.
Suleiman I ruled the Ottoman Empire from 1520 to 1566. He is considered the greatest sultan in history, also known as the Grand Suleiman or Kanuni (ie lawmaker). During his reign, he wielded great influence in the countries of Europe and the Middle East.
Suleiman’s life came to a head in 1520. In September 1520, his father Selim I died suddenly. Suleiman I ascended the throne soon after, and in the same year he met the woman of his life. Historians call her Roxolena or Rossa, but the name she was best known in her lifetime was Hürrem.
Hürrem, whose real name is Alexandra Lisowska, was born in 1502 in the city of Rohatyń, 68 kilometers southeast of the Polish capital Lwów. The Krym Tatar people enslaved it while looting the region. After that, Hürrem was taken to Constantinople (now Istanbul) and joined the harem.
Thanks to her beauty and intelligence, Hürrem quickly attracted the attention of the Sultan. For the first time in the history of the dynasty, the emperor was attached to a single woman. Hürrem gave birth to 6 children for Suleiman in turn. This further enhanced his status in the palace.
Since entering the palace, Hürrem has studied Turkish, mathematics, astronomy, geography, diplomacy, literature and history. Thanks to her exceptional knowledge, she became Suleiman’s advisor in national affairs. Dissatisfied with the title of royal concubine, Hürrem sought to become officially queen.
First of all, she asked to be taught about Islam. Suileman has no reason to refuse. After a period of investigation, Hürrem expressed his desire to follow Islam. After the conversion was completed, Hürrem said the new religion would not allow her to have sex with a man she had not yet married. According to historians, his plan was successful. At first, Suleiman refused, but decided to marry her three days later.
Hürrem died on April 15, 1558 from an illness. Suleiman buried Hürrem in the mausoleum of her dedicated temple and eight years later the king also rested next to her.
Hürrem is remembered for his contributions to the country and for his role in Suleiman’s life. After Suleiman’s death, Hürrem’s son succeeded the throne and continued to rule the Turkish Empire.