The broken minaret in Antalya is an important part of the city’s strange charming mix of new and old, lying side by side with each other. In the old town of Kaleici there are unbelievable many old buildings and signs of other times under Greek, Roman, Seldjuk and Ottoman rule. Korkut camii, which the broken minaret is originally named, is no exception and the place represents if anything, Antalya’s omnipotent life.
It is not all tourists who passes or even knows the history and significance of the broken minaret. But it’s really a shame. Few places in the city have had a more changeable life than this place. The old mosque is also well kept in the middle of the old town and suddenly appears when you turn around the corner.
Although I have been a lot in the city, I haven’t always been aware of the mosque and the broken minaret. And it’s quite quick just to jump by unless you go the right way in the narrow streets.
An amputated, broken minaret
It is limited, what you can see as the entire building is blocked by a large fence. It might be a little too liberal to call it a “building”. Basically speaking, the building consists of a lot of ruins in a very bad condition. And with the broken minaret loyally standing next to it.
When you’re used to looking at minarets, it’s a little bit fun to see, that the top or the hat is missing. It looks a bit amputated.
You can easily see the buildings through the fence – and get an impression of the once beautiful buildings. And in these years you can even be lucky and follow the restoration. Even though they did a half-hearted attempt in 1975, they have never really excavated or restored these buildings. But they started this summer. So if you come to Antalya, you can follow from the fence until 2020, after which the site should be open to the public. Hopefully it will then be possible to see and learn more of the important building. I’m looking forward to it, I can tell you.
Temple, church and mosque in one
As mentioned above, Antalya and its surroundings have had a very tumultuous existence. And it also applies to the mosque, which has previously been a church and temple of several laps. Originally, the building was built as a temple in the 2nd century AD devoted to the underworld’s god Sarapis.
In the 7th century, the place was converted into a Byzantine church (and was called the Panaglia Church) in honor of the Virgin Mary. But it was shortly destroyed during the Arab invasion. In the 9th century the church was restored and rebuilt. The minaret came to in the early 13th. century, when the Seldjuks took over and converted the church into a mosque.
Once again in 1361 the mosque changed hands again and once again became a church, when the Cypriot king Peter the 1. captured Antalya. In 1423 Antalya joined the Ottoman Empire. That meant, that when Sultan Beyazit the 2.’s son, Sehzade Korkut, became Governor of Antalya, the church became a mosque. It has since been called for Korkut Camii.
Use a card to the broken minaret
In 1896 a large fire occurred in the main building, which unfortunately destroyed most of the building also the upper part of the minaret, which was built of wood. Since then, the mosque has been allowed to decay, but will now be restored for the next 2 years.
If you want to find the mosque, the easiest way is to look up a map, as the streets are very narrow and hard to find. And it’s definitely on foot as much of the old city is closed to traffic. For example, if you are at Hadrian’s gate, you are only about 400 meters from the broken minaret. You have to go straight to Hesapci Sokak at the gate, then you end up at the minaret.
There are several ok dining places around the corner if the whole experience has made you hungry.
See this article in Danish/ Læs artiklen på dansk her