Friday, May 17, 2013

Friday, May 17, 2013

While I was on my way to the castle passing along the street of souvenir shops right at the town’s center, I immediately spotted the imposing lofty minaret of the El Rizk Mosque.  It is stand alongside the remnants of the medieval bridge near the river. Although the Ayyubid Dynasty ruled large part of the middle east during the 12th and 13th century, it is worthy to note that branch of the dynasty still rule Hisn Kayfa until the early 16th century and this mosque was built in 1409 by the Ayyubid sultan.  This medieval mosque near the base of the citadel is notable for the stone carvings on its minaret.  I saw a family of storks nestled on top of the minaret while I was standing at the view deck of Ali Aga Mansion on top of the cliff.

Walking back down from the historical mansion, there is this vast ruin of the Suleymaniye and Koc mosques complex with its tall minaret similar to the Rizk Mosque.   It is located in the center of town, the complex is now largely in ruins but were among the city’s most important places of worship during the Artukid and Ayyubid periods.  The entrance is closed but you can see the mosque from the very low stone walls.  Even though it’s crumbling, you can recognize the intricate designs of the mosques.

Not far from the ruined Suleymaniye and Koc Mosque complex is the Kizlar Mosque.  Inscribed on the entrance “Eyyubi Camii, Y. Tarihi H. 808” corresponding to around the 15th century.  

The amount of blue and red colored tiles is notable, perhaps Iznik tiles, decorating all the interior walls of the mosque except for the ceilings.  It’s beautiful although it’s not as huge as other mosques in big cities, but the colorful ceramic tiles ornamenting the walls reminded me of the interior of Rustem Pasha Mosque in Istanbul.


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