When you look to the west over Ayasuluk hill, you face the view of Isa Bey Mosque. The mosque was erected in 1375 by Isa Bey, the son of Mehmet Bey from the Aydinogullari dynasty, a dynasty of the Seljuks. One-third of the structure is the covered part of the mosque, and two-thirds of it is the courtyard, all of which were built on a plot 57 m. long by 51 m. wide.
You can enter the inner courtyard, the cupola of which was destroyed, through the western gate. You can go into the real mosque building through a portal with three arches. (Isa Bey Mosque is also optionally a part of tours of Best Ephesus Tours).
Two of the cupolas on the black granite pillars and arches are ornamented with milk-white and dark blue porcelain tiles. As in all the other structures of this kind in the area, the material used in this building was brought from Ephesus. The granite columns and their capitals were transported from the Harbour Baths. One of the minarets still stands.
The Facade of the Mosque
The Mosque which was built by the son of Mushmish from Damascus is one of the most beautiful examples of Islamic architecture. The actual facade is the side where its minaret stands. The windows and the door are embellished with rich ornamentation. In the earlier building, there were wooden arches upholding the two sides of the domes.
History of the Mosque and Architectural Features
Turks captured the region surrounding Ephesus around the 1300s and founded a beylicate in the extremity, called Aydinogullari Beylicate. The mosque was constructed by Isa Bey, one of these beys, on the feet of Ayasuluk hill in 1375. It is the first type of mosque in Anatolia known to have a courtyard and “transcept” (the sections located on the sides with respect to the altar on the plan, showing the side of the altar wider).
The stalactites with designs in Rumi style and other stone carved Seljuk style decorations with geometric designs on the monumental gate and the windows are very beautiful. The tiled-mosaic decorations embellishing the interior of the Southern dome are also very interesting.
Columns and headings used in the building were brought from Ephesus ruins. Today a ruin of a bath is visible next to Isa Bey Mosque.
Isa Bey Mosque in Ephesus 2022 by Best Ephesus Tours
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