Divrigi Great Mosque and Hospital

Country: 
Description: 

Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital (Turkish: Divriği Ulu Camii ve Darüşşifası) is an ornately decorated mosque and medical complex built in 1228-1229 in the small eastern Anatolian mountain town of Divriği, now in Sivas Province in Turkey. The architect was Hürremshah of Ahlat and the mosque was built on the order of Ahmet Shah, ruler of the Mengujekids. The inscriptions contain words of praise to the Anatolian Seljuk sultan Alaeddin Keykubad I. The adjoining medical center was built simultaneously with the mosque on the order of Turan Melek Sultan, daughter of the Mengujek ruler of Erzincan, Fahreddin Behram Shah.

<--break->

The exquisite carvings and architecture of both buildings put them among the most important works of architecture in Anatolia and led to their inclusion on UNESCO's World Heritage List in 1985. Of particular note are the geometrical and floral reliefs on the main door.

During the Byzantine period the town, then called Tephrike, was an important stronghold for the dualist heretic Armenian Paulicians. Their leader, Karbeas, founded it ca. 850, and the Paulicians fortified it and used it as refuge and the capital of their semi-independent state during the ninth century. It was captured by the Byzantine Empire during the reign of Emperor Basil I and was temporarily named Leontokome (after Emperor Leo VI) and made into a thema. In the early eleventh century, the town was part of the territory given to the Armenian king Senekerim-Hovhannes in exchange for his lands in Vaspurakan. Around 1071, after the battle of Manzikert, the area was conquered by the Seljuk Bey Mengujek Gazi. A medieval castle, with remains mostly from the thirteenth century, exists on top of a steep hill overlooking the town.

In 1228-29, while Divriği was under the rule of the Mengujekids, Emir Ahmed Shah commissioned a mosque (Divriği Great Mosque - Divriği Ulu Camii in Turkish) which stands mostly intact. The mosque, along with the adjoining hospital (Darüşşifa), built at the same time as the mosque by Turan Melek Sultan, daughter of the Mengujek ruler of Erzincan, Fahreddin Behram Shah, are on UNESCO's World Heritage List by virtue of the exquisite carvings and architecture of both buildings. The complex is considered to be one of the most important works of architecture in Anatolia. The geometrical and floral patterned reliefs found on the main door in particular attract great interest.

Gallery: 
Places: 
Article Type: 
General Destination Info

Comments

Add new comment

Plain text

  • No HTML tags allowed.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
Image CAPTCHA
Enter the characters shown in the image.