Mini Travel Articles
by Vasil Kadifeli

Yivli Minaret, Landmark of Antalya city

Yivli Minaret has been the logo of Antalya city and Turkish tourism for many years

If you ever go to Antalya, within the historic city walls of the city you will see a minaret not of the usual kind, as it is a brick minaret decorated with dark blue mosaics and has the look of eight flutes melted together into one. It is thus called Yivli Minare or Fluted Minaret and it has been the symbol of Antalya city for many years and also a logo of Turkish tourism as its photo has been for long years on posters advertising Turkey abroad. This is also because the minaret is in the very center of the old city and can be seen almost from everywhere.

Yivli The original mosque, Yivli Minare Mosque or Ulu Camii or Alaeddin Keykubat Camii mosque, is one of the first Islamic buildings in the city. The mosque was first built in 1230 but fully reconstructed in 1373. The minaret is 38 metres high, built on a square stone base, with eight fluted sections and has 90 steps to the top.

Yivli The first building (1230) was probably a Byzantine church converted into a mosque around 1225-7 by the Seljuks. The original mosque was destroyed in the 14th century and a new mosque with six domes was built in place which is one of the oldest examples of multi-dome construction in Anatolia. The building used to house the Museum of Archaeology between the years 1934 and 1969. Today it houses the Antalya Ethnographic Museum and contains clothing, kitchen utensils, embroidery, tapestries and looms, socks, sacks, kilims, ornaments, and nomadic tents. It was opened to the public in 1974.

Yivli The brick minaret is located to the east of the mosque, about four and a half meters away from its southeast corner. In 1953 was restored and stabilized further in 1973. It stands on a stone base that is six and a half meters tall. Blue glazed tiles woven into every other row of the brick shaft create an illusion of stripes traveling up the flutes. The minaret ends with a simple cylindrical turret above the balcony and is capped with a lead-covered conical cap.

The mosque itself has a roughly rectangular plan elongated on the east-west axis. It measures about fourteen meters by eight meters on the exterior and is entered from two arched portals facing east and north. Inside, the prayer hall is composed of two rows of three domed bays.

Yivli The domes rest on a series of double archways and the exterior walls with a transition zone of triangles. Of the twelve columns inside the hall, a few are fitted with classical capitals. The irregularity of the plan is caused by the blind eastern wall, which is about twice as thick as the other walls and meets them at a slight angle. The narrow space between the arcade and the eastern wall is covered with a transverse barrel vault. The mihrab, which is placed off center on the southern wall, is also set at an angle of about thirty degrees. Seven windows of various sixes illuminate the interior. The walls of the mosque are white-washed on the exterior and its domes are covered with red brick tiles. This last photo is from a model at the Miniatürk Park in Istanbul.

February 25, 2009