Tuesday, March 21, 2017


Düğmeciler, Eyüp - İstanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°02'49.6"N 28°55'32.7"E / 41.047111, 28.925750

 photo ummisinan_lodge101.jpg


This lodge is located on Ümmi Sinan Street in the Dü¤meciler neighbourhood, and contains the tomb of Pir Sheik Ibrahim Ümmi Sinan of the Sinaniyye branch of the Halvetiyye order, thus being accepted as the home of the founder of the Sinaniyye. The original facility must have been a modest lodge founded in the middle of the 16th century by Nasuh Dede, one of the caliphs of Pir Ümmü Sinan.

After the death of the Pir, a tomb was added in front of the wall of the ceremonial hall containing the mihrab, and over time a small graveyard was established to the south and west of the tomb. Sultan Mahmud II renewed the ceremonial hall-tomb building, probably between 1826-1839, with its foundations (and even part of the eastern wall) protected, and a small imperial Sultan’s pavilion with a separate entrance and a gallery added to the east.

The whole structure was subject to a complete overhaul at the end of the 19th century with the help of Sultan Abdülhamid II and some state dignitaries who were members of the order, during which the wooden harem and Selaml›k were completely reconstructed. During the Republican era, the lodge remained in the possession of the family of the last leader Sheik Yahya Galib (Kargı) Efendi (died 1942), who used it as a residence, and thus it was spared from ruin.

Some benefactors restored the ceremonial hall-tomb in the 1980s, and with its authentic details and furnishings it is protected like a museum. The Selamlık is used for the study of Sufi music. The low-arched main gate located in the eastern corner of the site opening onto Ümmi Sinan Street, and the small fountain with a pointed arch opposite it have survived from the original construction of the lodge. They were built of cut sandstone in the classic style.

The main building stands to the left (on the south side) on entering the main gate and covers an area of 25 x 19 m, consisting of the ceremonial hall, tomb, hamam and kitchen. This building is made up of three main sections, all utilizing different materials and construction features. To the north, and protruding beyond the main block to the west, is a two-storied wooden wing containing the entrance, harem and kitchen. Behind this (to the south) is first the ceremonial hall and then the tomb.

These three main sections were built at different heights in accordance with the slope of the site, and have hipped roofs. The main entrance to the structure opens onto the garden from the north, and the stony courtyard that lies inside the glass-paned entrance leads to the ceremonial hall to the south, the harem and the connected kitchen to the west and what is known as the “pafla room”9 to the east. The eastern wall of the nearly square ceremonial hall, which faces the street, contains two windows with beveled interiors and plain low arches.

In the eastern corner of the southern wall, which is shared with the tomb, there is a doorway with steps that lead down to the tomb, while the middle of the wall contains a semi-circular mihrap alcove, above which can be seen a small wooden cupboard with a triangular frontal in which is stored some hairs from the beard of the Prophet Muhammad. The tomb can be seen from two windows placed each side of the mihrap, while the window in the western corner of the southern wall, which extends past the tomb, and the three windows in the western wall of the hall face onto the graveyard.

An area of 7.5 x 6.5m has been set aside for Sufi ceremonies in the hall. The northern, western and eastern sides of this area are allocated to male audience galleries with raised floors, the borders of which are delimited by eight octagonal wooden pillars on which are supported the upper galleries of the women. Simple wooden railings have been fitted between these pillars, which are decorated around the top with small wooden consoles.

In the southwestern corner of the ground floor galleries is a pulpit that is used for gatherings such as mevlit (religious ceremony held in memory of a deceased person), hatim (recitation of the Koran from start to finish), mersiye (dirges) and miraciye (recitation of a poem recounting the miraculous journey of the Prophet Muhammad to heaven). The women’s galleries are connected to the upper floor of the harem wing, and are fitted with grills up to the ceiling on the sides facing the ceremonial hall. There is a semicircular balcony on the northern side.

It is known that prior to the restoration undertaken during the reign of Sultan Abdülhamid II, there was an imperial lodge in place of the upper galleries to the east, and this was connected to the sultan’s pavilion on the east side of the street by a glass-paned bridge, but today no trace of either the gallery or the pavilion remain. The six windows on the western, southern and eastern walls of the slightly crooked tomb (8.25 x 6.25 m) are decorated with a basket weave arch that can only be seen from the inside, and on the outside with rectangular opening wooden moldings.

The prayer window that opens onto Ümmi Sinan Street differs from the others in that it is surrounded with pilastre externally and crowned with a basket weave arch. The sarcophagus of Pir Ümmi Sinan is larger than the other eleven sarcophagi contained in the tomb, with a semi-cylindrical lid. The uprights at the corners of the wooden railings surrounding the sarcophagus executed in decoupage in the empire style are topped with small spearhead crowns.

Both the harem wing and the two-story detached men’s section situated in the southwestern corner of the site display many of the design and exterior design characteristics of the wooden houses of Istanbul in the last century. The ground floor kitchen in the western corner of the harem has its own separate entrance. There were gilded “Sultan Mahmud sun” style ceiling roses in the middle of the wooden ceilings of the ceremonial hall and tomb. The tomb was given a cement roof in its last restoration, and the ceiling rose was removed.

At the same time, the pastel colored tiles in the mihrab with curtain, flower and oil-lamp motifs dating from the era of Sultan Mahmud II were removed. The most interesting of the ornamental components found in the Ümmi Sinan Lodge is the wooden rose of the fringe over the entrance to the main building, which consists of sun rays emerging from the tip of a spearhead crown. What is interesting in this composition is the combination of a sect symbol that was frequently used in later era convent designs and the sun motif, which represented the innovations of the reign of Sultan Mahmud II and of this era.


E-Mail : ummisinan@gmail.com
Phone : +90 212 567 7215

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