Sultan Han Mosque

By the Editors of the Madain Project

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The Sultan Han Mosque, also known as the Kiosk Mosque of Sultan Han (Turkish: köşk mescidi also spelled köşk mescit), is a 13th century CE free standing kiosk-style mosque, built in the courtyard of the Sultanhani Caravanserai. It is the oldest example of its architecture in Turkey.


The recently restored square kiosk-mosque inside the caravanserai courtyard. A construction of four carved barrel-vaulted arches supports the mosque on the second floor. At the center of the courtyard is a mescit (small mosque) raised above the tumult of animals and men. You can ascend to the mescit by either side of the twin staircase on the west side. The steps are huge.

Restoration Efforts

circa 1278 CE

The mosque structure before restoration, it was restored in multiple phases. The surfaces of the piers are richly-decorated and provide a powerful sculptural effect and include octagons with central rosettes filled with different decorative ornamentation: stars, pinwheels and spirals.

circa 1278 CE

The main structure pictured here in 1971, shows most of the second floor gone, and may be some of the restoration work in process. The stone decoration of the mosque and the portals is noteworthy for its elegance and artistic mastery.


circa 1278 CE

Interior of the Main Prayer Hall and Mihrab
The interior prayer space is square, and covered by a barrel vault, and lit by two windows on the east and west sides. These windows are surrounded by two decorated borders (with stars, vegetal elements, rumi split-leaves and mesh elements) and surmounted by five lines of muqarnas. The mihrab is on the southern side and has four decorated borders with half stars and 10-sided pointed polygons, and surmounted by five rows of muqarnas. Another small niche is located inside the main mihrab niche, and has three rows of muqarnas, completed by an engraved braid decoration. An interior stairway inside the wall in the northwest corner once gave access to the roof of the mosque.

circa 1278 CE

The entrance to the mosque faces the main door of the courtyard. The mosque is square in plan, measuring 7.90 meters on each side. It is two storeys high, with a double corbelled staircase built flush into the northern side, leading up to the muezzin’s platform and the undecorated prayer room. The steps of the double stone staircase leading to the mosque are formed as a triangle formed by six lines of muqarnas, and have rosettes underneath the steps. The door of the mosque is surmounted by an 8-pointed star vault. The door opening is set inside the wall surface of the mosque and is surrounded by two borders with half-stars and medallions of 10-pointed stars. There are spiral decorations on the surface of the arch and linear decorations composed of rosettes at the corners, surmounted by five rows of muqarnas over a flat marble lintel. The lower stones are smooth-cut limestone and the upper stones are of granite with some marble pieces interspersed among them.

See Also


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