İsa Bey Mosque, Selçuk, Turkey

Down the hill from the St John Basilica in Selçuk (map) is the İsa Bey Mosque (İsabey Camii), a work of the architect Ali ibn el-Dimişki dating from 1375. It was built on order of the Aydınoğulları emir Mehmet.

Its design echoes works of Arabic masters (el-Dimişkimeans “from Damascus”), with hints of Seljuk Turkish design, rather than the more familiar Ottoman mosques, which did not take shape until after the Ottoman conquest of Constntinople in 1453.

Isa Bey Mosque, Selçuk, Turkey
Detail in the courtyard

In 1653 and 1668 the İsa Bey’s two minaretssuffered damage from earthquakes. A colonnaded porch in front of the mosque collapsed as well.

The mosque stood in ruins for quite awhile (it was in ruins when I first visited Ephesus in 1967), but in 1975 it was restored and reopened for prayer. Further restorations were carried out in 2005.

Today you can visit the mosque, for free. It is used for prayer, but a visitors area has been set up, so just walk in and enjoy the architecture.

 

 

—by Tom Brosnahan


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