The Çelebi Sultan Mehmed Mosque is located in the central square of Didymoteichon, a village in Greece, close to the Turkish border. Its construction began in 1420 with the order of Ottoman Sultan Mehmed I (1413-1421) to Architect Ivaz Pasa. The mosque is named Bayezid Camii in the Greek archives, a name also found in the travel descriptions of Evliya Çelebi in the seventeenth century.
The mosque is oriented twenty-seven degrees to the east of south. It consists of a square prayer hall and a single minaret. A hipped roof, supported by the walls and four square-piers, covers the prayer hall. The dimensions of the prayer hall are about thirty by thirty-two meters, including the walls. The thickness of the walls varies between 2.2 and 2.7m.
Accessed by a set of stairs, the main entrance is placed at the center of the northern façade. Its niche is roofed by a semi-dome with fourteen ribs. Red and white stones form the arch that crowns the original wooden door. There is an inscriptive plaque composed in thuluth and kufic style Arabic, announcing the year of construction. A second plaque is placed above the southern entrance and gives the date of completion, 1421.
The main body of the mosque is constructed of cut stone. The wooden roof was initially covered with lead. Inside, painted Quranic inscriptions decorate the walls and the piers of the prayer hall.
Çelebi Sultan Mehmed Mosque is considered to be incomplete by some scholars, who, based on the substructure and plan typology, have proposed that the original plan must have had a central dome and a portico. This might be correct, considering that the Green Mosque in Bursa -- another mosque built by Ivaz Pasa under Mehmet I -- was also left incomplete with the Sultan's death in 1421.
Under the second Turkish possession of Didymoteichon in early twentieth century, a second smaller balcony was added to the main body of the minaret. In 1981, the periphery of the mosque was cleared from adjacent buildings and structures and a precinct wall was built. An open-air coffeehouse operates in the place of the absent portico.
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[Accessed Date October 28, 2004]