Mosque of Tsistarakis

Mosque of Tsistarakis
<Location> Od. Areos (Monastiraki Square), Athens, Greece
<Also Known As> Tzami (Camii) of Tzistarakis

Mosque standing in front of the Monastiraki Station.

Tzistarakis (or Tsistarakis) is a governor (voivode) of Athens in the middle of the eighteenth century, who constructed this mosque. He brought to this mosque some columns from the Temple of Olympian Zeus. As he did it without due permission of the Sultan, he was heavily fined and chased out from his position.

The minaret was destroyed after 1821.

The mosque, once used as prison, now houses the V. Kyriazopoulos Modern Pottery Collection of the Museum of Greek Popular Art.

Tzistalakis Mosque

This is the entrance to the Mosque (now museum).

The entrance is on the first floor and the ground floor accomodates shops now as well as before.

After having been used as prison and warehouse, this building has been restored by the archaeologist Anastasios Orlandos and turned into the Museum of Greek Handicraft (so then called). It was again damaged by the earthquake of 1981. The collection was moved to another building and the former mosque building underwent a large-scale restoration work.

Tzistalakis Mosque

Inscription in arabic characters above the entrance.

Tzistalakis Mosque

The frame of the door is decorated with marble relief.
The Mihrab (the niche of the wall inside the mosque toward Mecca; it shows the direction to which the Muslims should pray) is well preserved including the multi-colour painting.

Tzistalakis Mosque

The wall inside the mosque used to be decorated with fresco paitings and some parts are still preserved.

Some Byzantine marble elements were used as decoration; they are now removed but exhibited in the museum.


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