Firuz Bey Mosque
Milas, Muğla, Turkey
Hegira 26 Safar 797 / 21 December 1394
Hasan bin Abdullah; Master of decoration: Musa bin Adil.
Mübarizüddin [Mubariz al-Din] Hoca Firuz Bey.
The Firuz Bey Mosque, also known as the Kurşunlu, (lit. 'Leaded'), Mosque, comprises a mosque with zawiya (dervish lodge), a madrasa and a wide courtyard including a cemetery. The rooms of the madrasa along the west side of the courtyard lost their individual shapes in the course of restorations, while the tombstones that were once in the cemetery were moved to another cemetery. The building is an important example of a mosque with a zawiya or tabhane. Occupying an area of 22.80 m x 22.60 m, the mosque consists of three parts: a portico for latecomers, an interior courtyard flanked with two tabhanes used as guest houses to shelter itinerant dervishes, and a prayer hall. In the portico for latecomers the central bay is covered with a dome, while the lateral bays are barrel-vaulted. The inner courtyard has a low dome and each of the other rooms also have domes. The square prayer hall is larger than the other rooms; it is about half a metre higher than the inner courtyard. The dome covering it rests on an octagonal drum. The zone of transition consists of squinches with muqarnas decoration.
The outer walls of the building are covered with slabs of blue-veined Sodra marble which show careful craftsmanship. Since the interior rooms are covered with plaster, it is impossible to tell what building materials were used. At the northwest corner of the building, the minaret rising above the outer walls is faced with fine cut stone.
In addition to its architectural features, the building is notable for its decoration. The tympana of the windows, the portico for latecomers, the portal and the mihrab feature original decoration; moreover, colourful kalemişi decoration was later added to the walls of the rooms and to the interior of the dome. The marble corbels above the arch of the central bay of the portico for latecomers, as well as the spaces between them, are filled with floral and geometric decoration. The inlayed two-coloured-marble on the ceiling of the lean-to roof, is striking. The rectangular marble panels that belong to the balustrade found in the portico for latecomers are decorated with openwork carving, including star-patterns and interlacing geometric compositions. The portal is framed with a band of muqarnas; a recessed area bordered by the two-coloured arch, and the crest of the arch of the portal, both feature inscriptions. The tympana of the upper row of windows have decoration similar to that of the portico for latecomers in two-coloured marble. The marble mihrab is framed by two rows of muqarnas, and its conch is decorated with Qur'anic verses, lamp motifs, and series of arabesques and palmette motifs. Three motifs of lamps suspended by chains are engraved, while other decoration is executed in relief. The capitals of the colonnettes in the corners of the mihrab niche are decorated with muqarnas. On the two sides of the mihrab, the names of the architect (Hasan bin Abdullah) and the decorator (Musa bin Adil) are written vertically. The mosque's original minbar was taken to Istanbul in AH 1292 / AD 1875 and replaced by the present minbar.
The building, which recently underwent important restorations, continues to be open for worship.
This monument was commisioned by the governor of Menteshe province soon after the Ottoman conquest of the Menteshe Emirate. This mosque has a three-bayed portico in front and tabhanes (guest-rooms). The monument is worth noting for the fine bi-coloured marble decoration on its portico and mihrab. The painted decoration inside was executed in later periods.
The mosque was built shortly after the Ottomans conquered the Menteshe Emirate. The inscription above the portal indicates a construction date for the building of 26 Safar 797 / 21 December 1394 and that it was ordered by Mübarizüddin Hoca Firuz Bey, the governor of Menteshe.
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Eyice, S., “İlk Osmanlı Devrinin Dini-İçtimai Bir Müessesesi: Zaviyeler ve Zaviyeli Camiler [A Religious-Social Institution of the Early Ottoman Period: Zawiyas and Mosques with Zawiyas]”, İktisat Fakültesi Mecmuası, XXIII (1962–3), Istanbul, pp.1–80.
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ünal, R. H., “Firuz Bey (Kurşunlu Cami)”, Erken Osmanlı Sanatı, Beyliklerin Mirası [Early Ottoman Art: The Legacy of the Emirates], Madrid, 2000, pp.39–40.
Ertan Daş "Firuz Bey Mosque" in Discover Islamic Art, Museum With No Frontiers, 2019. 2019. http://islamicart.museumwnf.org/database_item.php?id=monument;ISL;tr;Mon01;9;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 Gomez
MWNF Working Number: TR 14