Monday, June 18, 2018

GÜL MOSQUE

Ayakapı, Fatih - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°01'37.0"N 28°57'22.7"E / 41.026944, 28.956306



PHOTOGRAPHS ALBUM

The building is located in Istanbul, in the district of Fatih, in the neighborhood of Ayakapı (Gate of the Saint), along Vakif Mektebi Sokak. It lies at the end of the valley which divides the fourth and the fifth hills of Constantinople, and from its imposing position it overlooks the Golden Horn.

Gül Mosque is a former Eastern Orthodox church converted into a mosque by the Ottomans. It is one of the most important religious Byzantine buildings of Constantinople still extant, but its dedication and the date of its construction, which for long time appeared certain, are now disputed by scholars. It is either identified with the church belonging to the nunnery of Saint Theodosia or with that of the monastery of Christ the Benefactor.

Formerly a Byzantine church, the original name and date of the mosque are contested by scholars. Jules Pargoire, writing at the turn of the century, identifies the building as the Church of Euphemia built during the rule of Basil I (867-886) and argues that it was later consecrated to St. Theodosia, a local saint martyred during iconoclast riots. Hartmut Schafer, based on field studies from the 1960s, proposes a later date of construction between 1000 and 1150 and identifies the church as Christos Euergetes.

The building, since Stephan Gerlach visited it in the late 15th century, has always been identified with the church of Hagia Theodosia en tois Dexiokratous. At the beginning of last century, Jules Pargoire identified the building as the church of Hagia Euphēmia en tō Petriō, built during the reign of Basil I (867-886), and brilliantly explained the change in its dedication.

The German archaeologist Hartmut Schäfer, after studies performed in the 1960s on the dating of the basement, estimated the date of construction of the edifice between the end of the eleventh and the first half of 12th century, placing it in the Komnenian period, and identifying it hypothetically as the church of the monastery of Christos Euergetēs. He excludes the possibility that the Gül Mosque is the building where the body of Hagia Theodosia was brought after the end of the Iconoclasm period.

On the other hand, he does not exclude the possibility that the building could have been dedicated to Hagia Theodosia in a later period. At the beginning of last century Jules Pargoire identified the building as the church of Hagia Euphemia en to Petrio, built during the reign of Basil I (867-886), and brilliantly explained the change in its dedication.

The German archaeologist Hartmut Schafer, after studies performed in the 1960s on the dating of the basement, estimated the date of construction of the edifice between the end of the eleventh and the first half of twelfth century, placing it in the Komnenian age, and identifying it hypothetically as the church of the monastery of Christos Euergetes. He excludes the possibility that the Gül Mosque is the building where the body of Hagia Theodosia was brought after the end of the Iconoclasm period.  On the other hand, he does not exclude the possibility that the building could have been dedicated to Hagia Theodosia in a later period.

Byzantine period
On January 19, 729, at the very beginning of the iconoclastic persecutions, Emperor Leo III the Isaurian ordered the removal of an image of Christ which stood over the Chalke, the main gate of the Great Palace of Constantinople. While an officer was executing the order, a group of women gathered to prevent the operation, and one of them, a nun named Theodosia, let him fall from the ladder. The man died, and Theodosia was captured and executed.

After the end of the Iconoclasm, Theodosia was recognized as a martyr and saint, and her body was kept and worshiped in the church of Hagia Euphemia en tō Petrio, in the quarter named Dexiokratiana, after the houses owned here by one Dexiokrates. The church and adjoining monastery were erected by Emperor Basil I at the end of the ninth century. The monastery hosted his four daughters, who were all buried in the church. Hagia Euphemia lay near the Monastery of Christos Euergetos, whose foundation date is unknown.

It is only known that it was restored by protosebastos John Komnenos, son of Andronikos I Komnenos and brother of co-emperor John, who died fighting in the battle of Myriokephalon in 1176. On April 12, 1204, during the Fourth Crusade, the Latin fleet gathered in front of the monastery of the Euergetes before attacking the city. During the Latin Empire, the navy had its anchorage in front of the monastery, and the naval port was kept there by Michael VIII Palaiologos also after the restoration of the Byzantine Empire. Many sacred relics kept in the church were looted by the Crusaders and many still exist in churches throughout western Europe.

The worship of Theodosia grew with the time until, after the 11th century, the church was named after her. Since the original feast day of Hagia Euphemia occurred on the 30th of May, and that of another Hagia Theodosia, Hagia Theodosia of Tyros occurred on the 29th of May, finally this day became the feast day of Hagia Theodosia hē Konstantinoupolitissa (Saint Theodosia from Constantinople).

Hagia Theodosia became one among the most venerated saints in Constantinople, being invoked particularly by the infirm. The fame of the saint was increased by the recovery of a deaf-mute in 1306. The church is often mentioned by the Russian pilgrims who visited the city in the fourteenth and early fifteenth century, but sometimes it is confounded with Christ Euergetēs, which, as already said, stood near it. Twice a week a procession took place in the nearby roads. In that occasion the relics hosted in the church were carried along, followed by a great crowd of sick people praying for their recovery.

The church is mentioned for the last time on May 28, 1453. On that day, which was the eve both of the Saint's feast and also of the end of the Byzantine Empire, the Emperor Constantine XI with the Patriarch went to pray into the church, which was adorned with garlands of roses. Afterward Constantine left for the last struggle. Many people remained all the night in the church, praying for the salvation of the city. On the morning the Ottoman troops, after entering the city, reached the building, still adorned with flowers, and captured all the people gathered inside, considering them as prisoners of war.

Ottoman period
After the Ottoman conquest, the basement of the edifice, which in the meantime had fallen to ruin, was used as naval dockyard. Close to the building, Seyhülislam Molla Hüsrev Mehmet Effendi (died 1480) established a vakıf (foundation) and erected a small mosque (Küçük Mustafa Paşa Mescidi) and a bath (Küçük Mustafa Paşa Hamamı), which still exists.

Some years later (in 1490), the ruined church was repaired and converted into a mosque. The conversion to mosque occurred in the last decade of the 15th century. The roof is believed to have collapsed in the 1509 earthquake, calling for partial reconstruction under Sultan Selim II (1566-1574). A minaret was erected between 1566 and 1574, under Sultan Selim II, by Hassam Pasha, a supplier of the Ottoman navy.

Afterwards the mosque was often named after him. Between 1573 and 1578, during his sojourn in Istanbul, the German preacher Stephan Gerlach visited the mosque, identifying it with the church of Hagia Theodosia. During that century the mosque saw the predication of the local holy man Gül Baba, which was allegedly buried in the building. It is also possible that the mosque was named after him.

During the 17th and 18th centuries, the edifice was heavily damaged in its upper parts by earthquakes, until Sultan Murad IV restored it, rebuilding the dome with the pendentives, almost the whole west side, the vaults at the southwest and northwest corners, and the minaret. The building escaped the great fire which ravaged the quarter in 1782, and was restored again by Sultan Mahmud II (1808-1839), who added the wooden Sultan's lodge.

Exterior Architecture
The building lies on a high vaulted basement, which was used also during the Byzantine period only for secular purposes. The masonry of the basement has been built adopting the technique of the "recessed brick", typical of the Byzantine architecture of the middle period. In this technique, alternate courses of bricks are mounted behind the line of the wall, and are plunged in a mortar bed. Due to that, the thickness of the mortar layers is about three times greater than that of the brick layers.

The building has a cross-in-square plan, which is oriented northwest - southeast. It is 26 meters long and 20 meters wide, and is surmounted by five domes, one above the central nave and four smaller placed on the four corners. The central dome, which has a low external drum and has no windows, is Ottoman, as are the broad pointed arches which carry it. The original dome, akin to that of Kalenderhane Mosque, should have been carried by a tall drum pierced by windows. The central dome, with its low octagonal drum carried on broad pointed arches, is recognizably Ottoman.

The original dome would have rested on a tall drum pierced with windows and the supporting arches would be integrated into the barrel vaults on four sides. The side facades have five tiers of windows, three above the gallery level, that fill the space with light. Some of these windows and those illuminating the sanctuary were opened by Ottoman architects. The orientation of the church allowed for the central placement of the mihrab in the sanctuary. A wooden minber, muezzin's platform and a preacher's pulpit were also added during conversion. The interior is largely plastered, with 18th century Ottoman paintwork.

The exterior of the building is quite imposing. On the southeastern façade, the central apse, with seven sides, and the lateral ones, with three sides, project boldly outside. The central apse appears to be a later Byzantine reconstruction, since it lacks the four tiers of five niches, which feature ornamental brickwork and adorn the lateral ones. Above the niches runs a cornice. The style of the side apses resembles strongly that of those of Pantokrator Church, and is a further element in favour of a late dating of the building.

On the exterior, the tall church has an imposing and symmetrical appearance, animated by the stepped cornice line and the four domes at the corners, forming a visual counterpart to the central dome. The southwest façade is imposing with its three tall apses that are fitted with blind niches of varying heights featuring ornamental brickwork. The church, used as a neighborhood mosque, has a minaret at the western corner that was rebuilt in baroque style after the 1766 earthquake.

Interior Architecture
The church is built atop a vaulted basement, which forms a raised platform for the monument. The walls of the basement are exposed to the southeast and east, where the terrain slopes down towards the Golden Horn. It has a Greek cross or cross-domed plan oriented northwest-southeast. Entering through the wooden porch, built in the 1940s, the nave is preceded by a wide entry hall, capped with a low barrel vault. A triple archway leads into the tall domed nave, flanked by galleries forming the side arms of the Greek cross, and an apsidal sanctuary at its southeast end.

The side galleries also have triple archways, but are taller than the entry hall, whereas they share an upper floor with stairs at the southwest end of the entry hall. The level above the entry hall and the right side gallery are used by women and the upper-level of the left side gallery is organized for the Sultan, protected with ornate wooden lattice. The sultan's lodge projects into the nave like a bay window, supported by an adjoining pier and a single wooden console. The side galleries terminate in small chapels flanking the sanctuary on both levels; corridors connect the three apses at the lower level.

The interior of the building was plastered and decorated in the 18th century. One enters through a wooden porch, which leads to a low narthex surmounted by a barrel vault. From there a triple arcade leads into the tall nave, which is flanked by galleries forming the side arms of the cross. They rest on a triple arcade supported by square piers. The nave ends with the main apse, which is flanked by two smaller ones. The south-east orientation of the main apse allowed the erection of the mihrab inside it.

Each gallery ends with a small chapel, which lies respectively above the prothesis and diaconicon. Both chapels are surmounted by hemispherical domes which are built directly above the pendentives. Light enters in the building through five orders of windows, three belonging to the galleries. Some of the windows are Ottoman.

Carved inside each of the two eastern dome piers there is a small chamber. The south east chamber contains the alleged tomb of the Ottoman Saint Gül Baba. Above the entrance there is the following inscription in Ottoman Turkish: "Tomb of the Apostle, disciple of Jesus. Peace with him", which bears witness to the religious syncretism in sixteenth-century Istanbul. The chamber was originally possibly the tomb of St Theodosia. A tradition that one of the piers hides the burial place of the last Byzantine Emperor was born in the nineteenth century, and is groundless.

Particular of the apses as viewed from southeast. The difference in masonry between the surviving Byzantine parts (low) and the later Ottoman additions (high) can be easily noticed.The building lies on a high vaulted basement, which was used also during the Byzantine period only for secular purposes. The masonry of the basement has been built adopting the technique of the "recessed brick", typical of the Byzantine architecture of the middle period. In this technique, alternate courses of bricks are mounted behind the line of the wall, and are plunged in a mortar bed. Due to that, the thickness of the mortar layers is about three times greater than that of the brick layers.

LOCATION SATELLITE MAP



These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2018, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.

HÜSEYİN AĞA MOSQUE

Taksim, Beyoğlu - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'06.0"N 28°58'50.1"E / 41.035000, 28.980583



PHOTOGRAPHS ALBUM

Start down Istiklal Caddesi and go as far as the stone wall on the right behind which is a small mosque. This is the Hüseyin Ağa Mosque, never very noticeable except on Fridays at noon prayer time. Then the worshipers fill the he mosque to capacity and spill out onto the street. Many of the men who come to pray have shops near the small mosque and little time to spend to go further afield.

The Hüseyin Ağa Mosque, which dates back to the end of the 16th century is a sweet little place with its Kütahya tiles, calligraphy, colored glass windows and floors covered with İsparta rugs. It will look even better when the long-awaited restoration project is completed.

But as for who Galatasaray Ağası Şeyhülharem Hüseyin Ağa - who had the mosque built, probably in 1596 (1005 A.H.), although it might actually have been built in 1591 or 1594 - was, there is no agreement.

Beyoğlu attracted foreigners, as the old embassies - now consulates - along Istiklal Caddesi attest. There were also numerous Christian churches of one denomination or another, but Ağa Camii is the only Muslim mosque along the entire length of the street and that is perhaps why it was built. The Taksim area in 1596 would still have been sparsely inhabited, open countryside.

Hüseyin Ağa, the mosque’s builder, held two prominent positions during his lifetime. Although he was a eunuch, he was appointed the Sheikh-ul-Harem in the second half of the 16th century. The Ottomans gained control over Mecca and Medina with the conquest of Egypt in 1517, but they were so engaged with war in the Balkans and with the Safavid Persians that they seem to have done little with the two cities until the 1580s. In 1582, the architect Mehmed Ağa renovated the courtyard around the Ka’bah, and in 1585 further renovations were made.

This was the first time that a large-scale Muslim settlement was built outside of old Istanbul. The place included a mosque, medrese (school), barracks and kitchens. The curriculum included manners and the art of conversing, reading, writing prose and poetry and various military accomplishments such as horsemanship, archery and lance-throwing. Arabic and Persian were taught, and how to compose and perform musical pieces.

Hüseyin Ağa had been a kadi (judge) in Medina before becoming the Sheikh ul-Harem. As the latter he was one of the most important people in the area and was responsible for disciplining the other Ağas and looking after any legal claims that might be made against these eunuchs. Of his other responsibilities, he would receive ten gold pieces from official funds every year to pay for the pilgrimage and supervise the people of Medina.

In 1585, for instance, the funds were late and the Sheikh ul-Harem lodged an official complaint over the matter. This official took it upon himself to confiscate a grain shipment that had arrived at Yanbu port and distributed it among the people of Medina. The need for such an official was the result of having no governor (vali) appointed for Medina. The Sheikh ul-Harem also undertook such duties as seeing that wages were paid, repairing water systems, settling disputes and submitting reports to Istanbul on how grain donations were handled.

From Medina, Hüseyin Ağa was made the head of the palace educational institution where Galatasaray Lycee now stands. According to the legend, Sultan Bayezid II (r. 1481-1521) was hunting and stopped for a drink of water. When he asked that person if he had a wish, the latter wanted an institution of learning built there.

The Ottomans had instituted a levy on young Christian boys from villages and educated them. These would subsequently be assigned positions within the imperial palace or with the Janissary military corps after successively completing their lessons and becoming Muslims. But space at Topkapı Palace was limited, so the lower grades were moved elsewhere. The principal school offering these lower grades was Galatasaray, which had been set up by Sultan Selim I (r. 1512-20), the son of Sultan Bayezid II.

Hüseyin Ağa was undoubtedly a product of this system, so he would know the school at Galatasaray well, and it would not have been surprising to see him appointed rector. He would have been educated among the white eunuchs who controlled the harem at Topkapı Palace and the outer service. He possibly was a protege of Sokollu Mehmed Pasha, who was the grand vizier of Kanuni Sultan Süleyman I between 1565 and 1579 and who was responsible for the Ottoman conquest of Yemen in 1571.

In 1595, the white eunuchs in the palace were replaced by the black eunuchs at the time that Sultan Mehmed III (r. 1595-1603) ascended the throne and Safiye Sultan became the Valide Sultan (Sultan Mother). The black eunuchs were considered more reliable around the harem women than the white eunuchs.

LOCATION SATELLITE MAP



These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2018, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.

YAHYA EFENDİ MOSQUE

Çırağan, Beşiktaş - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'44.6"N 29°01'05.0"E / 41.045722, 29.018056



PHOTOGRAPHS ALBUM

Yahya Efendi shrine and its cemetery are always busy with the crowded people who are looking for right answers for their problems. Circumcised children, pregnant ladies, unmaried girls, unemployed people and so on come to Yahya Efendi shrine, tell their difficulties or problems to his sarcopgahus silenlty, pray to him in the name of Allah and ask for help then they leave with a great respect and wait the result. If their fresults come true, they come again and thank to him by praying and deliver some presents to the vistors and poor around the shrine.

It has been going on since Yahya Effendi was buried here. Yahya Effendi was one of the famous scholars of 16th century AD and he was the milk brother of famous Kanuni Sultan Süleyman. Yahya Efendi was born in Trabzon of Black Sea region in 1495 at the same time when prince Süleyman was born. Yahya Efendi and prince Süleyman were breastfed by Yahya Efendi’s mother so they became milk brothers were brough up together.

When prince Süleyman became the 10th of Ottoman empire, Yahya efendi came to Istanbul and became a famous scholar. He worked as the university dean for a long time and he was the close friend and advisor of the sultan. Before he got retired, he bought a large piece of land in Beşiktaş and established his lodge as a big complex then he began training the inhabitants of Istanbul and helping to the fishermen and poor people.

Thousands of people had attended his funeral and his lovers wanted to be buried in this cemetery to be closer to him. Therefore a big cemetery around his tomb has been arisen for centuries. The members of Ottoman dynasty, high bureaucrats such as grand viziers, state governors, sheikhs-el Islam, university teachers, tutors, soldiers, judges and so on  have been buried in their shrines and in this cemetery.

It has been restored several times because of great fires and earthquakes. During the reign of Sultan Abdülhamit II, it was restored  with some buildings and a big shrine in the courtyard where Ottoman female members-sultans- and princes were buried. The library and the fountain were also restored in late 19th century and after the republic handmade books were sent to Süleymaniye library to be kept there.

When he died in 1571 AD, Ottoman Sultan Selim II ordered architect Sinan to build a domed shrine for him and he was buried in his shrine later. Yahya Efendi has a big shrine in the middle of the cemetery where he was buried with his wife and his children. The shrine has a charming entrance with a fountain built by Sultan Abdülhamit II and before entering his shrine his lodge members gravestones are located on both sides with a nice calligraphy on.

His sarcophagus is located in the center seperated with ivory cage surronding with his family members coffins. On the left hand side of his shrine, Güzelce Ali Paşa-Handsome Ali Pasha’s shrine is situated and six marvelous marble sarcophagus with wonderful gravestones can be visited inside overlooking the Bosphorus bridge. Güzelce Ali Pasha was one of the famous Ottoman grandviziers in 18th century who was the lover of Yahya Effendi.

Yahya Efendi cemetery has more than 2500 unique and ordinary Ottoman gravestones. Sect masters’ gravestones such as Rufai, Kadiri, Mawlavi, Nakshibendi and Baktashi  with their sect headgears, sailor formed gravestones of  late Ottoman fleet captains, female gravestones with flowers and traditional symbols, the gravestones which Ottoman coat of arms were carved on and the gravestones with Fes headgears are worth seeinf after the visit of Yahya Effendi shrine. At the right hand side of the entrance, there is a big shrine where late 19th  and early 20th Ottoman dynasty members Şehzades, Sultans were buried aslo can be seen.

Except the windows on the eastern and western sides, the windows have been changed during the repairs and lost their authenticity. Other known restoration works have been in progress during Sultan Mahmut II (1808-1839) and Sultan Abdülhamit II (1876-1909). The carving inside the tomb are originally kept. Actually, there are also carvings of the 19th century on the walls.

The tomb is still one of the attraction places for people, although it has lost many of its properties during the restorations that took place during centuries. By the time, the tomb's environment has been surrounded by other timber structures of the dervish lodge and the main masonry dome was converted into another timber frame, squat dome during the repair progresses held by Pertevniyal Valide Sultan.

It is located within the Dervish Lodge established by Yahya Efendi in 1538. It has lost most of its original features due to numerous repair and restoration work over the centuries; however, it still attracts visitors' attention with its surrounding buildings and the landscape of its burial area. Also built there were a small mosque, a mansion, a school, cells, a hamam and a fountain beside the road.

Yahya Efendi Madrasa was located on a wide area in Sheik Yahya Efendi Dervish Lodge. The construction of madrasa started with small mosque, Turkish bath and fountain in 1538. New constructions were added to it in 18th century. In 19th century a large part of land of madrasa remained in the garden of Yıldız Palace and Çırağan Palace. That the name of this madrasa was not encountered in the list of madrasahs made in 1869 shows that it was pulled down before this date.

LOCATION SATELLITE MAP



These scripts and photographs are registered under © Copyright 2018, respected writers and photographers from the internet. All Rights Reserved.