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THE IMARET OF SOFU MEHMED PAŞA IN SOFIA, 1548 – BEGINNING OF THE 19th CENTURY (COMPARATIVE NOTES BETWEEN THE FOUNDER’S WILL AND THE REALITIES)

Paulina Andonova

Abstract: Like any other imaret in the Ottoman Empire that of Sofu Mehmed Paşa located in Sofia and designed by the great architect Mimar Sinan provided shelter, help and free food for the waqf staff, the guests and travelers, the poor and the needy. The paper presents the menu and the recipes of the dishes, the beneficiaries and their portions provided by the soup kitchen whose capacity of work allowed approximately 250 people to be fed. However, the main purpose is not only to introduce data about the services of the imaret according to the founder’s will, but also to establish the functioning of the imaret as revealed in contemporary sources both during the periods of financial stability and during the economic crisis or damages which interrupted and caused changes in the charitable practice of the foundation.

Keywords: Imaret, Soup Kitchen, Sofu Mehmed Paşa, Expectations, Real Practice