Mustafa Pasha Mosque – Mustafa Paşa Camii – Мустафа Пашина Џамија
This mosque built in 1492 in honor of Mustafa Pasha, vizier (minister) for the sultans during the period Macedonia was part of the Ottoman Empire. The marble plaque above the entrance not only indicates (in Arabic) the year the mosque was built but also informs the traveler that the mosque was built upon the foundation of a medieval church.1 A very common practice throughout the history of Macedonia, as some early Christian Basilicas, and later some churches and monasteries were also built upon the foundation of pagan temples. The mosque did suffer some damage from the big earthquake of 1963, was restored and recently underwent a preservation/restoration effort that was completed in 2011.
The mosque features early Constantinople architecture. The monumental dome that covers the mosque is 16.3 meters (53 ½ feet) in diameter. The height of the minaret, made from limestone, is 47 meters (154 feet). The entrance to the mosque, on the north side, façade and columns, is built from white marble and is covered with three small domes. The mosque complex also includes the tomb of Mustafa Pasha located near the north wall of the mosque, the stone sarcophagus of his daughter Umi, other tombs, a water fountain, and roses.
Inside the mosque there is a large area for praying. The interior of the mosque is richly decorated in colorful arabesques. Upon entering the mosque you are welcomed by the large prayer space. In the south-eastern corner (closest part to Mecca and the direction of the Kaaba) is the mihrab (semicircular prayer niche) from which mullah reads the Koran.
The mosque is located in the center of Skopje, just above the Starа Čarsija (Old Bazaar) a short walk from the Old Stone Bridge and just below the Skopje Fortress. This part of Skopje is rich in Turkish heritage and architecture and within walking distance of the Mustafa Pasha Mosque you can visit the , Čifte Amam, Kuršumli An (Kurshumli An), Kapan An, Suli An, Murat Pasha Mosque, Sultan Murat Mosque, Isa Bey Mosque, Aras Mosque (Араста Џамија) and the Starа Čarsija (Old Bazaar).
Interior of the Mosque
Entrance to the Mosque