A Display of Divine Architecture: The Sinan Pasha Mosque, Prizren
Prizren in southern Kosovo is, it can be argued, the spiritual centre of Balkan, and in the medieval streets can be found churches, mosques, the Helveti Teqe and, on the outskirts of the town, a medieval monastery. The skyline of Prizren is dominated by the Sinan Pasha Mosque, the building of which was begun around 1600 or 1608 on the orders of Sofi Sinan Pasha, and it has been considered that some of the masonry used to build the mosque were taken from the nearby fourteenth century Saint Archangels Monastery. The mosque was completed in 1615.
The mosque itself is a square building with a measurement of 46 ft x 46 ft, which reminded me of the divine measurement used in certain religious buildings, this mosque certainly having divine aesthetic and spiritual transcendence. The architecture of the dome, which produces a sense of harmonious space, adds to the overall aesthetic, the overall style being typical of the classic period of mosque building by the Ottomans, which took heavily from the Byzantine tradition, especially that of Hagia Sophia in Constantinople.
The inside walls and the dome were painted with Qur’an verses and floral motives in the 19th century, and there are also displays of geometrical images and hints of the spiritual essence of divine architecture. The mosque is a hidden gem of the Balkans, a piece of architecture that is an example of the spiritual essence of Prizren.
(For further reading on the use of the Golden Measurement in mosques, see K.BOUSSORA AND S.MAZOUZ –
‘The Use of the Golden Section in the Great Mosque at Kairouan’, Nexus Network Journal, Vol.6, No.1, (2004), pp.7-16.)