In Bulgaria’s historical city Filibe (Plovdiv), a former Mevlevihane (a lodge for whirling dervishes), has undergone a drastic change. This 18th century building which was once filled with the followers of the Mevleviyye Sufi order, which is associated with the medieval Muslim mystic Mevlana Jalaluddin Rumi is now being used as a restaurant.
The former Mevlevihane, known as Pıldin, is located in the Üçtepe district of the city, which is dominated by Ottoman architecture. Although it has lost its previous function as a religious institution, the building’s architectural characteristics have been preserved till this day.
The Pildin Mevlevihane was built on bulwarks and dates back to the Byzantium times and was turned into a madrasa, a religious education center, following the Ottoman conquest. The historical building contains 8 parts including a living space for dervishes and lodges for whirling ceremonies Baroque decorations attract the attention of visitors, particularly in the lodges and the entrance. The Walls of the large hall, which is surrounded by wooden columns, are decorated by verses from the Quran. On the ceiling there is a picture of the sun.
The minaret of the Mevlevihane was destroyed following the earthquake that occurred in 1928. In 1974 the Mevlevihane was closed and a restaurant was opened instead. Since the building belongs to an Islamic foundation, Muslims in Filibe brought the case to court and are currently waiting for the final decision regarding its ownership.
Kuzey News Agency