lundi 28 mai 2012

KERKUK: Gök or Yeşıl Kümbet Mausoleum, dating from the Celâyirli period

Gök (blue) or Yeşıl (green) Kümbet Mausoleum in Kerkuk

Gök or Yeşıl Kümbet Mausoleum is situated in Kerkuk Citadel (Kerkük Kala'a)

Excerpt from Prof. Suphi Saatçi's book:
publishedby Kerkük Vakfı

This building used to abut the courtyard wall of the Kemalzâdeler Mansion.  The inscription on the mausoleum, which is conceived as a square planned space enclosed within an octagonal shell, bears the date 762 H. (1361 G.)

This important monument dating from the Celâyirli period depicts the plain but extremely fine workmanship masons achieved at that time.  The building, the most significant feature of which is perhaps the decorated brick panels on its ornate façade, underwent intrusive repairs in 1980.

During my visit to Kirkuk in May 2003, I observed that the houses around the Yeşıl Kümbet had been demolished; the mausoleum, which now had become a freestanding structure, was then surrounded by arcades.  Thus it had come to resemble a köşk mescidi ( a freestanding prayer chamber) that typically occupies the center of Seljuk caravanserai courtyards in Anatolia.

During my visit to Kirkuk in May 2003, I observed another peculiarity during my visit. Typically, in such mausolea, an aboveground sarcophagus marks the location of the real tomb, which is usually in a burial chamber below ground.  in the Yeşıl Kümbet, however, the flight of stairs which take one to the level of the sarcophagus (roughly half a floor above ground) were missing.  Hence, the sarcophagus was inaccessible, instead, the underground burial chamber was kept open for visitors to descend into. Another observation made during the visit was that the material used during the reapir work, including the tiles, was of poor quality and that there were already cracks in the walls.

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