Et'hem Bey Mosque

Tirana, Albania

The Et'hem Bey Mosque construction was started in 1791 or 1794 by Molla Bey and it was finished in 1819 or 1821 by his son Haxhi Ethem Bey, grand-grandson of Sulejman Pasha.

At the time it was built it was part of complex buildings that compose the historical center of Tirana. In front of mosque was the old Bazaar, in east the Sulejman Pasha Mosque, which was built on 1614 and destroyed during World War II, and in the north-west the Karapici mosque.

During the totalitarianism of the Socialist People's Republic of Albania, the mosque was closed. On January 18, 1991, despite opposition from communist authorities, 10,000 people entered carrying flags. This was at the onset of the fall of communism in Albania. The event was a milestone in the rebirth of religious freedom in Albania.

The Mosque today, constitutes of an architectural complex together with the Clock Tower of Tirana. Tours of the mosque are given daily, though not during prayer service. Visitors must take their shoes off before entering the inner room.

The Mosque is composed by prayer hall, a portico that surrounds its north and the minaret. On the north side is the entrance to the prayer hall, which is a squared plan and is constructed in a unique volume. It is covered with dome and the dome is semi-spherical and has no windows. The frescoes of the mosque depict trees, waterfalls and bridges; still life paintings are a rarity in Islamic art.

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    Tirana, Albania
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    Founded: 1791
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    en.wikipedia.org

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    User Reviews

    ardit Caushi (7 months ago)
    A unique mosque situated in the very heart of Tirana. The mosque, the Clock Tower, National Museum and National Theatre of Opera and Ballet from the surrounds to the famous Skanderbeg Square. Et’hem Bey Mosque was founded at the end of 18th century by Mulla Bey, with the shrine finished by his son Haxhi Et’hem Bey in the first quarter of the following century. The mosque was one of the few to be spared the destruction during which churches, mosques, tekkes, monasteries and other religious institutions were either closed or pulled down, or converted into warehouses, gymnasiums or workshops by the end of 1967. On 18thJanuary, 1991, despite opposition from the communist authorities, 10,000 people entered carrying flags. This was at the onset of the fall of communism in Albania. The event was a milestone in the rebirth of religious freedom in the country. Visitors can see the wonderful architecture of the mosque and its exquisite decorations of wall and ceiling paintings from oriental traditions. The frescoes of the mosque depict trees, waterfalls and bridges, still life paintings that are a rarity in Islamic art.
    Lorend Baruti (8 months ago)
    Most historic mosque of Albania.
    Lazarus Lyman (8 months ago)
    This mosque, built by Ottoman Turks in the 1790s, contains lovely frescoes that look uniquely Albanian. Many of its panels consist of feathery representations of items like minaret tops, purses or pouches. Others depict buildings, some looking like small cities; some like resorts with blowing palm trees. Other frescoes show nature scenes: forests, cataracts and watercourses. I’ve never seen frescoes like these in other mosques. Entrance requires no headscarf, but does require covered shoulders and legs. Respect the ceremonies being conducted in this very busy mosque.
    Petr Sobíšek (12 months ago)
    The oldest mosque in the city and the only one that survived the communist regime. As a visitor you can enter, see the interior and take pictures (I asked first) without any problems. You just have to take off your shoes and women have to cover their heads (a scarf is for rent for free).
    Erald Halili (13 months ago)
    The Et'hem Bey Mosque is an 18th-century mosque located in the center of Tirana. The Mosque most noted feature being its 35 meter tall spire which contains a spiral staircase to the top. The tower was for many decades the tallest building in Albania’s capital, and it is considered by many to be the most beautiful mosque in the country too. Closed under communist rule, the mosque reopened as a house of worship in 1991, without permission from the authorities.
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