Atik Mosque

Evliya Çelebi had this to say about the mosque: “It is located in the lower Market area and has a dome that is covered with lead and a tall, round minaret. As it is located in a narrow area it has no gardens. It has a fountain just outside the front door which opens in the direction of Mecca. The congregation performs their ablutions at its taps. It is understood from the date that is written on the door that it was founded by Halil Pasha from Çandarlı in 787 (1385-86), during the reign of Sultan Murad” (VII, 1966, pp. 620-621).

As can be understood from its photographs that still exist today, the mosque had a portico with three cells and the minaret had one balcony. There are some domes areas at the western front of the mosque. The mosque was most likely planned to resemble the Mehmed Bey Mosque. This mosque was burnt in the conflagration of 1719 and was rebuilt in accordance with its original structure in 1837. It was repaired for the second time under orders from Sultan Mahmud the second (Pennas, 1966, p.508). The inscription ‘Selçuk Sultan Mosque’ was seen in the gardens during our inspections, and states that the mosque was repaired twice. The inscription was mostly likely placed there after the mosque was reconstructed by Sultan Mahmud the second in 1252 (1836-37). When Serres was occupied by the Bulgarians in 1912, the mosque was turned into a Bulgarian Church, named after Kiril and Methodi. As no other other Bulgarian churches existed in the city it was used as the Metropolitan Church. When Serres was taken by the Greeks in June of 1913, the Eski Mosque was returned to the Turks in an official ceremony. Thereupon, a new minaret was built to replace the old one which was pulled down by the Bulgarians. After the population exchange, the mosque came into the possession of the National Bank of Greece. Later, it was rented and used as a cafe, a music hall and a cinema. In 1937, it was demolished in order to develop an office complex (Pennas, 1966, pp.508-509). The charitable foundation of the Emin Ağazâde Elhac Ali Ağa for Cami-i Âtîk, VGMA, is registered in the Atik Defter Nr: 725, p. 90, on 16 Ş, 1240 (April 5, 1825). The charitable foundation of Hadji Ahmed Agha for Cami-i Âtîk, VGMA, is registered in the Atik Defter Nr: 725, p. 98, on 25 Ş, 1179 (February 6, 1766). The charitable foundation of the Hasan Agha vakif for the Cami-i Âtîk, VGMA, is registered in the Atik Defter Nr: 725, p. 113 on 12 Ca, 1115 (September 23, 1703) and the charitable foundation of Hasan Agha of the vakif, VGMA, is registered in the Atik Defter Nr: 725, p. 135 on 15 Z, 1128 (November 30, 1716).

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