Banya Bashi Mosque, Sofia

4 out of 5 stars 19 Reviews

Maria Louiza Boulevard at Triyaditsa Str.

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  • Banya Bashi Mosque
    Banya Bashi Mosque
    by HORSCHECK
  • Banya Bashi Mosque
    Banya Bashi Mosque
    by HORSCHECK
  • Banya Bashi mosque
    Banya Bashi mosque
    by mindcrime
  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo

    Banya Bashi Mosque

    by HORSCHECK Updated Apr 7, 2013

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    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.

    Directions:
    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

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    Banya Bashi mosque

    by mindcrime Written Mar 24, 2012

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    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.

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    Banya Bashi Dzhamiya (Banya Bashi Mosque)

    by hekate Updated Apr 4, 2011

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    Banya Bashi Dzhamiya (Banya Bashi Mosque)

    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.

    Open:
    Daily 05.00 - 20.00 h.

    Price:
    Free of charge.

    Duration:
    As long as you like if it does not coinside with prayer times.

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    Mosque Banja Basi

    by yumyum Updated Nov 15, 2009

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    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.

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  • Bayan Bashi mosque

    by STARS_731 Written Oct 7, 2009

    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

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  • lifeisatrip's Profile Photo

    The only Mosque in town

    by lifeisatrip Updated Jun 12, 2009

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    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.

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    Tiled Glory

    by mikey_e Written Jul 4, 2007

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    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.

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    Hot water spring

    by matemix Written May 30, 2006

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    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

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  • ChristinaNest's Profile Photo

    Banya Bashi Mosque

    by ChristinaNest Written Apr 6, 2006

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    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.

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  • viddra's Profile Photo

    The Mosque

    by viddra Updated Jan 20, 2006

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    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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  • desert_princess's Profile Photo

    Mineral hot water Sping in the center of Sofia

    by desert_princess Updated Nov 11, 2005

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    Mineral water Sping in the center of Sofia

    Close to Banya Bashi Mosque are the newly relocated hot water springs of the Central Bath/Tzentralna Banya. The abundant hot waters of the Sofia Mineral spring are hiperthermic , with a temperature of 46,7 degrees celsius.Here during the first millenium B.C. was created the old thracian settlement of the serds - Serdika,conquered in 29 of the new era from the Romans, that ameliorated it and turned it into a big spa center. Around the spring are discovered remains of antique baths, temples, spa and healing facilities.
    Sofia cityzens know well the place and whenever possible pass to fill water,so if you need to stay in line,be patient the water us delicious and sweet tasting.

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    A sign on the entrance

    by desert_princess Updated Nov 3, 2005

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    The entrance greeting of the moschee
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    thanx to VT marimar_72 from Saudi Arabia for the interpretation of this text

    from top right corner it says:Allah(the name of God)in Arabic.
    on the top far left corner it says:Mohammad who is the Islam Messanger.
    inbetween these two words,written:Bism Allah AlRahman AlRaheem,,which means:
    In the name of Allah,the most Gracious,the most Merciful.
    then in the black background written what is translated by:
    {In houses(mosques)which Allah has orderd to be raised(to be cleaned,and
    honoured),in them His name will be mentioned .}
    I got this from the offical interpretation on the Noble Quran(our holy book)."
    thanx to VT marimar_72 4 the interpretation

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    an Operating Mosque in the center of Sofia

    by desert_princess Updated Sep 11, 2005

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    Banya Bashi Mosque at dusk
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    You can hear the Hodja singing from the minaret while passing by. I was surprised when I heard it first,but it reminded me of Morocco where I used to live for 5 years. So I don't have anything against it. Religion is a matter of personal choice.

    Banya Bashi at night
    The area is pretty safe to walk at night,but it was not always like this. In the past it was crowded with gipsies. Now it's more common to see a couple of homeless dogs and the security guards that have been put around to make sure everything is in order.

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    A Hammam

    by desert_princess Written Jun 1, 2005

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    A Hammam behind Banya Bashi Mosque
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    What I found more interesting by the Banya Bashi Mosque are the ruins of what used to be a Hammam / or public bath,"existed and survived several reconstruction phases at this place from 16th to the beginning of the 20th century" - It's what the sign standing nearby says.
    Hammam brought memories from Morocco aswell, a room with naked women , lots of steam and hot air....

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  • msocolin's Profile Photo

    The last functioning mosque

    by msocolin Written Mar 31, 2005
    Banya Bashi Dzhamiya (Banya Bashi Mosque)

    The Banya Bashi Mosque is the only mosque in Sofia that's still functioning. It was designed in 1576 by the same architects that built the Blue Mosque in Istanbul. The mosque is known as the "baths mosque" because of the turkish baths that are nearby. Everyday, five times a day you can hear the loudspeakers calling the muslims to prayer. People are allowed to visit the mosque outside prayer times.

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