The name of this mosque (orta: middle) indicates its central position when it was built in 1614 by the scribe Durak Efendi (whose name it also carries), upon the site on an 11th century church which burnt down in the 13th century. It is a sample of provincial building techniques, combining roughly hewn granite blocks with inserted bricks and chiseled freestone at the corners for the cubic prayer hall.
A rather flat dome rests on an octagonal drum with pendentives acting as transition to the dome. At present, modern tiles substitute its lead cover that was stolen by the invaders during World War I. The monument is well lit by three rows of windows surmounted by pointed arches. A cornice with a pronounced saw- tooth pattern decorates the upper part of the walls.
The cylindrical minaret rises upon the original massive stone base but the shaft had to be rebuilt in 1930, resulting in rather unsuitable proportions. The arched stone entrance is enhanced by a rare red brick design above lintel, an extraordinary decoration pattern.
Together with the two flanking rectangular grilled windows inserted in high semi-circular mihrab niches with muqarnas of considerable quality, they are a worthy example of provincial building technique with artistic achievements. Originally, a wooden porch stretched along the entire north-west façade, but this has not survived. At present, the mosque is not accessible due to excavations of the former Christian Basilica on the site.
DMS 41°26'08.9"N 22°38'05.3"E
Lat, Long 41.435801, 22.634809
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