Damascus – al-Sinaniyeh Mosque دمشق – جامع السنانية

Damascus - al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (دمشق - جامع السنانية)

al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (جامع السنانية) was constructed in 1590-1591 under Sinan Pasha, the Ottoman governor of Damascus (دمشق) from 1589 to 1593, and is one of several interesting mosques just to the southwest of the old city walls. Beyond being the governor of Damascus (دمشق), Sinan Pasha also served as governor of Cairo (Egypt) and was grand vizier of the Ottoman Empire five times between 1580 and his death in 1596. He was exceptionally wealthy and, despite his endowment for the construction of al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (جامع السنانية), is regarded by historians as having been cruel, greedy, vain and spiteful. He is also known for his role in the Ottoman conquest of Yemen.

The mosque itself is unique for its heavy use of decorative tiles and its distinctive minaret of green and blue enameled brick. The walls were built with alternating horizontal bands of black and white stone. The western entrance is particularly noteworthy, featuring a marble panel with Arabic inscriptions and square mosaic panels on each side, topped by a glazed tile panel composed of floral motifs underneath muqarnas. This entryway leads into a small courtyard, with the prayer hall on the southern side. Preceding the prayer hall is a portico covered by seven small domes supported on marble columns. The portico also features Damascene tile work over the windows. The prayer hall itself is impressive, with elaborate decoration that includes stained glass windows over the mihrab, glazed tiles and stone mosaics. Upper galleries are supported by arches on marble columns. The minbar is made of marble carved with floral motifs and inscriptions, topped by a conical dome. The central prayer hall is contained underneath a large dome, itself decorated with detailed paintings.

The mosque is open at regular prayer times, and often outside of these times as well.


Getting There: al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (جامع السنانية) is located southwest of the old city of Damascus (دمشق). From the main (western) entrance of al-Hamidiyeh Market (سوق الحميدية‎), follow the main street, Aal al-Beit (آل البيت) that runs to the south-southeast along the original boundary of the old city walls. This street will pass al-Darwishiyeh Mosque (جامع الدرويشية) on the right and al-Sibaiyeh Mosque (جامع السيبائية) on the right before reaching al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (جامع السنانية) on the left.

Coordinates: 33°30’29.00″N / 36°18’06.00″E

Transliteration Variants: al-Sinaniye Mosque, al-Sinaniyah Mosque, al-Sinaniya Mosque

Rating: 4.5 / 10

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