Ottoman Monuments in Skopje
Kumbaracı-Bogoyeviç, Lidiya. Üsküp'te Osmanlı Mimarî Eserleri. Suat Engüllü (tr.). Istanbul: Mas Matbaacılık, 2008, 467pp.


Ottoman Monuments in Skopje

Üsküp'te Osmanlı Mimarî Eserleri

Osmanliski Spomenici vo Skopje, written by Lidiya Kumbaracı-Bogoyeviç and translated into Turkish as Üsküp’te Osmanlı Mimarî Eserleri by Suat Engüllü, is a limited edition, published in1998 by the Macedonian Islamic Community Association, Department of Science and Islamic Art. In the same year, this work won the “November 13 Skopje City Award” in the category of best work presented in the field of science. 

The book is the outcome of extensive research on numerous resources from literature and written documents to archive files and contains rich visual materials. The geographical location of Skopje enabled the city to embrace diverse civilisations throughout its history. This influenced the cultural structure and hence the architecture of the city. The invasion of Skopje by the Ottoman Empire in the year 1392 on the other hand, initiated Islamic Civilisation’s influence on the city’s architecture. This work elaborates on the impact of Islamic civilisation on Skopje’s architecture. 

The study introduces religious monuments such as mosques: namely, existing mosques, ruins of mosques and mosques that no longer exist. The tombs outside cemeteries of the mosques, the still existing Rufai and Baba Dervish Lodges, and other dervish lodges which did not survive are also presented. 

The non-religious monuments in the city are explained according to their economic, communal, educational and administrative functions, under the rubric of civic architecture. This section portrays bazaars, covered bazaars (bedestan), roadhouses and caravanserais. This section also includes existing roadhouses as well as ruins of, and vanished roadhouses. Another section with the title “social monuments” presents baths: extant baths, ruins of baths and baths no longer in existence are introduced together with information on aqueducts, fountains and bridges.

Administrative monuments such as post offices and the government buildings are also described and information on educational buildings and domestic housing is provided. The city plans of Skopje are included as well. 

The city of Skopje, which reflected the characteristics of Roman Civilisation and the culture of the middle ages, acquired a new face and a culturally diverse identity following the Ottoman conquest. Such cultural wealth reverberated on the architectural structure of the city. Üsküp’te Osmanlı Mimarî Eserleri occupies a significant space within the Ottoman Cultural History and is a very valuable source for understanding the influence of Muslim Civilisation on the architecture of Skopje. The work is worthy of attention with its abundance of visual materials and coverage of an extended period of time. However, information on some of the monuments is compiled on the basis of assumptions due to the lack of written documents.

Ruken Alp
Alp, Ruken. “English abstract of 'Ottoman Monuments in Skopje'". Translated by Ruken Alp. In Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Scholarship from Muslim Contexts, 1875 to 2011, by Aptin Khanbaghi, 150. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 2014.
Muslim Civilisations Abstracts - The Aga Khan University
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