Fırıncı (Kazancı) Mosque

“Located downtown, it was a church that was turned in to a mosque” (Evliya Çelebi VIII, 1966, p.33). The Aya Paraskevi Church was later used as a mosque. It was located at the intersection of Platano and N. Kavadia Streets. This mosque was called either the Fırıncı (Baker) or the Kazancı (Cauldron Maker) Mosque. At the same time, it was also known as the Melik Mosque or the Ayı (Bear) Mosque. It was called Ayı Mosque because there was a marble statue of a lion next to it. Today this statue is located at the entrance of the Archeological Museum. There was also a fountain where people could wash their clothes next to the mosque and women used to pound their laundry on the statue. As time went by, the shape of the lion statue changed so much that people thought that it was a bear. Some others claimed that there was a bear cave in the statue. It is almost certain that the mosque was burnt in the big fire of 1864. When it burnt again in 1920, some relics of the church were found (Matskani- Margie, 2005).
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