The Isa Bey Mosque (İsa Bey Camii), constructed in 1374–75 CE, is one of the oldest and most impressive works of architectural art remaining from the Anatolian beyliks. The mosque is situated towards the west of the Saint John's Basilika at the foot of Ayasuluk Hill, on the outskirts of the Ayasluğ Hills at Selçuk, İzmir.
It was built by the architect, 'Ali b. Mushaimish Dımışklıoğlu, in honor of the Aydinid İsa Bey. The plans for the mosque are based on the Great Mosque of Damascus.
By 1829 CE, the mosque was in ruins and by 1842 CE the minaret had fallen down. In the 19th century CE, it was also used as a caravanserai for sometime.
It is built asymmetrically on a 48-by-56-metre (157 by 184 feet) base. The rims of its domes, with diameters of 9.4 metres (31 feet) and 8.1 metres (27 feet), are decorated with İznik (Nicaea) tiles. The mosque complex is enclosed by high walls of limestone and marble, much of it spoils from the nearby ruins of Ephesus.
The mosque has two main entrances, one to the east (inspect) and one in the western facade. The western wall has inscriptions and geometric shapes engraved. These walls are covered with marble, whereas the façades on the remaining sides are made of cut stone. The western facade is constructed with carefully cut stone, emphasizing its importance as the mosque’s main façade. The İsa Bey Mosque is divided into a long, narrow prayer hall on the south preceded on the north by a rectangular courtyard.
Twelve round columns stand inside its courtyard encircled with porches. The courtyard of the mosque was formerly enclosed by colonnaded porches on three sides, like a Roman style atrium.
Originally the mosque had two minarets. The other one stood on the western side, which is now totally destroyed. The surviving, brick minaret is built on an octagonal base, and the upper part from the balcony is ruined.
Main Prayer Hall
The interior of the prayer hall is divided by a colonnade into a pair of aisles paralleling the Qibla, which in turn are cut by a transept of two domed bays on triangular pendentives on the axis of the mihrab. The antecedent for the plan of İsa Bey Mosque is immediately apparent as being found in the Umayyad Mosque built by the caliph al-Walid in early eighth-century CE.
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