The masterpiece of Ottoman architecture

This article is a part of the project 'Promotion of the Ottoman Cultural Heritage of Bosnia and Turkey' which is organized by Monolit, Association for Promoting Islamic Arts and supported by the Republic of Turkey (YTB - T.C. BAŞBAKANLIK Yurtdışı Türkler ve Akraba Topluluklar Başkanlığı / Prime Ministry, Presidency for Turks Abroad and Related Communities).

The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque represents the masterpiece of Ottoman architecture in Balkans. It was built in 1557/58 in Mostar which, next to Sarajevo, represents the most important religious and culture center of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Mostar has a very rich architectural inheritance that is preserved from Ottoman period among which, except mosques, we should highlight the famous Old bridge from 1557. The founder of the Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque was a dominant political figure in Bosnia at that time. He is the brother of the grand vizier Rustem Pasha and Sinan Pasha who built their mosques in Istanbul. He got a nickname Karadžoz which means 'with black eyes'. He died in Mostar around the year of 1564.

The style of the Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque belongs to the classical Ottoman architecture. Typologically, that is one-space dome mosque. We can say with certainty that it was designed in the central architectural office in Istanbul, and there are also the serious indications that its architect was the famous Mimar Sinan. The Mosque is monumental and its proportions are very harmonious. It is built with precisely tanned stone. It has a porch with three domes and one of the best made stone minarets in Balkans, with a rich decoration in the sherefe. Inside there is a specially distinguished mihrab with muqarnas that are excellently executed.

image The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

image The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

image The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque, dome / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

image The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque, interior / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

image The Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque, mihrab / Photo © Islamic Arts Magazine

Next to the Mehmed Beg Karadžoz Mosque, there is a madrasah that dates just before the year of 1570. It consists of one big room, a dershana (classroom) and four rooms where the students lived. Besides this, Karadžoz Beg also built four bridges as well as many other monuments.


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