Mardinike Social Complex


The excavations of the ruins known by local inhabitants as the “Mardinike Mosque” located on the northeastern end of the lower city were initiated by Prof. Dr. Oluş ARIK, and upon interruption, they were completed during the campaigns between 2008 and 2010 under the direction of Prof. Dr. Abdüsselam ULUÇAM.

Mardınike Külliyesi
Mardınike Social Complex

The Mardinike Social Complex consists of two blocks. The Block I on the north side includes a mosque, a madrasah and some divisions built for other purposes around a cloister measuring 48.50 x 47.80m in the east-west direction, and 38.00 x 36.40m in the north-south direction. The Block II on the south consists of a forecourt, a minaret, a mosque, a zawiyah, lodging, a caravanserai, monumental graves and pottery workshops.

It appears that the buildings have been destroyed several times due to earthquakes and wars, and then restored with some new functions. The in-situ locations are exceptionally complicated in plan and architecture due to attachments during different periods. Most of the structures comprising the building complex have been demolished to the foundation level so that their architectural and decorative characteristics have disappeared.

In Block I, there is a mosque with a transverse rectangu¬lar plan on the southern wing of the cloister, which is surrounded by U-shaped porticos, composed of two naves, par¬allel to the mihrab wall, and a dome in front of the mihrab. The first nave measuring 38.00 x 2.60 m in dimension was arranged as a narthex, and it is narrower than the second nave, and it has survived to the present day . On the western end of the nave there is a side cell with a rectangular plan, measuring 9.80 x 4.20 m in dimension in the east-west direction, which was built by additional walls in later periods . A 1.85 m high debris was removed during the excavations in this cell to reach the floor. A door providing access to a cloister was unearthed on the northwestern end of the room. The porticos enclosing the courtyard and projecting on the northern end are 13.00 m long in the east-west direction, and 3.00 m wide in the north-south direction. The floor was traced in an area of 3.70 x 2.50 m to the northwest of the first nave. The excavations yielded a cas floor, which is 0.10 m thick, measuring 3.00 x 0.80 m in dimension .

The second nave is 47.00 m long in the east-west direction, and 6.00 m long in the north-south direction, and it contains remains from four arches in various widths. Some of these arch-spans were first converted into windows, then were entirely closed by laying bricks during late periods. Three walls in north-south direction were erected inside the section in subsequent periods, and it was divided into four cells .

There is a large structure of 11.50×10.30 m in the north-south direction to the west of the central courtyard and a hall lying alongside the courtyard to the north, probably arranged in a later period. To the east of the courtyard lies another hall made of bricks surrounded by columns again designed later. It was called the “Coastal Palace” due to its construction style. On the northeastern corner, restroom and baths are located .

Lying 10 m to the south of Block I, Block II covers a large area of 49.00 x 34.00 m in average. This block also consists of two sections. There are rooms of various sizes in the west section, which are symmetrically lined on both sides of the main axis extending up to the mihrab to the southernmost, and accessed through a small courtyard in the north while the mosque section is located on the south. This wing of the block was converted into monumental burial chambers (türbe) by placing gypsum coffins on the floor in later periods. To the east of this section, parallel porticos with vaulted roof lying in the east-west direction were arranged as imaret and caravanserai with their oven structures, niches, and benchs .

Rubble stones cemented with cas mortar were used in the architecture; and interior spaces were plastered and decorated with gypsum plaster. The front side of the mihrab of the mosque and the top of the square structures were covered with domes while other spaces were covered with vaults.

There is a minaret base measuring 4.20 x 5.00 m in size to the southwest of the forecourt. The remains suggest that the main building had a cylindrical shape and was decorated with turquise colored bricks .

The architectural and decorative features of the Mardinike Mosque indicate that it belongs to the Great Seljuk Period.