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Sofia

Banya Bashi Mosque

The Banya Bashi Mosque was built in 1576 as a part of a larger complex around the mineral baths (as you might know the Thracians settled in Sofia due to its abundance of mineral springs).

The dome of this brick building has a diameter of 15 metres, and the building is the only remaining model of a domed roof on a cubic base in Bulgaria. The greatest of all Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, who was a chief architect of the Sultan, built the present day Banya Bashi Mosque. The Sultan Selim Mosque in Edirne and the Blue mosque in Istanbul, Turkey are also among his works.

The Banya Bashi Mosque is the one working mosque in Sofia. The interior is decorated with fine calligraphy, citing texts from the Koran /Holy Book for the Muslims/, as the images of human figures are prohibited in Islamic art. In fact, because of its style and architecture we naturally infer that it is a typical monument of the Ottoman architecture which adds a different nuance to the colourful Sofia city centre. What is notable for the mosque is the domed ceiling, which was restored to its original design, after the fall of Communism. There are loudspeakers installed on the minaret calling the Muslim minority to pray five times a day.
Please, take into account that the mosque is not officially opened as a tourist landmark, but visitors are also welcome outside the prayer times /women to be modestly dressed/

Banya Bashi means literally ‘a lot of baths’ and its name was derived from the neighbouring Central Baths.
Next to the Banya Bashi there are thermal springs, and there are even taps where you can drink fresh mineral water for free.

Banya Bashi Mosque on the map of Sofia

Other religious buildings in Sofia

 

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