"Banya Bashi" Mosque
The only active mosque in the city of Sofia is considered an architectural masterpiece.
The mosque is situated in the very heart of Sofia close to other notable buildings – The Hali (Central Sofia Market Hall), the Central mineral baths, the Orthodox Cathedral St. Nedelya" and others. Most likely, it was built in 974 the Hijri (Islamic calendar) or 1566-1567 AD, as the inscription on the entrance arch indicates. In fact, numbers are the only part of it that historians were able to piece together.
"Banya Bashi" was built with the financial support of Mullah Effendi Kada Seyfullah. The impressive temple was built in accordance with the trends in the 16th-Century Ottoman architecture and was designed by the famous Ottoman architect Mimar Sinan. The walls are made of monumental stone and bricks. The most exquisite part of it – the minaret – attracts the admiring glances of both believers and common visitors.
Public worships here are often an attraction worth seeing - especially during holidays. Crowds of believers flosck and often fill the spaces outside the mosque, although its capacity is not at all small - up to 1200 people.
The interior of "Banya Bashi" was fully restored in 1983.