Gazi Isa Bey Mosque

The Isa Bey’s Mosque stands north of the Sultan Murat Mosque and, according to the inscription in stone which stands above the entrance, it was built in H.880/M.1475-76 by Isa Bey, the third border-area voyvode, son of Ishak Bey. The inscription states that the mosque was built after the death of its patron, in accordance with his last will and decree. The mosque is a fine example of the building technique with stone and brick known as “encandre”. The mosque is a massive edifice with two identical rooms below the dome, two vaulted lateral wings (two elongated domes on the east and west sides in the extended part) and a covered porch with five domes. The two large domes give the mosque an impressive appearance.

It is difficult to speak of its decoration prior to 1966 on the basis of black and white photographs, nor is it possible to discuss the materials used, techniques and colours. Therefore we will refer only to the decorations made in 1966. Depictions of landscapes are painted in rectangular fields on both sides of the window openings above the entrance to the mosque. They can also be seen between the windows in the second row of the porch. However, these paintings have been severely damaged.

The landscapes painted above the portal were restored in 1963 and probably depict ‘Scenes from Istanbul.’ A single-dome mosque and a profane structure (house) are depicted in the rectangular field on the right side. Lodgings for overnight stay, a mosque and a house are painted in the rectangular field on the left side.

The surface of the arches in the interior is lavishly decorated with three rows of bands filled with floral motifs. The rings at the bottom of the dome and the arch vault are decorated with chevron (also known as baklava) motifs. In the harim (main central area for prayers), at the bottom of the two domes, floral motifs are painted in the band filled with decorative u-shaped elements. In the crowns of both domes there is a ten-pointed star with a five-pointed star inside it, which are framed with two rows of bands filed with floral motifs. The decoration is made with blue, green and grey oil paints, with small quantities of the red and yellow.

There are no concrete indications as to the original wall decoration and its master painter. The present-day decoration was made at the time of the renovation of the mosque, in 1966.

Bibliography:
Elezovich G., Turski Spomenici u Skopju XXX, Glasnik Skopskog Nau~nog Dru{tva, kn. 7-8, broj 3-4, Skopje 1930, 167-168.
Ayverdi E.H., Avrupa’da osmanlı Mimari eserleri – Yugoslavya, iii. cild, 3.Kitab, İstanbul 1981, 254.
Kumbaradzi-Bogoevich, Osmanliski Spomenici vo Skopje, Skopje 1998.
Özer M., Üsküp’te türk Mimarisi (XiV-XiX y.y), Ataturk Kültür dil ve tarih Yüksek Kurumu, Ankara 2006.
Pavlov Z., Gazi isa Bey mosque , Ottoman Monuments, Cultural heritage protection office, Skopje, 2009, 68-71.

 


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