Banya Bashi Mosque, Sofia
The Edict applied to all of Sofia (it was called Serdica back then) and the Empire. The Mosque in the rectangle is Banya Bashi Mosque. Banya Bashi means, literally, "many baths." The mosque was built over ancient thermal baths. Until the liberation of Bulgaria in 1878, the square in front of Banya Bashi Mosque was the center of Sofia. There were mineral baths, a fountain and markets.
The mosque was designed by Koca Mimar Sinan. The mosque was ordered by the Kadi of Sofia, Kadi Seyfullah Effendi in memory of his deceased wife. The construction was finished in 1566. The mosque has four domes with a single minaret in the center. The main entrance is an arcade supported by three stone pillars. The domes are covered in lead.
The main room is a cube with a dome strengthened by half-arches. Inside, the dome becomes the sky, with the Lord overhead. The interior of the mosque is covered with floral and geometrical motifs and Islamic calligraphy. There is a sense of endless space. The mosque can accommodate about 700 devotees. Friday services are especially lively.
Want to visit this sight? Check out these Self-Guided Walking Tours in Sofia. Alternatively, you can download the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" from Apple App Store or Google Play Store. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.
Banya Bashi Mosque on Map
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