Alâeddin Mosque

The Alâeddin Mosque is the principal monument on the citadel of Konya, Turkey. The building served as the "Mosque of the Throne" for the Seljuq Sultans of Rum and contains the dynastic mausoleum. It was constructed in stages between the mid-12th and mid-13th centuries. Both the citadel and the mosque bear the name of sultan 'Ala al-Din Kayqubad I (Alâeddin Tepesi and Alâeddin Camii).

Alâeddin Mosque
Alaedin Camii.JPG
Alâeddin Mosque at Alaattin Tepesi (Alaattin's Hill) in Konya
Religion
AffiliationIslam
ProvinceKonya Province
RegionCentral Anatolia
Ecclesiastical or organizational statusMosque
Location
LocationKonya, Turkey
Geographic coordinates37°52′24.75″N 32°29′33.25″E / 37.8735417°N 32.4925694°E / 37.8735417; 32.4925694
Architecture
TypeMosque
StyleIslamic, Seljuk architecture
Completed1235
Specifications
Direction of façadeNorth
Length56 m
Width71 m
Minaret(s)1

The MosqueEdit

Following typical Seljuq procedure, a Christian basilica on the site was converted into a mosque following the capture of the city in 1080. Much of the building material and architectural ornament incorporated in later rebuilding, especially columns and capitals, was salvaged from this basilica and other nearby Byzantine structures.

Evidence of an early building program dates from the time of Mesud I.[1] An inscription dates the fine, ebony minbar to 1155; the minbar is the first dated example of Seljuq art in Anatolia.[2] The polychrome ceramic frame of the mihrab and the dome above may date to this period.

Kaykaus I began a major rebuilding program in 1219. He changed the main entrance from the west to the north, opposite the mihrab. He added a monumental façade on the north side, overlooking the city and facing the Seljuq palace. A marble tomb was begun in the courtyard. Kaykaus’ building was cut short by his death in the same year, only to be resumed thereafter by his brother and successor Kayqubad I. Kayqubad had several of his brother's inscriptions altered and claimed the improvements to the mosque for himself. In 1235 he added a large room, supported by forty-two columns, to the east of the mihrab.

The minaret, the marble mihrab (1891), and the eastern door, through which most visitors enter the mosque, date from the Ottoman period. The eastern wing of the mosque, constructed with re-used Byzantine and Hellenistic columns, has a unique openness and spaciousness.[3]

ArchitectureEdit

The mausoleum portion of the mosque contains two tomb towers, one built by Kilij Arslan II with portions of remaining blue tile work on the roof.[4] The mosque utilizes different design techniques. The Seljuks of Rum incorporated the Ablaq technique, a distinct style also found in Syria.[5] North of the qibla wall and south of the two tomb towers is a dome which covers the mihrab area.

 
The blue tile work and Ablaq technique seen in the mausoleum and exterior portion of the mosque extends into its interior, as seen in its Mihrab.

InscriptionsEdit

The entrance in use today has an inscription designated to the completion of the mosque to Sultan Alaeddin in the year 617 H.[6] To the right of it is the inscription of the same sultan as the builder of both the mosque and the mausoleum portion. The Syrian craftsman Muhammad ben Khaulan of Damascus is also included on a separate stone. The inscriptions in the facade show Alaeddin’s name, Izzeddin Keykavus , and the Atabeg who was responsible for the construction of the mosque during both Alaeddin’s and Izzedeinn’s reign. Izzeddin was responsible for constructing the congregational portion of the mosque.[4]

Around the base of the roof the tomb tower with the remaining blue tile works, is an inscription of the throne verse from the Qur’an.

 
Inscriptions outside the main facade of the mosque.

HistoryEdit

Anatolia witnessed an increase in the scale and production of building activity during the early thirteenth century due to unification of eastern and central Anatolia on behalf of the sultans.[7]

In 1945, the ownership of the mosque was administered by the Ministry of Education, adapting it to a museum along with the Karatay Madrasah. Up until 1951, the ownership of the mosque was given to the General Directorate of Pious Endowments (Vakıflar Genel Müdürlüğü).[8] The following year, the mosque utilization returned to worship. Disputes continued since the Alaeddin courtyard was owned by General Directorate of Antiquities and Museums (Eski Eserler ve Müzeler Genel Müdürlüğü).[9]

ConservationEdit

The Alaeddin mosque conservation process was very different from that of other monuments in Konya. Efforts towards its repair process did not begin until the end of the Second World war period, during which time it had been used for the storage of army equipment.[9] It underwent a series of interventions over a four year repair process. The changes that took place in the mosque include adding lead sheets and heavy concrete slabs with waterproof layering on the dome of the western section.[10]

Sultans buried in the MosqueEdit

 
Turbes in the courtyard

The courtyard of Alâeddin Mosque encloses two monumental mausolea or türbe. According to an inscription on the façade, Kilij Arslan II built the decahedral tomb with the conical roof.[11] This mausoleum became the burial place of the Seljuq dynasty and houses the sarcophagi of eight of the Seljuq sultans of Rum:

The second mausoleum was begun by Kaykaus I but left unfinished at the time of the sultan’s death (d. 1219). The tomb is octagonal and constructed from marble. This unfinished mausoleum is known as Adsız Türbe, or the "Anonymous Mausoleum," since the names of those buried within are unknown. Mummified corpses are on view.

See alsoEdit

GalleryEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ Konya, The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, Vol.2, (Oxford University Press, 2009), 391.
  2. ^ Scott Redford, The Alâeddin Mosque in Konya Reconsidered, Artibus Asiae, Vol. 51, No. 1/2, 1991:55
  3. ^ Architecture, The Grove Encyclopedia of Islamic Art and Architecture, Vol.2, (Oxford University Press, 2009), 117.
  4. ^ a b Redford, Scott (1991). "The Alaeddin Mosque in Konya Reconsidered". Artibus Asiae. 51 (1/2): 56. doi:10.2307/3249676. JSTOR 3249676.
  5. ^ Redford, Scott (1991). "The Alaeddin Mosque in Konya Reconsidered". Artibus Asiae. 51: 71 – via JSTOR.
  6. ^ Lamb, Dorothy (2013). "Notes on Seljouk Buildings at Konia". Cambridge University Press. 21: 32–33 – via JSTOR.
  7. ^ Howard Crane and Lorenz Korn (2017). Turko‐Persian Empires between Anatolia and India. New Jersey: John Wiley and Sons. pp. 334–335. ISBN 9781119068570.
  8. ^ Önge, Mustafa. "Conservation of Cultural Heritage on Alaeddin Hill in Konya from the 19th Century to Present Day." 183. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis from Metu, 2011.
  9. ^ a b Önge, Mustafa. "Conservation of Cultural Heritage on Alaeddin Hill in Konya from the 19th Century to Present Day." 184. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis from Metu, 2011.
  10. ^ Önge, Mustafa. "Conservation of Cultural Heritage on Alaeddin Hill in Konya from the 19th Century to Present Day." 214. Unpublished Ph.D Thesis from Metu, 2011.
  11. ^ Scott Redford, The Alâeddin Mosque in Konya Reconsidered, 55.

SourcesEdit

External linksEdit