Facts and Data
Unesco World heritage since: 1985
Size of heritage: 2,016 ha
This region of Anatolia was conquered by the Turks at the beginning of the 11th century. In 1228–29 Emir Ahmet Shah founded a mosque, with its adjoining hospital, at Divrigi. The mosque has a single prayer room and is crowned by two cupolas. The highly sophisticated technique of vault construction, and a creative, exuberant type of decorative sculpture – particularly on the three doorways, in contrast to the unadorned walls of the interior – are the unique features of this masterpiece of Islamic architecture.
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Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği
The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği, located in the city and district of Divriği in the Province of Sivas, Eastern Anatolia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site renowned for its exceptional architectural and artistic value. This complex, built in the 13th century, represents a remarkable example of the Anatolian Seljuk architectural style and stands as a testament to the region's rich cultural heritage.
The construction of the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği was commissioned by Ahmet Shah, the ruler of the Mengujekids, a local dynasty, and his wife Melike Turan. The construction began in 1228 and was completed in 1243. The complex was intended to serve both religious and medical purposes, with the mosque providing a place of worship and the hospital offering medical care to the local community.
The mosque and hospital complex was designed by the renowned architect Hürremshah, who incorporated various architectural elements from different cultures, resulting in a unique blend of Seljuk, Armenian, and Byzantine influences. The intricate stone carvings, decorative motifs, and exquisite craftsmanship found throughout the complex are a testament to the exceptional skills of the artisans involved in its construction.
The Great Mosque of Divriği is the centerpiece of the complex and is considered one of the most significant examples of Islamic architecture in Anatolia. The mosque features a rectangular plan with a central dome supported by four massive piers. The exterior of the mosque is adorned with intricate stone carvings depicting geometric patterns, floral motifs, and calligraphic inscriptions, showcasing the artistic mastery of the craftsmen.
The adjacent hospital, known as Darüşşifa, is a two-story building with separate sections for men and women. It consists of various rooms, including examination rooms, a pharmacy, and a prayer hall. The hospital's architectural design reflects the importance placed on providing a peaceful and healing environment for patients.
The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği have undergone several restoration projects to preserve their architectural integrity and ensure their longevity. The most recent restoration efforts, carried out between 1986 and 1988, focused on stabilizing the structures, repairing damaged areas, and conserving the intricate stone carvings.
Today, the Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği continue to be active places of worship and attract visitors from around the world who come to admire their architectural beauty and historical significance. The site's inclusion on the UNESCO World Heritage list in 1985 has helped raise awareness about its cultural importance and has contributed to the preservation and promotion of this exceptional heritage site.
The Great Mosque and Hospital of Divriği stand as a testament to the rich architectural and cultural heritage of the Anatolian Seljuks. Their exceptional beauty and historical significance make them a must-visit destination for anyone interested in exploring the diverse cultural heritage of Turkey.
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Medium airport - 65 mi (105 km) Sivas Airport
Medium airport - 72 mi (116 km) Erzincan Airport
Medium airport - 78 mi (127 km) Elazığ Airport
Medium airport - 82 mi (133 km) Tokat Airport
Medium airport - 113 mi (183 km) Adıyaman Airport
Medium airport - 115 mi (186 km) Şanlıurfa GAP Airport
Medium airport - 140 mi (225 km) Kahramanmaraş Airport
Medium airport - 142 mi (229 km) Trabzon International Airport
Large airport - 142 mi (230 km) Erzurum International Airport
Large airport - 167 mi (269 km) Gaziantep International Airport
Large airport - 171 mi (276 km) Nevşehir Kapadokya International Airport
Large airport - 197 mi (317 km) Aleppo International Airport
Large airport - 226 mi (364 km)
Bigger and popular cities in the wider vicinity are these:
These are some smaller cities that might be interesting. They are all rather close.