Bulgaria: Ottoman mosque to undergo restoration

After years of patched-up conservational work, Ески джамия (Eski mosque) in Stara Zagora may be a subject to thorough restoration, Maria Neikova, the regional governor, has said, as quoted by weekly Stroitelstvo Gradut. Neikova has said that Culture Minister Stefan Danailov has personally promised to finance the initiative.

Eski mosque is the only cultural monument left from the time of the Ottoman rule in Stara Zagora that remains almost entirely preserved. A constructional sign indicates that it had been built in 1408. Partial restorations had been done during the 19th century, as well as in the 1960s.

Archaeological research done between 2000 and 2006 revealed that at earlier times, underneath the mosque's foundation there had been a church and a necropolis. The church appeared to be a medieval basilica, which was situated exactly where the mosque's praying room was.

The research also showed that at the time the mosque was erected, the basilica had been already in ruins, but the mosque's construction plan follows the one of the church.

Conservation work could begin by the end of this year and the secured state funds are more than two million leva.

Source: Sophia Echo (English)

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