The Banya Bashi Mosque (literally "many baths") was built over natural thermal spas and named after the neighbouring Central Baths.
The mosque was completed in 1576 and is therefore one of the oldest in Europe, as well as the last functioning mosque in Sofia. During Communist rule it was closed.
The Banya Bashi Mosque can be found at the busy street bul. Knyaginya Maria Luiza, just next to the Tsum Shopping Mall and opposite of the Central Market Hall (Tsentralni Hali).
Address: Banya Bashi Mosque, bul. Knyaginya Maria Luiza, Sofia
Banja Basi Mosque was built in 1576 during the ottoman period so no surprise it’s located opposite the Sofia Mineral Public Baths.
It’s the only religious place for muslims in Sofia. We didn’t go inside but we liked the red minaret and the general honey color of this beautifully designed building. Rumors say (many guide books too) that the famous ottoman architecture Mimar Sinan that built Suleymaniye mosque in Istanbul built this one too. Of course there’s no comparison with the impressive mosque in Istanbul.
It is a typical monument of Ottoman architecture which adds colour to the Sofia city centre which took its name from the neighbouring Tsentralnata Banya (Central Baths) – Banya Bashi means ‘a lot of baths’.
Once there were 70 mosques in Sofia but today the Banya Bashi Dzhamiya is the only one still functioning. It was designed in 1576, by the greatest of all Ottoman architects, Mimar Sinan, who also built the Sultan Selim Mosque in Edirne and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.
The inside is decorated with fine calligraphy, citing texts from the Koran, as the portrayal of human figures is banned in Islamic art. What is notable for the mosque is the domed ceiling, which was restored to its original design, after the fall of Communism. There are loudspeakers installed on the minaret calling the Muslim minority to prayer five times a day.
Have in mind that the mosque is not officially open as a tourist attraction but visitors are welcome outside prayer times, including women, if modestly dressed.
Daily 05.00 - 20.00 h.
Free of charge.
As long as you like if it does not coinside with prayer times.
This mosque is also called Kadi Sejfullah Effendi and is a remains of the Ottoman time. It dates back to 1576. Apparently, it’s open to visitors every day for a small fee and you need to take off your shoes. I didn’t actually see an open entrance. So you need to check for yourself.
this is the main mosque of Sofia, and whole Bulgaria...
this one was made during Ottoman rule
the muslims population of Bulgaria is the 12%... and, they are Turks and Pomaks (muslim Slavs with Bulgar ancestors)
the Bulgarians and the Pomaks has like ancestors the Bulgars (a nomad Turkic tribe of Central Asia)... but, their language and ethnic composition is mostly Slavic
The only mosque in Sofia, was built in 1576. Banya is the Bulgarian word for bath, and refers to the adjacent Baths that are currently being restored to their majestic splendor. Once restored, it will house the first City Museum dedicated to the history of Sofia.
The Banya Bashi Mosque is a functioning mosque, but it is still possible to go inside and admire the interior of this delightful mosque (but remember to take your shoes off at first and women must cover up!!!). The exterior is in fact nothing all that special, but the interior is absolutely spectacular. The midrab and the eastern wall are covered in aquamarine tiles, tiles with calligraphy and a large tile with an image of the Kaaba, the mosque in Mecca to which all Muslims must make the hajj or pilgrimage at least once in their lifetime. The ceiling of the mosque is also decorated with exquisite calligraphy. It is possible to photograph inside the mosque, although its always best to ask as there may be someone praying at the time you visit. There are also the ruins of a hammam next door, although there is precious little to see.
In the small park aside the Mosque there is a hot water spring. I saw people drinking that water, I just washed the strawberries I bought at the Ladies Market. Good place for a rest: there are toilets too
This is the only operating mosque in Sofia. It's called like that because next to it there are thermal springs, there are even taps where you can fill your containers with fresh mineral water for free.
The mosque was built in 1576 and was designed by the famous Turkish architect Mimar Sinan, I learnt wnen I went to Turkey and saw the Blue Mosque in Istanbul and the Sultan Selim one in Edirne, also built by him.
This is all that remains of 500 years of Ottoman domination.
The mosque was built in 1576, following the plans of Mimar Sinan, the greatest Ottoman architect.
It's near the Central Baths, thus the name Banya Bashi, which means 'a lot of baths.'
You can visit the mosque when there's no service in, and admire its fine caligraphy.
Opening hours: 5-20h
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