Saturday, June 9, 2018

MAHMUD PAŞA MOSQUE COMPLEX

Mahmutpaşa, Fatih - Istanbul - Turkey

GPS : 41°00'41.0"N 28°58'17.0"E / 41.011389, 28.971389



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In the borough of Eminönü this complex is located on the north east side of Nuruosmaniye Complex and comprised of a mosque, tomb, hamam, a inn (commercial building generating income for the complex), a higher education school, soup kitchen and a school for young boys.

Today all that remains is the mosque, tomb, inn and hamam. This complex was the first ministrial complex and with the Fatih Complex is the most important group of buildings dating from 15th century. Construction was started in early 1460, the mosque being completed by 1462 and the other sections were completed by 1474. The complex was built by Arhitect Atik Sinan on the orders of the Prime Minister Mahmud Paşa.

Roofed by two big domes with three smaller ones surrounding them, the interior tiles with white calligraphy on a blue background were added at a later date. The pulpit and altar were made of carved marble and there are six carved stone columns supporting the five domes and smaller domes cover the surrounding corridors. Over the mihrap is an inscription with the date 868 (hegira calendar) pertaining to the date of the buildings completion. The surrounds of the gate are carved marble.

In 1766 the mosque was destroyed by an earthquake and was rebuilt in 1785. After the Great Fire of 1827 it was restored in 1829. Due to the repeated repairs much of the ornamentation is not original. The single balconied minaret built of cut-stone took it final shape after the 1936 restoration.

Mahmut Paşa's tomb is in the mosque garden and there is a fountain built by Mustafa Ağa in the courtyard. Mahmut Paşa Hamam and the Kürkçü Han (Furriers building) are İstanbul's oldest hamam and han, located to the north of the mosque. Of the school located to the east of the mosque there remains today only one classroom.

Mahmud Paşa (d. 1474), a devsirme from Serbia, was the grand-vizier of Mehmed II between 1453-66 and 1472-74 and is known also as a poet and a patron of the arts. The complex he built inside the city walls following the fall of Constantinople consists of a mosque, a madrasa (medrese), a han, public baths (hamam) and his mausoleum (türbe). The law court (mahkeme), Koranic school (sübyan mektebi) and the soup kitchen (imaret) are not extant. The madrasa of the complex has been ruined save its large classroom (dersane).

The mosque of the complex was completed in 1464 (869 A.H.) and thoroughly renovated during the rule of Sultan Osman III in 1753 (1169 A.H.) It has since been restored twice, in 1828 and 1936. It is composed of a two-unit prayer hall flanked by eyvans to the east and west and preceded by a vestibule and a portico to the north. The portico was altered in the 18th century when its six marble columns were encased in stone piers. Its five bays are covered by domes.

The mosque, which is considered to be the primary structure of the complex, was built to a great extent according to the first Ottoman Architectural style. A good example of early Ottoman architecture, the mosque measures 25.45 x 11.9 m and the central dome is 11 m in diameter. There are 18 domes, including the two domes covering the main space of the mosque.

The mosque, heavily damaged in a fire, was renovated by Sultan Osman III in 1755. The mosque, which was ruined during the earthquake of 1766, was restored in 1785. The mosque was opened for service in 1829 after the fire of 1827.

The interior decorations lost their features due to the repeated repairs and rebuilding in 1936. The altar and pulpit were renewed in the 18th century and the royal chamber was installed in 1828. The single balconied minaret built of cut-stone, took its current shape after the restoration in 1936. The fountain and sebil in the mosque’s courtyard were built between 1618 and 1622.

The mosque, which is considered to be the primary structure of the complex, was built to a great extent according to the first Ottoman Architectural style. The grand portal with inscriptions leads into a three-bay vestibule extended with vaulted rooms on either end. Its central bay, which opens to the prayer hall through a tall arch, is crowned with a stalactite cross vault. Its neighboring bays have umbrella vaults composed of 24 ribs.

The prayer hall consists of two domed units separated by a grand arch. Its interior of the prayer hall, including the mihrab and minbar, was renovated in the 19th century. The sultan's box (hünkar mahfili) to the left was added by Sultan Mahmud II in 1828-9. (A.H. 1244). There is an inscription on the qibla gate (to the shrine) of the mosque which reveals the year when it was built.

Doors on either side open to corridors that run alongside the prayer hall, giving access to three open eyvans, ending at the vestibule. Here, small passages lead to side exits. The mosque has a single minaret on the northwest corner, which is accessed from the room to the west of the vestibule. Here, small passages lead to side exits. Its stalactite balcony was replaced with a simpler design in 1936. The stone panels of the exterior were replaced in time. A contemporary ablution fountain stands in the plaza before the mosque.

The mosque has a single minaret on the northwest corner, which is accessed from the room to the west of the vestibule. Its stalactite balcony was replaced with a simpler design in 1936. The stone panels of the exterior were replaced in time. A contemporary ablution fountain stands in the plaza before the mosque.

The han, called the Kürkçü or Furriers' Han, is located down the Mahmud Paşa Highway from the hamam. It was completed in 1476 (871 A.H.) It had 167 rooms on two stories organized around two open courtyards and a basement for storage. The first courtyard is a replica of Fidan Han in the market neighborhood of Bursa, built also by Mahmud Paşa. It has remained intact save its portico, which was enclosed for additional space.

The second courtyard, irregular in plan with five unequal sides, was probably used for stables and storage. It is now largely replaced with modern shops and buildings. A freestanding assembly of shops, placed diagonally inside the first courtyard, used to have a mescid on its second floor. It is the only han that has come to our day from the Sultan Mehmed I era.

In addition, a bath, one of the oldest of Istanbul (1466), a water fountain or sabil (sebil), built by Mustafa Ağa (the chief officer of the Ottoman Palace), are the other structures which have made their way to the present day. Finally, there is only one classroom remaining from the madrasah of the complex.

Mahmud Paşa and his son are buried in an octagonal tomb to the south of the mosque. The exterior of the tomb is covered with stone panels that are inlaid with blue-green tiles between the cornice and the lower windows that are arranged in a pattern of interlocking wheels and stars. The domed interior is entered through a double arched door to the northeast. Built in 1473 (878 A.H), a year prior to the execution of Mahmud Paşa by Mehmed II, the tomb was restored by architect Mustafa Ayaşlı in 1946.

Hamam
The hamam, built in 1466 (871 A.H.), is located on the Mahmud Paşa highway leading up to the mosque. It consists of an entrance hall with latrines, a cold-room (sogukluk) and a hot-room (sıcaklık). The entry to the baths is adorned with a grand muqarnas portal beyond which the entrance hall looms large with its tall dome measuring 27 meters in diameter. Entering the smaller cold-room under a demi-dome, the square space with two eyvans and private bathing cells (halvet) is covered with a whorl dome.

The dome, 17 m in diameter, covering the frigidarium of the bath, which was built in 1466 - 1467, two years after the Pasha died, is impressive. The women’s section of the bath, damaged many times by fires, was destroyed, and Abud Efendi Han was built in the same place in 1895. It is the second oldest Ottoman bath in İstanbul and today it serves as a market.

The following hot room has an octagonal navel stone (göbektaşı) at its center under a dome pierced with lights that sits on eight piers. It has five eyvans with taps and basins between the piers and two other eyvans give access to private cells at the four corners of the chamber. A han stands today on the site of the women's section that was demolished. The remaining men's section survived damage by fire in 1755 and was restored in 1955.

Han (Caravanserai)
The han, called the Kürkçü or Furriers' Han, is located down the Mahmud Paşa Highway from the hamam. It was completed in 1476 (871 A.H.) It had 167 rooms on two stories organized around two open courtyards and a basement for storage. The first courtyard is a replica of Fidan Han in the market neighborhood of Bursa, built also by Mahmud Paşa.

It has remained intact save its portico, which was enclosed for additional space. The second courtyard, irregular in plan with five unequal sides, was probably used for stables and storage. It is now largely replaced with modern shops and buildings. A freestanding assembly of shops, placed diagonally inside the first courtyard, used to have a mescid on its second floor. It is the only han that has come to our day from the Sultan Mehmed I era.

Madrasah
The madrasa of the complex has been ruined save its large classroom (dersane). From the madrasah completed in 1472, there remains today only its classroom.

Sebil
A water fountain or sabil (sebil), built by Mustafa Ağa, the chief officer of the Ottoman Palace.

Tomb
Mahmud Paşa and his son are buried in an octagonal tomb to the south of the mosque. The exterior of the tomb is covered with stone panels that are inlaid with blue-green tiles between the cornice and the lower windows that are arranged in a pattern of interlocking wheels and stars. The domed interior is entered through a double arched door to the northeast. Built in 1473 (878 A.H), a year prior to the execution of Mahmud Paşa by Sultan Mehmed II, the tomb was restored in 1946.

Mahmut Pasha was executed in 1474, and adorning his tomb which resembles Seljuk architecture, the figures of tiles are unique and can be seen nowhere else. With 7.37 m diameter, the dome’s original epigraph was removed after the renovation of 1827 and a short inscription was replaced instead. Mahmud Paşa, the tomb’s builder, is burried in the domed tomb composed of limestone (küfeki taşı) blocks on an octagonal plan.

The türbe is octagonal and has windows on 7 sides and a door without porch on the eighth.The domed interior is entered through a double arched door to the northeast.The türbe is remarkable for the indigo, blue and green glazed bricks which decorate it sexterior walls forming interlocking wheels and star patterns.

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