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Visiting to “Yenicami” (new mosque) in Thessaloniki September 18, 2014

Posted by usbngo in Older Posts.
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Thessaloniki is a city of contrast. Here you can see how western and eastern civilizations merge. In Thessaloniki is situated unique in the world mosque and museum “Yenicami” (new mosque). And I will introduce the history of this building. It is so interesting because I’m writing from my mind what I saw there and listened from our guide.

At first it was designed by the famous Italian architect Vitaliano Poselli in 1902 for the city’s Donmeh community (Jewish converts to Islam). The construction began in 1900 and finished in 1902. The architect Poselli was invited in Thessaloniki by the Sultan Abdul II. Generally, Poselli has built many important buildings in Thessaloniki.

Why they choose this palace? Because it was Donmeh community jewish neighborhood, the richest Jews lived there.

This building worked like a mosque during 10 years. After, when the Donmeh left the city during the population exchange between Greece and Turkey, it became an accommodation for refugees from Izmir, from 1922 till 1925.

After 1925, this building was the Archeological Museum of Thessaloniki until 1939, and during the Second World War it closed. In 1986, the mosque became an exhibition center. Last year it took back its mosque function.

Now the building it is really amazing and unique. The mosque is 23 meters length and 19,80 meters height. The building is directed towards the city of Mecca. At the end of the hall it’s written in Arabic language “pray toward Mecca, never toward Jerusalem”. The architecture of the building has many differents style. Especial “Jewish David stars” and also the Byzantine columns. The windows are in Gothic style and the terrace in Baroque style. The arches is taken from Islamic architecture; these are the main reasons why this mosque is unique. On the terrace, it has two clock with the oldest mechanic system. One more interesting thing is that the mosque’s main entrance was only for men’s, the women had a separate one.

Today this building is exhibition center and it has a lot visitors everyday.

                                                                                                                    Badri Pataraia

Mosque(museum)

Mosque(museum)

Museum ceiling

Museum ceiling

Museum clock

Museum clock

Main hall

Main hall of Mosque

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