Iznik Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque

I felt excited even while writing this article, imagine how I felt while you were visiting…The mosque I will introduce in this article is a unique church mosque, which is one of the mosques converted from a church to a mosque after the conquest, which is the Ottoman tradition, and where extremely important events for Christianity took place. It is located right in the heart of Iznik.

First of all, it is necessary to start with the history of the Hagia Sophia Mosque, in the 4th century, when the Romans came to Iznik, they saw that there was a settlement here and built this church on the ruins that existed here, in fact, the history of Iznik dates back to before Jesus Christ and the Western Roman Empire dominated this region until the 11th century. In the 11th century, the Eastern Roman Empire dominates this region, and in the encircled area in front of the entrance door below, there is a large circle in the center, 12 small circles around it and rectangular stones around them, and the event that is intended to be told is as follows; When Eastern Rome took this place, there was a situation like this, there is a debate about whether the king and queen have a say in the management of the country or religion, and this ornament was made by saying that religion has a say. In this ornament, the big circle in the middle represents Jesus Christ, the small circles around him represent his 12 apostles, and the rectangular stones surrounding them from the outside represent nobles such as kings, queens, etc. After this date, the coronation ceremonies of the kings were held on the main round in this region.

To explain the reason why this church is important for Christians, two councils are convened here, the purpose of the First Council is to reduce the number of gospels to four and the council accepts the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, John as the four great gospels, the second council or the Seventh Council in order is the acceptance of Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the acceptance of icons in churches. The Christian clergy did not allow paintings in the churches before, but in this Seventh Council, the clergy say that the literacy rate of the people is very low, so they say that one of the best ways to explain religion is paintings, and the Seventh Council, which convened in this church, decided that icons, that is, paintings, should be in churches again. And from the 11th century until 1331, this place served as a church.

And here we come to how the conquest of Iznik happened in 1331, Orhan Gazi sees that Iznik is surrounded by double rows of thick walls, he sees that it is difficult to take this place by fighting, and by making tactical moves, he first places İlbey Pasha in Elbeyli Town, places Dazali Pasha in Dırazali Village on the Yenişehir side, and Karadin Pasha in Karadin Village on the Adapazarı road on the Osmaneli side, and blockades Iznik for 11-12 years. The entrances and exits were cut off and the Greeks of that time saw that the Ottomans were not harmed in any way, they could practice their religion and worship comfortably, and they presented Iznik as a gift to Orhan Gazi, and Orhan Gazi entered Iznik, the Hagia Sophia Church was presented to him as a gift and Hagia Sophia was named Orhan Mosque.

After Orhan Gazi took Iznik, he immediately plastered over the paintings of the frescoes in the church, since according to Islamic belief, mosques cannot have paintings. Until 1522, Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque suffered a fire and an earthquake. 1522 Between 1566 and 1566, by the order of Suleiman the Magnificent, this place is being restored by Sinan the Architect. Sinan the Architect is a person who does not like narrow spaces and loves wide spaces, and he removes the columns on the left side of the church, that is, the place seen in the picture, and makes arches here as you can see in the picture. Again, as can be seen in the following picture of the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque, it opens cavities in the walls, the purpose of these cavities is to adjust the sound echo inside, it is opened by Mimar Sinan in order to ensure that the sound goes all around. This place serves as a mosque until 1920. In 2007, the upper part of this mosque remained open until 2007, in 2007, it was restored by the Bursa Regional Directorate of Culture and Foundations, and some additions were made to some parts of it. When the dates were November 6, 2011, it started to serve as a mosque from the morning prayer on the 1st day of Eid al-Adha when the dates were November 6, 2011.

For example, as you can see in the picture below, there is a distance of a few meters between the place where people are behind the picture and the floor of the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque. When the Eastern Romans built this place, they built the main roads of the city to form a cross and built this church in the middle of the top, but over time, the city was demolished and rebuilt, as you can see now, it is a little lower than the ground. The Eastern Romans built the roads of every city they founded in the form of a cross and put a church in the middle, and this is exactly the same way.

Another feature of the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque is that it carries the architectural features of the inner civilization. When we look at this picture, we see large rectangular stones at the bottom, this architectural structure is the architectural structure of the Eastern Roman period, above it is a wall made of bricks, which is an architectural feature of Western Rome, that is, Byzantines, and finally, with the arches and calligraphy ornaments made by Mimar Sinan, the architectural features of three periods have come to life in one place.

As for the other features of the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque, in the frescoed tomb section, paintings of Jesus Christ, Mary and John the Baptist were made and a tomb was found here during excavations, which is why this area is called the frescoed tomb. If the question of why the paintings were not restored during the restoration is asked, then when these paintings were made, the root paints were engraved on the walls with a needle, and if they do the same now, it is not done because there will be no feature left (I don’t know the technique, so I couldn’t fully understand it).As you can see in the picture below, you can see the frescoed tomb area and in the picture below you can see the face of Jesus Christ.

When we look at the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque from the outside, we see three domes, the smaller ones are located on the left and right, when entering these left and right domes, on the arched door, there are calligraphy decorations made by Mimar Sinan, such as the decorations you can see in the picture below, again on the left side of these domes, in the picture below, there is a stone left from the Byzantines and a cross sign on it, and in the picture below, there is an ornament, although it is not very clear.

The place of prayer in the Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque is the restricted part in the middle. Since there are pictures and floor decorations in other places, care has been taken and I think it is beautiful. Long story short, the Hagia Sophia Church, now called Hagia Sophia Orhan Mosque, which I tried to tell you with more than 50 pictures in an article of 1500 words, is unexplainable. I enjoyed visiting and learning the history of this place. I will be extremely happy to see you here. If there is something missing and I have forgotten, join us with your comments.

Some of the pictures have text written underneath, please go through the pictures carefully….

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