Representation of Sultan in The Edirne Üç Şerefeli Mosque: Non Existing Mahfil-i Hümâyûn and Kasr-ı HümâyûnNesrin Çiçek Akçıl Harmankaya
In Islamic architecture, the units assigned to the emperors to perform prayers with their entourages were called maksûre or mahfil. These units, also called hunkâr mahfili or mahfil-i hümâyûn are particularly seen in selâtin mosques to perform the Friday and Eid prayers of the sultans, as well as the isha prayers on the holy nights. The hunkâr mahfili of Edirne Üç Şerefeli Mosque, one of the examples of these structures is our subject of study. Üç Şerefeli Mosque was built by architect Muslihiddin by the torder of The Sultan Murad II between the years 1437- 1447. The structure, named after its minaret with three balconies (üç şerefeli), is also extremely important in Ottoman architecture with its central plan and the court with cloistered fountain. It is known that there was a hunkâr mahfili in the southeast corner of the sanctuary, and it is mentioned as “mahfil-i hümâyûn” in the renovation books dating from 1753, 1759, and 1763. The first window of the mosque’s east facade, toward the kiblah, has been converted to be the entrance gate to this hunkâr mahfili. The mahfil and the pavilion, which do not exist today, were demolished in 1935. Within the scope of this study, the sultan’s mahfil and pavilion, which had been demolished, will be introduced and evaluated with similar examples in terms of architectural features and construction tradition.
Edirne Üç Şerefeli Cami’de Hükümdarın Temsili: Yok Olan Mahfil-i Hümâyûn ve Kasr-ı HümâyûnNesrin Çiçek Akçıl Harmankaya
İslam mimarisinde hükümdarların maiyetleriyle birlikte namaz kılmasına tahsis edilen birimlere maksûre veya mahfil denmektedir. Padişahların cuma ve bayram namazlarını kılmaları için özellikle selatin camilerinde yer alan bu birimler, “hünkâr mahfili” veya “mahfil-i hümayun” olarak da adlandırılmaktadır. Bu örneklerden biri olan Edirne Üç Şerefeli Cami’deki hünkâr mahfili bu çalışmanın konusunu oluşturmaktadır. Üç Şerefeli Cami II. Murad tarafından 1437-1447 yılları arasında mimar Muslihiddin’e inşa ettirilmiştir. Adını üç şerefeli minaresinden alan yapı Osmanlı mimarisinde merkezî planı ve şadırvanlı-revaklı avlusuyla son derece önemlidir. Caminin güneydoğu köşesinde bir hünkâr mahfilinin bulunduğu bilinmekte olup bu mahfil, 1753, 1759 ve 1763 tarihli tamir keşif belgelerinde “mahfil-i hümâyûn” olarak belirtilmektedir. Caminin güney doğu cephesinde kıble yönündeki ilk penceresi kapı olacak şekilde dönüştürülen mahfile, kıble yönünde sonradan bir hünkâr kasrı eklendiği anlaşılmaktadır. Günümüzde mevcut olmayan mahfil ve kasır 1935 yılında yıkılmıştır. Bu çalışma kapsamında yok olan söz konusu hünkâr mahfili ve kasrı tanıtılarak mimari özellikleri ve inşa geleneği bakımından benzer örnekler ile değerlendirilmiştir.
In Islamic architecture, special units allocated for caliphs and rulers to pray together with their entourages are called maksûre or mahfil. These units, called “Hünkâr mahfili” or “mahfil-i hümâyûn”, refer to special units in mosques, which are allocated for the rulers to pray with their entourages, surrounded by railings and generally built above the ground for security purposes. Since the Ottoman sultans performed their Friday and Eid prayers, as well as their Isha prayers on holy nights (Kandil) and Qadr nights, in one of the sultanate mosques in their city, the hunkar mahfils are mostly seen in the mosques of the Ottoman capitals and constitute an important part of the mosque architecture, especially in Edirne and Istanbul. Since the 17th century, special sections called “kasr-ı hümayun” or “hünkâr kasrı”, connected to the hunkar mahfilis were also built for the sultan to rest and to receive and meet some people when necessary. Some of the structures lost their functions with the declaration of the Republic and the abolition of the caliphate and disappeared over time for some reasons such as fire, earthquake. One of these examples is the disappeared hünkâr mahfili of Edirne Üç Şerefeli Mosque, which is the subject of our study, and the hünkâr’s pavilion, which was later found to be added to the kiblah wall. The sultan’s mahfil and pavilion, estimated to have been added in the 17th century, were introduced and examined in detail terms of their historical, architectural, and ornamental features. The buildings, known to have disappeared in 1935, will be compared with similar examples in Ottoman architecture and evaluated in terms of construction tradition and architectural features of the hunkar mahfili and pavilion.
According to its inscription, Üç Şerefeli Mosque, built by Sultan Murad II in 1437-1447 (841-851), is a kulliye consisting of Saatli Madrasah, Peykler Madrasah, a school, a sebil, a fountain, and a hazire. The building, also known as “Yeni Muradiye”, “Muradiye”, “Cami-i Cedid”, “Cami-i Kebir” and “Yeni Mosque”, takes its current name from its three balconied minarets. It is recognized that it was built by the architects Muslihuddin and Şehâbeddin. The mosque, which has a rectangular plan close to a square, consists of a transverse rectangular prayer hall and a cloistered courtyard. The building is the first example of the centrally planned mosques of Ottoman architecture, and is extremely important with its courtyard with a cloistered courtyard with fountain. It is understood from the existing wall traces, repair survey lists of the mosque dating from 1753, 1759, and 1763, drawings, and photographs that there was a hunkar mahfili in the southeast corner of the harim. The first document regarding the existence of this mahfil, which was demolished in 1935, is the repair survey books from 1753 prepared after the 1752 earthquake. Here it is called “mahfi-i hümayun”. Apart from the repair survey documents regarding the Hunkar mahfili, another source is the repair documents carried out between 1890 and 1893. In the documents related to this repair, there are two plans with different scale, and section drawings of the mosque drawn by Deputy Engineer Avadis of Edirne Municipality of the time, and in these plans and section drawings dating from 1890 (1305), shows that the hunkar mahfili located in the southeast corner of the harim. The fevkani mahfil has a rectangular plan and rises on six pillars, four in the east-west direction and three in the north-south axis. These pillars, which sit on rectangular bases, reach up to the molding level of the sanctuary. It is understood that the first window of the eastern facade towards the kiblah was turned into a door for the hunkar mahfili, whose construction date is unknown.
In a 19th-century photograph showing the kiblah direction of the Üç Şerefeli Mosque, a section elevated on two wooden poles adjoining the building is seen in the southeast corner. It is understood that this section, which was added later, was a hunkar’s pavilion connected to the mahfil. It has been determined that this part, which was stated in the repair survey documents dating from 1753, 1759, and 1763, as a “toilet, an ablution room, and a coffee room” is an example of the hunkar’s pavilions designed in connection with the mahfil since the 17th century. Traces of the roof can still be seen on the first window in the eastern corner of the outer walls. The window here was converted into a door and a connection was established between the mahfil and the pavilion.
In conclusion, we can determine that there was hunkar mahfili and a hunkar’s pavilion connected to it, especially from the archive documents regarding the repairs in 1753, 1759, 1763, and 1890-93, C. Gurlit’s plans and photographs, and the existing traces of walls and windows in the southeast corner of the mosque. The fact that it was damaged in the 1752 earthquake shows that it existed before that date. It is learned that the hunkar mahfili and pavilion, which did not survive to the present day, had a toilet, ablution room, and a coffee room. A direct connection was established between the hunkar’s pavilion and the hunkar mahfili by furnishing it with an independent entrance separate from the entrances used by the community. It is estimated that the mahfil and pavilion, the date of construction of which is unknown, were added to the mosque in the 17th century, when Edirne became the capital for the second time and became the permanent residence of the dynasty as a political center, and most likely during the reign of Mehmed IV. It is an important example of the tradition of later placing hunkar mahfili in sultan mosques in Edirne. With these added structures, the founder of the building, Sultan Murad II, became a political and religious authority. Murad II and his successor, the sultan of the period, were symbolically represented in the eyes of the people of Edirne and in the mosque architecture.