Many Ottoman architectural works in Bulgaria, a country which had been ruled by the Ottoman Empire for five centuries, have been neglected and left to decay. One of them is the Namazgah, an open-air praying area, which is one of the few Ottoman buildings remaining in the center of Sofia.
Having been ruled by Ottomans for so long, Sofia unfortunately lost its unique historical architectural background and identity due to ideologically motivated steps taken to erase Ottoman remnants in the city. The Namazgah, which is thought to have been built in the era of Sultan Mehmet Fatih, is no longer used as a mosque. Today the Namazgah is far away from its past solemnity and is over-towered by tall modern buildings in a market.
It had a symbolic meaning for the Ottoman army. Ottoman troops prayed in this Namazgah before they launched military action for further conquests in the Balkans. The district where the Namazgah still stands was known as Kurubağlar in the Ottoman times and it was not significant only for military purposes but it was also important for the public as well. Before going to Mecca for pilgrimage, Muslims in Sofia prayed in this historical place. Although the pulpit as destroyed, the shrine survived to this day.
The Namazgah was known by the name of the Rome Wall or The Old Wall. The Mufti of the Muslims in Bulgaria has worked to restore the building as a Namazgah once again. However, the calls supporting the Mufti’s cause has fallen on deaf ears.
Kuzey News AgencyLast Mod: 19 Eylül 2013, 14:38