THE ROLE OF SOFU MEHMED PAŞA’S COMPLEX IN THE URBANIZATION AND ESTABLISHMENT OF SOFIA AS AN ADMINISTRATIVE CENTRE IN RUMELI
Abstract: The Ottoman sources give evidence about the role of the Black Mosque complex (nowadays the church “Sv. Sedmochislenitsi”) in the urbanization of Sofia and the establishment of the city as an important economic, political and religious centre in the Balkans. It was constructed in 1548 by the donation of the Ottoman vizier and Rumeli beylerbey Sofu Mehmed Paşa and designed by the great architect Mimar Sinan. Located on the periphery of the city, in the valley (dere), called Pınarcık, between the modern Graf Ignatiev Street (Samokovsko chaussée) and Tsarigradsko Chaussée Boulevard (the Road of the Ghazis), the complex of Sofu Mehmed Paşa was constructed on an empty site. The zâviye of the famous Halveti Şeyh Bali Efendi also emerged along the Samokovsko chaussée in the 1540s. The building of the Black Mosque külliye and the zâviye led to the settlement of Muslim population in the empty plot around the two cult centres and resulted in a new neighborhood formation called Imaret Mahalle.
This study aims at tracing the stages of utilization of the extra-urban space of Sofia towards the 1540s, emphasizing the interaction between the Rumelian beylerbey and vizier and the Halveti Şeyh in the context of the religious policy of the Ottoman authorities.
Keywords: Black Mosque Külliye, Zâviye of Bali Efendi, Sofia, Urbanization, Mahalle
THE IMARET OF SOFU MEHMED PAŞA IN SOFIA, 1548 – BEGINNING OF THE 19th CENTURY (COMPARATIVE NOTES BETWEEN THE FOUNDER’S WILL AND THE REALITIES)
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