The Architectural Pearl- The Mustapha Pasha Mosque


This mosque has a rare and completely authentic usage of marble, as a facade effect that reflects the light. This effect was respected in the restoration of its pendentives in 1933, but still the color of the restored parts was much darker, and with a band much narrower than the original one. But it seems that the restoration that begun in 2006 was much serious one, organized by the Macedonian National Conservatory Center and the Turkish Agency for Development and Cooperation – TIKA from Ancara. The final project was prepared by the Gazi University from Turkey. This restoration finished in 2011. At the opening ceremony was present delegation from Turkey lead by the vice-premier Bekir Bozdag. This mosque was built in 1492, as a bequeathing of Mustapha Pasha, which was vizier of the sultans Bayezid the Second and Selim the First. These two were responsible of all the very important functions in the Ottoman Empery. Mustapha owned big estate in Rumelia and 4 villages near Skopje, Bulchani, Batinci, Rashtak and Creshevo. He was a son of Abdullah (Abdulkarim), he had 2 wives, both of which were named Hurshid, and 4 daughters named Hanu, Umi, Sash Zemanand Huma. Above the mosque is a marble panel on which with carved Arab letters is stated that this object was built on the foundations of some middle-age church. There was a fire in 1689 so the current version of this building is from 1802. This building is entirely in the Osman baroquestile with some usage of the neoclassicist Islamic elements. The whole facade and the wall are consisted of layers of stone and bricks. The entrance in the mosque is through the porch, that is made from white marbles, before which are 4 marble columns that are connected with semicircular ports. Within the mosque is the turbe, where in 1519 was buried Mustapha-pasha. Aside it is the sarcophagus of his daughter Umi. There is a fountain too.


Interior is dominated with large cupola that is gamut built. This is decorated arabesque; from its left side are depicted motives that are from the time of the building, while on the left side there are some newer objects. The minaret is tall 47 meters and is placed on the northern side of the building. Evliya Celebi (1611-1682), the famous ottoman travel writer, whose particular field of interest was the historiography of Macedonia, wrote that there was a madrasa (religious school) within this complex. The interior is depicted with florals not geometrisms.

author of the text and photographer– Igor Pop Trajkov

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