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Semiz (Cedit) Ali Paşa Mosque (Babaeski)

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  • Construction year: Late 1560s
  • The city it is located in: Kırklareli
  • The borough it is located in: Babaeski
  • The neighbourhood it is located in: Central Babaeski
  • Address: Fatih Avenue, Babaeski, Kırklareli
  • How to reach the place: This mosque is located on the right hand side after passing over the historic bridge at the entrance to Babaeski.
  • Monument type:
  • The function today: Not in use
  • The ownership: Directorate of Pious Foundations
  • The bibliography that link the building to Sinan: TE, TB, TM
  • Information about the monument: In its original state, the Semiz Ali Pasha Mosque was built as part of the Semiz Ali Pasha Complex, was once surrounded by the madrasa, food kitchen for the poor (imaret), caravanserai, and bathhouse buildings. Even though the Complex is attributed to Sinan, only the mosque and the madrasa are mentioned to be Sinan’s designs in manuscripts about his life. Today, only the mosque is standing. It was built towards the end of the 1560s, after the death of the Pasha. Upon his bequest, Ferruh Kethüda had Sinan design and build this monument. Semiz Ali Pasha was famous for his sense of humor, which made it into books written during his lifetime, also for his weight, excessive enough to gain him the nickname “Semiz” (well-fed)! He was mentioned in records by foreign travelers as well as in Ottoman sources during his time. He was also well known for his honesty. In spite of the fact that he had risen up to the level of Grand Vizier (Prime Minister), his wealth was more modest than his predecessors; likewise, the buildings he had built were also modest in their architecture. The construction of the mosque corresponds to the building of the Selimiye and Sinan’s contributions may have been limited. The narthex and the courtyard were added later, in 1585-86, after the completion of the mosque. Its proportions, the ornamentation of the muqarnas stalactite vaults at points of transition at the base of the dome, and the unity brought in by the light that spreads all over the interior are quite impressive. The mihrab inside the mosque and the marble minbar are original reminders of the very elegant stone workmanship and arts in the classical period. The minaret is not original; it was ruined during the Bulgarian occupation of 1911-12 and rebuilt in 1934. The fountain in the courtyard was also built in recent years.
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  • Last Update: 1.12.2015
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