Dzhumaya Mosque, the city of Plovdiv
One of the oldest and most impressive Ottoman religious buildings on the Balkan Peninsula is located in the center of Plovdiv, on Zhelezarska Street in the pedestrian area. It was built in the 14th century on the site of the former "St. Petka Tarnovska" Cathedral, destroyed in the first years after the town was conquered by the Ottoman army. More than a century later, the temple was torn down again and replaced by Dzumaya Mosque as we know it today. At present, it is an active place of worship and the congregational (i.e. main or Friday mosque of a city) mosque of Plovdiv.
Dzhumaya Mosque impresses with its sheer size, design and interior decoration. The overwhelming temple represents a rectangular building, measuring 40m. by 30 m., with a 33 m-by-27 m prayer hall. The authentic wall-paintings at the prayer hall presumably date back to the late 18th or early 19th century and consist of rich floral designs – leafy elements, blossoms, thin branches and sprigs, calligraphic friezes, wreaths, intertwined with medallions with quranic quotations and verses.
Unlike later Muslim temples, the distinctive Plovdiv Mosque belongs to the so called "multi-domed mosques" and the characteristic roof structure consists of nine lead-plated domes. In 1878 a sundial donated by a Russian officer was placed on the southwestern façade.