Thessaloniki’s Alkazar Mosque Set for Full Restoration
Thessaloniki’s Hamza Bey Mosque, also known as the Alkazar, is set to undergo a full restoration, according to a recent Culture Μinistry announcement.
Funded by the Recovery and Resilience Fund with 10.5 million euros, the project is part of a larger monument restoration program that aims to highlight Thessaloniki’s cultural evolution over the years but also contribute to the city’s economic development.
“The Hamza Bey Mosque is an emblematic local building that has seen many interventions, different phases and uses,” said Culture Minister Lina Mendoni, adding that after its restoration the building will be returned to the city fully functional, honoring its history and architectural significance.
Located at the intersection of Egnatia and Venizelou streets, the Hamza Bey Mosque is the oldest Islamic religious house in Thessaloniki.
It was built in 1467/1468 by the daughter of the military commander Hamza Bey and has been protected by archaeological law as a historical and archaeological monument since 1926.
The square prayer hall of the mosque has internal dimensions of 11.54 x 11.54 meters and a maximum height of 17 meters. It has a lead-covered hemispherical dome that rests on an octagonal drum.
Through the years the prayer hall construction saw the addition of apartments, parallel to the north-east and south-west side walls of the main mosque, the addition of a porch and the creation of an atrium.
In addition to the restoration of the Hamza Bey Mosque, the Culture Ministry is also currently implementing upgrade projects at numerous monuments in Thessaloniki, as well as financing studies for the documentation and maintenance of many Ottoman period buildings and sites like Alkazar.