Murad Basha Mosque (جامع مراد باشا) is one of the more interesting mosques located beyond the walls of the old city of Damascus (دمشق). The mosque was erected by and named after Murad Pasha, who served as the Ottoman governor of Damascus between 1568-1569. This area of the city, southwest of the old city, saw significant development during the Ottoman period as a stopover point for pilgrimage caravans to Mecca and Medina. The mosque is also known as the Naqshbandi Mosque (جامع النقشبندي) after the Naqshbandi sufi order for which it served as a center, one of the many Sufi institutions encouraged in this area frequented by Ottoman troops.
The design is similar to other Ottoman-era mosques in Damascus (دمشق). The walls were built using alternating lines of black and white stones. There is large courtyard featuring an elaborate fountain. The courtyard is surrounded by an arcade of domed cells, which were used as sleeping rooms by students and scholars at the mosque. The interior walls are decorated with elaborate qashani tile panels. The rectangular prayer hall is roofed by a typical Ottoman-style lead-covered dome. The prominent octagonal-shaped minaret is one of the few elements of the design that is more reminiscent of earlier Arab mosques. In one corner of the mosque is the mausoleum where Murad Pasha was buried. The mosque’s main gate holds Arabic inscriptions that mention the mosque’s construction date and its patron’s name.
Getting There: Murad Basha Mosque (جامع مراد باشا) 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, al-Sibaiyeh Mosque (جامع السيبائية) on the right, al-Sinaniyeh Mosque (جامع السنانية) on the left, al-Ajami Mosque (جامع العجمي) on the right and al-Sabuniyeh Mosque (جامع الصابونية) on the right. About one hundred meters beyond this point, a road diverts to the right (southwest), with Murad Basha Mosque (جامع مراد باشا) clearly visible on the right.
Coordinates: 33°30’13.00″N / 36°18’05.00″E
Transliteration Variants: Murad Pasha Mosque
Rating: (4.5 / 10)