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Mosque Al-Bertasi

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History

An outstanding madrasah of Tripoli which also serves as a mosque today is the al-Burtasiya which met with severe damage in 1955 when flood waters of the Abou Au River invaded the building and rose to its second story. However repairs undertaken by Lebanon’s Department of Antiquities have made this imposing monument of the early Maanluks one of old Tripoli’s major attractions . Its mots ornate feature is its dark stone portal, the overhanging half-dome ceiling of which is decorated with the usual stalactites, beneath which is a band of Arabic inscriptions. The lintel of the door is incised with intricate panels of geometric designs. In the interior of the building the central cupola is supported by arches. The walls are decorated with alveolate carvings, above which, is a row of arched decorations pierced by pairs of arched windows and light apertures all around the inside of the dome .

A marble fountain stands in the prayer hall while to the south, the beautiful mihrab can be seen decorated with stone and glass mosaics overlaid with gold leaf. The designs of the mosaic are floral and geometric with green-blue branches standing out against a golden background.

The madrasah has a square minaret, on the east side of which are a pair of windows with arches in black and white stone reminiscent of Moorish architecture. The small decorative column separating the windows has a badly worn capital which may be of Crusader origin. Of Crusader inspiration are the corbelled windows on all four sides. The upper story overhanging balcony of the minaret in decorated with a mass of stalactites.

The inscription tell us that the madrassah was built by Isa, son of Omar al -Bertasi and although there is no foundation date it appears, by the style of the inscription, to belong to the Hahn Mamluk period.It was destined, according to the wishes of the founder, for the use of theologians of the Shafiite school for the explanation and interpretation of the Koran and the presentation of the hadith. It was also destined for ceremonies and for Friday prayers. The founder stipulates that it is strictly forbidden to give sums of money or lodgings to those not employed in the madrasah. This clause was included presumably to discourage begging and other mis-uses of the lintel.

Historical References

 

Photo Gallery

Photo taken by: Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

 

Photo taken by: Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

 

Photo taken by: Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

Photos By

Eng.Lamia KHAYAT

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