Construction began during the reign of Sultan Mesud [Mas’ud] I (hegira 510 / AD 1116) and was completed during the reign of Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad [‘Ala al-Din Kay Qubadh] I (hegira 635 / AD 1237)
Architect: Muhammed bin Havlan al-Dımışki; Minbar Master: Mevgim Berti el-Hacı el-Ahlatı;
Tile Master: Kerimeddin Erdişah.
Sultan Mesud I (r. AH 510–50 / AD 1116–55), Sultan Kılıçarslan [Qılıch Arslan] II (r. AH 550–88 / AD 1155–92), Sultan İzzeddin Keykavus [‘Izz al-Din Kay Kawus] I (r. AH 607–17 / AD 1210–20), Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad I (r. AH 617–34 / AD 1220–37).
Built on an ancient mound, the mosque is named after the Sultan Alaaddin Keykubad I, who completed it. Its present state presents a distorted layout. To the north of the prayer hall is a wide courtyard. The western part of the south (qibla) wall is thicker than the eastern part. The eastern part of the prayer hall has seven aisles separated by six rows of columns that are different from one another because most of them are spolia. Both the western and eastern areas of the prayer hall have columns that are connected by pointed arches and both areas are covered with a flat roof. Where the rows of columns join the eastern wall there are wide engaged piers. The western part of the mosque has an even more irregular layout because columns were added to the west of the bay in front of the mihrab, as was the case in the eastern part, where the irregularity of the piers also points to repairs at various times.
Traces of brick arches observed in the east and west walls in a north–south direction give the impression that these walls were formed by closing off arches. The present lateral lines of arches sometimes end at piers or sometimes in the middle of arches on the west and east. This is considered to be an indication that the eastern part, i.e. the original mosque, had aisles running perpendicular to the qibla wall.
There are two portals at the north end of the mosque. The pointed arch of the eastern portal is surmounted by a knot-work motif in bi-coloured marble. This façade and the columned niches on it were built during the reign of Alaaddin Keykubad I. The wooden minbar, executed using the kündekari technique, and the mihrab decorated in tile mosaic, are noteworthy, for they reflect the fine taste and workmanship of the Seljuq period.
There are two monumental tombs in the courtyard. The decagonal one was built during the reign of Kılıçarslan II. The (incomplete) octagonal one was probably built during the reign of İzzeddin Keykavus I.
The structure was originally built as a mosque and is still used as a place of worship today.
Alaaddin Mosque is built on an ancient mound known today as Alaaddin Hill. The two parts of the prayer hall point to important alterations in the history of the structure. Decorations on the northern façade and northern portal display Mamluk influence while the tile mosaics on the transition zone of the cupola before the mihrab and those on the mihrab bear characteristics of the AH 7th / AD 13th century.
The structure is dated on the basis of its architectural properties and the repair inscriptions. There are several inscriptions in the mosque, especially on the courtyard walls. In these inscriptions, four Seljuq sultans are named: Mesud I (r. 510–50 / 1116–55); Kılıçarslan II (r. 550–88 / 1155–92); İzzeddin Keykavus I (r. 607–17 / 1210–20) and Alaaddin Keykubad I (r. 617–34 / 1220–37). Construction of the mosque was by order of Mesud I and it was added to and altered at various times. The tiles of the domed bay before the mihrab were made by Kerimeddin Erdişah in 617 / 1220, probably during the reign of İzzeddin Keykavus I or Alaaddin Keykubad I.
Aslanapa, O., and Diez E., Türk Sanatı [Turkish Art], Istanbul, 1955, pp.56–7.
Arseven, C. E., Türk Sanatı [Turkish Art], Istanbul, 1984, p.59.
Oral, Z. M., “Konya'da Alaud-din Camii ve Türbeleri”, [The 'Ala al-Din Mosque in Konya and its Turbes] Yıllık Araştırmalar Dergisi [Annual Journal of Research], I (1956), pp.45–75.
Sönmez, Z., Başlangıcından 16. yüzyıla kadar Anadolu-Türk İslam Mimarisinde Sanatçılar [Artists in Anatolian-Turkish Islamic Architecture, from the Beginning to the 16th century], Ankara, 1995, p.220.
Ertan Daş "Alaaddin Mosque" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2021. 2021. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;tr;Mon01;3;en
Prepared by: Ertan DaşErtan Daş
Dr Ertan Daş is an assistant professor in the Department of Archaeology and Art History, Faculty of Letters, Ege University, Izmir. Born in Afyon, Turkey, in 1963, he graduated from that department, in 1986 and started working there as an expert in 1988. He completed his MA at the same university in 1997 with a thesis entitled “Turkish Monuments in Afyon”, and received his Ph.D. with a thesis entitled “Early Ottoman Turbes in Anatolia (1300–1500)” in 2001. He has published on the burial traditions of Turks, turbes (mausoleums) and tombstones, and onTurkish architecture including hans (inns), hammams (bath-houses) and mosques.
Translation by: Barry WoodBarry Wood
Barry Wood is Curator (Islamic Gallery Project) in the Asian Department of the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. He studied history of art at Johns Hopkins University and history of Islamic art and architecture at Harvard University, from where he obtained his Ph.D. in 2002. He has taught at Harvard, Eastern Mediterranean University, the School of Oriental and African Studies, and the Courtauld Institute of Art. He has also worked at the Harvard University Art Museums and the Walters Art Museum in Baltimore. He has published on topics ranging from Persian manuscripts to the history of exhibitions., İnci Türkoğluİnci Türkoğlu
İnci Türkoğlu has been working as a tourist guide and freelance consultant in tourism and publishing since 1993. She was born in Alaşehir, Turkey, in 1967. She graduated from the English Department of Bornova Anatolian High School in 1985 and lived in the USA for a year as an exchange student. She graduated from the Department of Electronic Engineering of the Faculty of Architecture and Engineering, Dokuz Eylül University, Izmir, and the professional tourist guide courses of the Ministry of Tourism in 1991. She worked as an engineer for a while. She graduated from the Department of Art History, Faculty of Letters, Ege University, Izmir, in 1997 with an undergraduate thesis entitled “Byzantine House Architecture in Western Anatolia”. She completed her Master's at the Byzantine Art branch of the same department in 2001 with a thesis entitled “Synagogue Architecture in Turkey from Antiquity to the Present”. She has published on art history and tourism.
Translation copyedited by: Mandi GomezMandi Gomez
Amanda Gomez is a freelance copy-editor and proofreader working in London. She studied Art History and Literature at Essex University (1986–89) and received her MA (Area Studies Africa: Art, Literature, African Thought) from SOAS in 1990. She worked as an editorial assistant for the independent publisher Bellew Publishing (1991–94) and studied at Bookhouse and the London College of Printing on day release. She was publications officer at the Museum of London until 2000 and then took a role at Art Books International, where she worked on projects for independent publishers and arts institutions that included MWNF’s English-language editions of the books series Islamic Art in the Mediterranean. She was part of the editorial team for further MWNF iterations: Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean Virtual Museum and the illustrated volume Discover Islamic Art in the Mediterranean.
True to its ethos of connecting people through the arts, MWNF has provided Amanda with valuable opportunities for discovery and learning, increased her editorial experience, and connected her with publishers and institutions all over the world. More recently, the projects she has worked on include MWNF’s Sharing History Virtual Museum and Exhibition series, Vitra Design Museum’s Victor Papanek and Objects of Desire, and Haus der Kulturen der Welt’s online publication 2 or 3 Tigers and its volume Race, Nation, Class.
MWNF Working Number: TR 03
Islamic Dynasties / Period
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Discover Islamic Art Exhibition(s)The Ottomans | Turkish-Islamic Art in Pre-Ottoman Anatolia
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