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History of mosques    EN


Due to the progressively increasing numbers of the Turkish population of Varna, especially during the 18th and the 19th centuries, the Muslim prayer houses, mainly the mosques, occupied an increasingly central place in the architectural landscape of the town. Like the evidence regarding the number of churches, the evidence concerning the mosques differs from source to source as well: Filip Stanislavov pointed to 7 mosques in 1659; according to Jean-Baptiste Le Chevalier (1775) they were 12; 12 (a German source, 1817); 12 (Auguste de Messence, comte de Lagarde, 1824); 10, but after the conquest of Varna’s fortress by the Russian army one of them was turned into a church dedicated to the Virgin Mary (Lukyanovic, 1828-1829), 5 or 6 (Teplyakov, 1828-1829). Vretos pointed to the existence of 5 mosques in Varna, the most beautiful of which was located by the gate from the side of the sea. There is no doubt that regarding the look and the number of its mosques (the number mentioned most often is 12) Varna acquired the appearance of a big oriental town.

The local historians localize 18 mosques and mescids in Varna as all of them were built and functioned during the Ottoman period, and some continued their existence after the Liberation (1878): Subishahı, Kale, Abdurrahman, Chaush zade, Kara agaç (mesdzhit), Osman efendi, Kırık, Mehkeme, Shaban Efendi, Hadjı Ali, Medzhidiye, Komender, Tekke, Kavaklı (mesdzhit), Tombay (mesdzhit), Teshrifiye (bearing also the name of Emin Efendi), Aziziye, and Hayriye. Some of them were built in the first centuries of the Ottoman rule – in all probability Kırık and Mehkeme date back to the 15th century. Hadjı Ali and Kavaklı are from the 18th century while most of the Muslim prayer houses of Varna originated in the 19th century (at least this is what the local memories point to) and their construction is related to important events of the town’s history: Abdurrahman, Medzhidiye, Tekke, and Hayriye were built during the major building campaign of the 1830s; during a visit of Sultan Abdülaziz in Varna in 1867 the funds were provided for the construction of the Mosque of Aziziye, finished in 1869. The Abdurrahman (with its high minaret and a complex consisting of a school, two fountains, and a few graves (turbes) of Ottoman high officials) and Hadjı Ali (a fountain was built together with the mosque and the minaret was decorated with a rich ornamentation) stood out among the most imposing and beautiful mosques in Varna. From all of the old mosques of Varna the Aziziye and the Hayriye are still preserved today after being subject to general overhauls[1].


[1] Aziziye is located on Angel Georgiev Street next to the Boteva Garden, while Hayriye is on the corner of the streets Dunav and Tsaribrod. Кацарски, Г. Молитвените храмове на Варна. – „10 книги за Варна-2005”, Варна, 2006, с. 158–162. Katsarov points out that there are 17 mosques and mescits in Varna but describes a whole of 18 Muslim prayer houses. Шкорпил, К. и Х. Обяснения към плана на гр. Варна. – ИВАД, 1909, с. 60 и сл.




Кацарски, Г. Молитвените храмове на Варна. – „10 книги за Варна-2005”, Варна, 2006, с. 158–162. Кацаров посочва, че джамиите и месчитите във Варна са 17 на брой, а описва общо 18 мюсюлмански молитвени дома.

Шкорпил, К. и Х. Обяснения към плана на гр. Варна. – ИВАД, 1909, с. 60 и сл.