Gazi Suleiman Pasha Mosque (Little Hagia Sophia Church)





Name Gazi Suleiman Pasha Mosque (Little Hagia Sophia Church)
Location Kale neighbourhood – Vize/Kirklareli
Dates form 6th century AD
Chronology Antiquity - Roman Empire - Byzantine - Ottoman Empire - Republic
History and description

The building is located in Kale neighbourhood between the inner and outer walls and is built as a basilica (with galleries with side entrances) upon the foundations of the Temple of Dionysus from Emperor Justinian I times in 6th century BC. The walls of the building are built of stone and brick, and the roof of wood and has three axes. Its original wooden roof was replaced in the 13th centuries by a high dome.
After 1453 the church was turned into a mosque by Hadim (Eunuch) Suleiman Pasha.It was restored and opened for prayers in 2007.

Interesting facts

Do you know …
… it is believed that it was a main church during the Roman - Byzantine bishopric.
... It has plans with features rarely found in Byzantine architecture, as a basilica in the bottom and covered Greek cross at the top.
… It has similar features to Hagia Irene in the Peloponnese peninsula in Greece and Istanbul.
… The closest example to the characteristics of metropolitan architecture of the Byzantine Empire.
… It was Armenian Church, where the study of the sect of Arius was taught.
... Another feature of the building is its place in the history of the important for Christianity Saint Mary. Mary was the daughter of Armenian aristocrat and lived in 9-10 century has received popularity in a strange way and has grown to the point of a saint. Maria's husband is the commander of the fleet Wiese Nikofor. It is said that during the campaign against the Bulgarian Tsar Simeon in 894-896 year, Nikofor was the commander of Vize and while he was at war Maria has experienced a long relationship with the servant of the house. After her death in 902-903 years, she was buried in the episcopal Church in Vize. Subsequently, the tomb of Mary was the cause of a number of miracles, in one of which Mary appeared in a dream to her husband and asked him to build a special chapel (tomb). At this point, Mary was declared a saint, and because of that a special chapel was built and her grave was moved to it.

Cultural status Registered as immovable cultural heritage. The only church in the Thracian part of Turkey 2-ply one converted into a mosque.
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