Dating from 1523, it was constructed to commemorate Suleiman’s conquest of the island and was rebuilt in 1828 on its original foundations. When we visited in June 2005, it had just undergone a further revamping. Many of the Old Town’s churches were converted into mosques following the Ottoman invasion, with bell towers being reconstructed as minarets and any interior images of animals or humans being painted over in line with Islamic tradition. The Mosque of Suleiman is just across the road from the Turkish Library, a fine building nestled behind wooden doors and a serene courtyard.
Halfway down Socratous to the right is the orange-and-pink-coloured Mosque of Aga, situated at an angle to the street and constructed predominantly of wood. It appears to be in fine condition, although, like all the mosques within the Old Town, it is only open for prayers and not to the general public. Turn right to the side of this mosque and wind through the back streets for 5 minutes to arrive at the Mosque of Soultain Mustafa, situated on Plateia Arionos.
This is an impressive structure dating from 1765, although the guidebooks give it scant mention. It is well tucked away, although the tranquillity is somewhat spoilt by the locals racing their motorbikes along the adjacent streets. Peering through the front entrance, I could see ornate ceilings and complex columns. Immediately opposite the mosque is the hamam, or Turkish bath, which has undergone extensive renovation and is very much in use today. Entrance fee is a paltry 50 cents, but you must take your own towel.
The last mosque we visited was the Mosque of Ibrahaim, found on Plateia Platonas, about a 2-minute walk south from Socratous. It dates from 1531 and is the oldest Turkish building in the Old Town. It suffered extensive damage in WWII, but was sympathetically repaired by the Italians, who added a new minaret.
Other notable Turkish buildings within the Old Town are the Turkish School on Panetiou, close to Plateia Kleoboulou, and the nearby Turkish Mansion in Menandrou. There are of course several other mosques, but these mentioned here will give you a good flavour and are certainly amongst the best preserved.
by GB from Devizes
Devizes, United Kingdom
July 26, 2005
From journal Rhodes Old Town - The Knights' Architectural Masterpiece