Cultural Corridors of South East Europe

Heritage by Country / Turkey

The Haci Bayram Mosque and the Temple of Rome and Augustus

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The Haci Bayram Mosque and the Temple of Rome and Augustus

About the site

Corridor: Diagonal Road
Country: Turkey, Ankara
Type: Ancient Site, Islamic religious centre
Epoch: Middle Ages, Antiquity
Theme: Islamic Culture
World Heritage:
Middle AgesAntiquityIslamic CultureAncient SiteIslamic religious centre

Ancyra was a thriving Classical city, although hardly anything survives to indicate its importance and prosperity. The few remains that are visible and the best known of these remnants is without a doubt the so-called ‘Temple Augustus’, adjacent to the Haci Bayram Camii. It was built sometime before the death of Augustus in AD 14, and was probably originally dedicated to Roma and the Deified Julius Caesar.
It was originally constructed as a simple four-columned or tetrastyle temple, in the Ionic Order, and that at a later period, it was enclosed with a surrounding colonnade in the Corinthian Order, with eight columns at the front, thus becoming an octostyle pseudo-dipteral structure. At some unknown date, but after 395, when Christianity became the official religion of the Roman Empire, the temple was converted into a church, an apse and underground martyrium, for displaying relics, being added at the east end. It appears to have remained in use as a church until 806, when Ancyra fell to the Arabs, and its bronze doors were removed for display in Baghdad. Then, in the late 14th or early 15th century, when the Haci Bayram Camii was constructed, it was converted into a medrese, and apparently continued to function in this way until the 1920’s.
Haci Bayram Mosque was originally built in 1427/28, although it stands today shows the characteristics of late 17th century and 18th century mosques.
It has a lengthwise rectangular plan and the sections at north and west are later additions.
At the south east wall of the mausoleum, there is a two - gallery minaret with a square plan, stone base and brick body.
There is an inscription of Word of the God (Kelime-i Tevhid) in large Arabic calligraphy (sulus) on the protrouting southern wall of the late-comer's section.
Single interior space is covered with a wooden ceiling. The hexagonal large rosette in the center of the ceiling is framed with six rows of flowered borders. The same rosette in smaller scale can be seen on the central rectangular panel of the ceiling of the annexed section west to the women's section. The edges of the ceiling of the inner space of the mosque are decorated with flower patterned cornices. The same type of cornices are also used in the women's section.
On the interior, Kutahya tiles are placed up to the top of the windows. After the tiles, transition to plain wall is made with a border of chiselled palmette.
The plaster Mihrab is built with a moulding technique and is in the form of stalacti niched. Pieces from Koran are inscribed in five rows on the pediment of the Mihrab
The Word of God can be seen on Mihrab borders as decoration. Colored Mimbar is made with false "kundekari" technique and displays a fine workmanship.
The painted engravings on wood are made by the engraver Nakkas Mustafa. Two inscriptions on kıble side indicate that the mosque was restored in 1714 by one of the grandsons of Haci Bayram-i Veli, Mehmet Baba.

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