Kemeraltı Mosque

Konak / İzmir

Kemeraltı Mosque

Located at the edge of the old inner port, Kemeraltı Mosque was built by patron Yusuf Cavuszade Ahmet Aga. Information about this mosque provided by Evliya Celebi was mistakenly attributed to Kestanepazarı Mosque until very recently. The epitaph of Kestanepazarı Mosque was -mistakenly- adjusted according to information acquired from Evliya Celebi, which actually refers to Kemeralti Mosque.

Described by Evliya Celebi as a building at the corner of New Bazaar, Ahmet Aga, i.e. Kemeralti Mosque was constructed in (again, according to Evliya Celebi) Hegira 1078 (Gregorian 1667-1668). Evliya Celebi highly praises this mosque in his Seyahatname (Book of Travels), saying that part of the materials used in the construction of this mosque was brought in from Istanbul, and its minaret was made of green stones. He also mentions how difficult it had been to settle the minaret in its place, as some of the lands this mosque sits on was acquired by filling the sea.

According to a foundation certificate chart dated 3 November 1671, when Kemeralti Mosque was first built, it was a two-storey structure, with a four-room madrasah and muezzin(1) rooms on the premises. In even older times, this region was also called Mûsâ Bâli Shore, so the mosque was also called by this name at times.

There are two epitaphs in this mosque: one above the yard entrance gate dated 1882-1883, and another marble repairment epitaph above the main hall entrance dated 1812. Tilt your head slightly up to find the oldest birdhouse of Izmir, added to the mosque during this latter repairment. According to the primary repairment epitaph located left of main gate, mosque was known as Ahmet Aga Mosque back then. This mosque was built as a two-storey structure; significant changes on the mosque are thought to have been made during repairs conducted in 1902. Most recent repairs on Kemeralti Mosque were conducted in 2004 by General Directorate of Foundations.

Kemeralti Mosque is built with cut stones; it has one minaret and one balcony on it. Minaret, circular and made of cut stones in two colours, sits on an oblong pedestal made of cut stones in two colours. In front of the mosque there is a narthex with three domes. A lead-coated dome covers the main space, sitting on an octagonal frame. On each side of this frame is a window. Altar is in deep niche form. Inside the mosque is adorned with hand-carved decoration dated to 18th century. These carvings were renewed during the repairs in second half of 20th century, by faithfully following the old lines.

1 A man with a beautiful voice, who makes the calls for prayer from the minaret.


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