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Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği

Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği

This region of Anatolia was conquered by the Turks at the beginning of the 11th century. In 1228–29 Emir Ahmet Shah founded a mosque, with its adjoining hospital, at Divrigi. The mosque has a single prayer room and is crowned by two cupolas. The highly sophisticated technique of vault construction, and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture – particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior – are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture.

Grande mosquée et hôpital de Divriği

Dans cette région d'Anatolie conquise par les Turcs au début du XIe siècle, l'émir Ahmet Shah fonda en 1228-1229 une mosquée, dotée d'une salle de prière unique et surmontée de deux coupoles, ainsi qu'un hôpital contigu à la mosquée. Une technique très élaborée de construction des voûtes, une sculpture décorative créative et exubérante, notamment sur les trois portails, contrastant avec la sévérité de l'enceinte, donnent un aspect très particulier à ce chef-d'œuvre de l'architecture islamique.

المسجد الكبير ومشفى ديوريجي

في هذه المنطقة من الأناضول التي دخلها الأتراك في مطلع القرن الحادي عشر، أسس الأمير أحمد شاه عامي 1228 و1229 مسجداً مزوداً بقاعة للصلاة فريدة من نوعها تعلوها قبتان ومستشفى مجاوراً للمسجد. أما تقنية بناء القبب المتطورة جداً والنحت التزييني الخلاق والفني الذي يميز الأبواب الثلاثة بشكل خاص ويتناقض مع صرامة السور فيضفيان طابعاً بالغ التميّز على هذه التحفة الهندسية الإسلامية.

source: UNESCO/ERI

迪夫里伊的大清真寺和医院

迪夫里伊的大清真寺和医院位于安纳托利亚地区,11世纪由土耳其人占领。埃米尔·艾哈迈德·沙哈(Emir Ahmet Shah)于1228-1229年建立了一座里面包括一个单独祈祷室的清真寺,有两个圆盖封顶,还与一个医院相邻。它极其精致的拱顶结构、富有想象力的创造性的装饰性雕刻(尤其是三扇门上的),与朴实无华的内部墙壁形成了鲜明对比,这些都使它成为伊斯兰建筑中独一无二的杰作。

source: UNESCO/ERI

Большая мечеть и больница в городе Дивриги

Эта район Анатолии был завоеван турками-сельджуками в начале XI в. В 1228-29 гг. эмир Ахмед-шах основал в Дивриги мечеть, при которой была устроена больница. Мечеть покрыта двумя куполами и имеет один молитвенный зал. Тщательно продуманная технология возведения сводов и выразительная изобретательность скульптурных украшений, особенно трех порталов, контрастирующих с неукрашенными стенами в интерьере, являются уникальными чертами этого шедевра исламской архитектуры.

source: UNESCO/ERI

Gran mezquita y hospital de Divriği

En esta región de Anatolia conquistada por los turcos a principios del siglo XI, el emir Ahmet Shah ordenó construir en 1228-1229 una mezquita provista de una sola sala de oración y rematada por dos cúpulas, así como un hospital contiguo. Esta obra maestra de la arquitectura islámica se caracteriza tanto por la perfección técnica de sus bóvedas como por la creatividad y exuberancia de la ornamentación esculpida en los tres portales de acceso, que contrastan con la total austeridad del interior del edificio.

source: UNESCO/ERI

ディヴリーイの大モスクと病院

source: NFUAJ

Grote moskee en ziekenhuis van Divriği

De stad Divriği ligt in de regio Anatolië die begin 11e eeuw werd veroverd door de Turken. In 1228-1229 stichtte emir Ahmet Shah er een moskee, met een aangrenzend ziekenhuis. De enige gebedsruimte in de Grote moskee heeft vijf gangen die elk bestaan uit vijf ruimtes. Het gebouw heeft stenen gewelven en bovenop zitten twee koepels van ongelijke grootte, waarvan er een boven de rituele wastafel is geplaatst. De tweede (hoofd)koepel bevindt zich boven de mihrab (gebedsniche) en is aan de buitenkant herkenbaar aan zijn zeshoekige toren. De zeer geavanceerde techniek van de moskee maakt het een uniek meesterwerk van islamitische architectuur.

Source: unesco.nl

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Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği © Zishan Sheikh
Outstanding Universal Value

Brief synthesis

Located on the slopes below the castle of Divriği, Sivas Province in central eastern Turkey, the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği is a remarkable building combining a monumental hypostyle mosque with a two storey hospital, which includes a tomb. Founded by the Mengücekide emir Ahmed Shah following the victory of the Seljuk Turks over the Byzantine army at the battle of Malazgirt in 1071, the mosque is dominated externally by the hexagonal, pointed roofed dome over its mihrab (prayer niche), a cupola over the ablutions basin in the centre of the prayer hall and elaborately carved monumental stone portals on the north and west. Internally, four rows of four piers create five naves roofed by a variety of intricately carved stone vaults. The adjoining hospital, the Darush-shifa, was founded by Ahmet Shah’s wife Turan Melek and designed by the architect Hurrem Shah, in 1228-1229. It is entered via a monumental, elaborately carved stone portal on the west, leading into a double height atrium formed by four massive piers supporting a dome with an oculus over a central pool, around which are located the hospital rooms.

The highly sophisticated technique of vault construction and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture – particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior – are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture. The variety of the carved decoration indicates that is was carried out by different groups of craftsmen. The main characteristic of the designs featured in the portals is their uniqueness: each is distinct from other decorations. As well as portals, all bases, shafts and capitals of the columns, and the inner surface of the dome and the vaults, were decorated in a distinct and unique style. There are no other examples of the three-dimensional and intricate geometric styles and flowing figures of plants. The vaulting of the hospital room is comparable in scientific achievement to that of the prayer hall of the Mosque, and shares the splendid unity of the Great Mosque.

Criterion (i): A unique artistic achievement, this cultural property in itself represents one of Islamic architecture's most beautiful built spaces.

Criterion (iv): The Divriği Mosque is an outstanding example of a Seljuk mosque in Anatolia, as it neither has a courtyard, colonnades nor an uncovered ablutions basin, but rather organizes all religious functions in an enclosed area, owing perhaps to the harshness of the climate. A charitable foundation, the contiguous hospital makes an already exceptional ensemble even more interesting, thanks to a princely command.

Integrity

The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği remain intact retaining the key attributes carrying Outstanding Universal Value. The stone ornamentations are vulnerable to the effects of atmosphere, humidity and salt, and the building is vulnerable to drainage problems. Also the setting of the complex is vulnerable to the impact of surrounding development.

Within the framework of the ongoing expropriation processes of private properties in the close vicinity of the Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital, launched in 2009 by the Governor of Sivas, a number of buildings were demolished in order to minimize the impact of surrounding development on the historic setting. In addition, a landscaping project to design walking paths and visitor facilities will begin after the completion of the second phase of expropriation program.

Authenticity

The Divriği Great Mosque and Hospital complex has been restored several times. According to inscriptions, intensive restoration was carried out between the 15th and 19th centuries. In the 20th century work was done to prevent material deterioration and mitigate static problems. But the property retains its authenticity in terms of form, substance, design and materials.

Protection and management requirements

The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği is legally protected under the law of “Conservation of Cultural and Natural properties” No. 2863. Within this legislation, it was registered as a “monumental building” by the Conservation Council of Kayseri in 1989. Furthermore, a conservation zone around the property was established to control the potential development nearby. Through the provisions of the law No. 2863, the “Committee of Monumental Building, Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği” was formed to assist and guide the conservation works.

The property has a management system dealing with the protection and preservation of the attributes which addresses the threats and vulnerabilities of the property. The property has undergone a program of building and structural surveying which is an in-depth investigation and assessment of the construction and condition of the building. The resulting report of analysis has provided extensive information including possible structural problems, load capacities and soil analysis, and identified items in need of attention or repair. The data obtained here will be used for the preparation of the reinforcement and restoration project of the building and for its maintenance on a regular basis.

Long Description

The Divriği mosque is an outstanding example of Selçuk mosques in Anatolia, having neither a courtyard, colonnades, nor an uncovered ablutions basin, but which (owing perhaps to the harshness of the climate) organizes all religious functions in an enclosed area. A charitable foundation, the contiguous hospital makes an already exceptional ensemble even more interesting thanks to a princely command.

Far away from the major communication links at the south-east of Sivas province in eastern Anatolia, the mountainous region of Divriği (Tephrike in the Byzantine Empire) was a 12th-century refuge for the Paulician Christian sect which was persecuted by Basil I and then by John Tzimisces, who exiled their survivors to Thrace. From there the heresy gradually moved westward, gaining followers of varying degrees of loyalty such as the Bogarmils or Cathars.

After 1071, Divriği fell to the Turks. In 1118 the city was given to Mengücek Bey and the dynasty of the Mengücekids governed the province virtually without interruption until the Mongol occupation in 1277.

The rectangular ensemble of buildings, which occupies the south-west slope of the hill from which Divriği Castle rises, dates back to this first Turkish period. There is a mosque which was founded in 1228-29 by the Mengücekid emir, Ahmet Shah, and a marestan (hospital for the insane) endowed by his wife, Malikaturan Malik. These two complementary monuments were built simultaneously by the same architect, Khurramshad of Ahlat.

The sole prayer room in the great mosque has five aisles, each consisting of five bays. It has stone vaulting and above are two cupolas of unequal size. One is above the ablutions basin and the other is above the mihrab (prayer niche). The second cupola is the principal one, recognizable from the exterior by its hexagonal spire.

With its ribwork on pendentives, it is the most refined piece of architecture that the mosque has to offer. Yet each of the 16 remaining vaults is an amazing technical feat: the vaulting of the hospital room is comparable in scientific achievement, making use of a spacious design of perfectly pure lines. The principal nave opens towards the east on an iwan (three-sided, vaulted hall open at one end) and laterally on to two iwans flanked by small rooms. Such a layout makes possible isolation as well as contact in a communal area.

From the outside, the Divriği ensemble provides a gripping contrast between the low, blind walls of its rectangular enclosure and the three immense gates which afford access to the hospital at the west and to the mosque at the north and west. These three high, recessed gates with their exuberant decor which is both floral and geometric have been the subject of the most paradoxical of comparisons with Khmer and Gothic monuments. As was the case with the vaulting in the mosque and the hospital, the architect most likely drew his inspiration from contemporary Armenian or Georgian motifs, transposing them in an ingenious fashion.

There is a fourth and more recent opening at the east side which can probably be traced back to 1241.

Source: UNESCO/CLT/WHC