Tarsus Old Mosque

Old Mosqoe (Eski Cami)

Old Mosque from south west
Basic information
Location Turkey Mersin, Turkey
Geographic coordinates 36°55′04″N 34°53′52″E / 36.91778°N 34.89778°E / 36.91778; 34.89778
Rite Sunni Islam
District Tarsus
Province Mersin Province
Region Mediterranean Region
Status Active
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque (converted from church)
Completed Church 1102
Mosque 1415
Width (nave) 12,6 m.
Minaret(s) 1

Tarsus Old Mosque (Turkish: Eski camii) is a mosque converted from a historic church located in Tarsus of Mersin Province, southern Turkey.


The mosque is in the urban fabric of Tarsus at 36°55′04″N 34°53′52″E / 36.91778°N 34.89778°E / 36.91778; 34.89778. It is on the main road of Tarsus.


The mosque was built as a church. The name of the church was probably "Saint Paul Cathedral" honoring Paul the Apostle, who was a resident of Tarsus. (not to be confused with Saint Paul's Church, Tarsus). It was built in 1102, during the late Byzantine period when the city was captured by the First Crusade from the Seljuk Turks. Later when the Armenian principality was issued from the Byzantine Empire, Leon I was crowned as the Armenian Kingdom of Cilicia in 1198 by Conrad von Wittelsbach in this cathedral.[1]

In 1359, Tarsus fell to Ramazanids, a Turkmen dynasty, and in 1415 Ahmet of Ramazanids (reigned 1383-1416) converted the church into a mosque.

The building

The total area of the (building and the yard) is 460 square metres (5,000 sq ft).[2] The inner dimensions of the building is 19.3 m × 17.5 m (63 ft × 57 ft). The width of the nave is 12.6 m (41 ft).

There are blind arches in the facade of the mosque. The main gate is to the west. There are two plaster half columns in the entrance, and also half columns on the southern and northern walls of the nave, which are made of granite, and thought to have been constructed with the gathered material of the former buildings. On the ceiling, Jesus and four of his apostles are depicted in frescoes. There is a belfry in the northwest corner of the building.[1]


  1. 1 2 Ministry of Culture page (Turkish)
  2. Mersin Ören yerleri, ISBN 978-605-4196-07-4 p.82.
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