Belgrade: The National Assembly building site was once home to a mosque, this is its story

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Skupstina dzamija

Serbia – Imagine walking through Belgrade at the Nikola Pasic Square, and as you descend towards Tasmajdan, instead of passing the next National Assembly building, you catch a glimpse of an equally impressive piece of architecture – a mosque.

Batal mosque was located in Belgrade, in an area close to the National Assembly building, on the corner of the Boulevard Vlajković Revolution (formerly Constantinople road). Of all the remaining mosques in Belgrade, after the departure of Ottoman Turks (1867), none is so memorable, nor was any discussed and written about as the deserted (Batal) mosque.

The reason is because this mosque is a place of strategic importance. In addition, in architectural terms, it was a monumental building, very well proportioned and very specific, one of the most interesting remaining mosques in Belgrade 60s of the XIX century.

An Austrian report from the late eighteenth century, states that ” it is a thousand steps away from one of the city ramparts circling the town”.

The identification of Batal mosque with Ejnehan Bey was done by our famous Orientalist-Turkish scholar and historian, a true enthusiast in his work, the late Dr. Hazim Šabanovic (1916-1971.) In his paper entitled “Urban Development in Belgrade from 1521 to 1688 “, published in the Journal of the Belgrade City Vol. XVII/1970th.

Based on a Turkish document from the end of the seventeenth century, Fredericks said that Ejnehan Bey Mosque is located in the field Vracar, an it had been built in the mid ninth decade of the sixteenth century (1585) by Belgrade outlook Ejnehan beg from who the mosque got its name.

Ejnehan Bey Mosque was referred of under this name until 1789. As her monumental size and structure indicates, her donor was a wealthy man.

Ejnehan beg was the sandzak-beg of Konavlje from the years 1585-1590. In late 1592, he managed to gain Čanadski Sandzak in Hungary, where he died in 1594.

In the battles for Belgrade, in 1717, “Carevci were the first to go against the city and place cannons around Majdana – towards a large mosque.” There is no doubt that this was Tasmajdan and the Ejnehan Bey Mosque. This mosques then stood on the fighting line. It is believed that she was first damaged during this battle.

During the second Austrian occupation of Belgrade (1717-1739), this mosque was turned into a warehouse uniform regiment of Prince Alexander Virtemberškog.

After the victory over the Turks, Austrians, at Grocke 1739 and their return to Belgrade, he immediately joined the repairs of damaged mosques; those that were converted into churches of various Christian orders, stores and dwellings were returned to their original condition.

Ejnehan Bey Mosque was corrected only in 1766; works, according to Radmila Tričković, spent 7646 piasters.

In the battles for Belgrade, in 1789, the mosque was quite damaged and that’s the first time Batal mosque (Mosch Batalla-Chamia)was mentioned.

Batal mosque was still attracting the attention of locals and travelers from the West who were passing through Belgrade. Here are some observations from them.

  1. Kaper 1850, inter alia, writes: “This is quite an interesting look into the monumental past days” and “yonder inspiration” will deter devout passengers to get closer and see that this monument serves for completely different needs than those of very inspired hearts. “

2. Zamorski highlights, 1855/1856, “Not far from the Palace (the Palace) on a deserted area behind it, stand the ruins of a small but beautiful reddish stone built mosque destroyed in the last war, that it is worth preserving as a monument to the decoration of the place.”

 

Architecture

Batal mosque was single-domed mosque, with trompe in the transition from the square to the octagonal drum that had no windows. Overhead tromps with external parties, were triangular parts of the roof.

The entrance to the mosque was located on the north side. It is assumed that the entrance to the mosque, earlier, a portico with columns and domes for protection from inclement weather, which during turbulent times and wars was destroyed, because it is impossible that such a monumental mosque had no entrance porch.

The minaret was built on an octagonal pedestal from the same stone as the walls of the mosque, with flamboyantly dressed stone elements on the underside of šerefe, while the entire height had recess-channeling.

The minaret harmoniously fit the mosque itself.

It is assumed that the dome of the mosque used to be covered with lead, which with time – a change of government – was removed.

According to the available sketches and drawings (R. Kanica and K. Jovanovic) it is easy to conclude that the decoration of the interior surfaces were very richly done, especially the mihrab and minbar.

Mihrab niche (hole) in the wall of the qibla had a rectangular box, which was neatly molded and decorated with floral decoration.

At the top of the mihrab (niche) was, in stone, made decoration in the form of stalactites, which was probably painted.

Above the mihrab, between and above the trompes were prominent curved, sharp-pointed structural and decorative arches, made of alternating lined blocks of stone, dark and light. Tromps in the lower part were decorated with ornately carved stone in the form of stalactites.

It is a pity that such a monumental building, built in the late sixteenth century, because of the negligence and carelessness of the people responsible, disappeared from the face of the earth. With a little good will, it could be adapted to remain as a witness of time, a sacral monument of Islamic origin on the border confrontations of different worlds.

 

 

SANA Agency


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