Banya Bashi Mosque

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Banya Bashi MosqueBanya Bashi Mosque /Banya Bashi Dzhamiya/ is the last surviving mosque in Sofia. The edifice consists of a large dome and an elegant minaret and takes its name from the neighbouring Central Baths.

Banya Bashi literally means ‘many baths’. The mosque was designed in 1576 by Hadji Mimar Sinan, who also built the Sultan Selim Mosque at Edirne and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul in Turkey.

The inside is decorated with fine calligraphy, citing texts from the Koran – as the portrayal of human figures is banned in Islāmic art.

The mosque fell into disuse during communist rule but now it is once again open for worship and you can hear the loudspeakers on the minaret calling the Muslims in the city to pray five times a day.

The Banya Bashi Mosque is not officially open as a tourist attraction but visitors are welcome outside prayer times, including women, if modestly dressed.

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