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Constantza


History of mosques    EN

Author: ARDELEANU KONSTANTIN

By the end of the 19th century there were at Constanţa seven mosques, among which two were more important: Hunkiar and Mahmudia [1].

Hunkiar was founded by Sultan Abdul Aziz in 1868–1869, thus being also called Aziziye. It was a simple construction built with materials from the former walls of the town. It had a Moorish architectural style – according to the Muslim constructive and religious canons – the ensemble of its body (of white lime) trying to have the traditional shape of the Kaaba cube [2].

Mahmudia was built in 1822 on the foundation of an older mosque. As it was in a bad situation in early 20th century, the authorities decided to support the erection of a new mosque, to also prove the interest of the Romanian state for the preservation of its minorities’ religious and cultural values. Called “King Charles I”, it was built in central Constanţa, in Ovidiu square, between 1910 and 1912. The construction was done according to the plans of engineer Gogu Constantinescu, having as a model the Konya mosque from Anatolia, Turkey. The mosque was the first construction of armed concrete and brick in Romania, a splendid mixture of the Egyptian and Byzantine styles with Romanian motifs, a conception that is unique for the mosques in Dobrudja. The minaret has a height of about 47 meters, and the mighrab (altar) of the old mosque was preserved. The mosque was inaugurated in 1912, in a public ceremony, in the presence of the Romanian royal family [3].

The other mosques of Constanţa were less impressive, without anything distinctive or artistic, but they served well the need of the local Muslim community. The “Mustiu” mosque was founded in 1886 from the initiative of Ali Riza, with the support of the Muslim community. At the beginnings of the 20th century it was in a poor state, being supported by the community. “Ieni–Maale” and “Mescit Muftiu” mosques also needed repairing, whereas “Cearşa Azizie” mosque was in a good state [4].

 

Picture 3.3.3.1_1 The King Charles I Mosque

Source: http://constanta-imagini-vechi.blogspot.ro/

 

Picture 3.3.3.1_2 Sultan Muhmud Mosque

Source: http://constanta-imagini-vechi.blogspot.ro/

 


[1] M. D. Ionescu, Cercetări asupra oraşului Constanţa. Geografie şi istorie (Bucharest: Tipografia şi Fonderia de litere Thoma Basilescu, 1897), 47; Ibram Nuredin, Comunitatea musulmană din Dobrogea. Repere din viaţa spirituală. Viaţa religioasă şi învăţământ în limba maternă (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 1998), 95.

[2] Adrian Rădulescu, Stoica Lascu, Puiu Haşotti, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa (Bucharest: Sport Turism), 64–65; Nuredin, Comunitatea, 96–98. A recent monograph presents the history of the main mosque in Constanţa – Doina Păuleanu, Virgil Coman, Moscheea Regală Carol I Constanţa 1910–2010 (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2010).

[3] Rădulescu, Lascu, Haşotti, Ghid, 73–74; Nuredin, Comunitatea, 99–100.

[4] Expunerea situaţiei judeţului Constanţa pe anul 1910–1911, prezentată de I. T. Ghyka (Bucharest: Tip. şi Stabilimentul de Arte Grafice George Ionescu, 1910), 56.


References

Archival sources:

Serviciul Judeţean Constanţa al Arhivelor Naţionale (The National Archives, Constanţa Branch), Primăria municipiului Constanţa (The Municipality of Constanţa), files starting with 1878.

Bibliography:

Expunerea situaţiei judeţului Constanţa pe anul 1910–1911, prezentată de I. T. Ghyka [The Exposition of the Situation of the Constanţa County in 1910–1911, Presented by I. T. Ghyka] (Bucharest: Tip. Şi Stabilimentul de Arte Grafice George Ionescu, 1910).

Ionescu, M. D., Cercetări asupra oraşului Constanţa. Geografie şi istorie [Researches on the City of Constanţa. Geography and History] (Bucharest: Tipografia şi Fonderia de litere Thoma Basilescu, 1897).

Nuredin, Ibram, Comunitatea musulmană din Dobrogea. Repere din viaţa spirituală. Viaţa religioasă şi învăţământ în limba maternă [The Muslim Community from Dobrudja. Landmarks of Spiritual Life. Religious Life and Education in the Mother Tongue] (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 1998).

Păuleanu, Doina, Coman, Virgil, Moscheea Regală Carol I Constanţa 1910–2010 [The Royal Mosque Charles I of Constanţa 1910–2010] (Constanţa: Ex Ponto, 2010).

Rădulescu, Adrian, Lascu, Stoica, Haşotti, Puiu, Ghid de oraş. Constanţa [City Guidebook. Constanţa] (Bucharest: Sport Turism, 1985).


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