Wooden mosque in Turkey’s Black Sea region survives centuries

Published 28.06.2017 17:07
Updated 28.06.2017 17:10
emDHA Photo/em
DHA Photo

A wooden mosque in Turkey's northern Samsun province is still in use after 800 years, but more amazingly it has stayed standing without the help of a single nail.

Officially called Göğceli Mosque, the place of worship is more popularly known as "Nailless Mosque," because of its unusual building technique.

The mosque is located near the town of Çarşamba, around 40 kilometers from Samsun city.

An analysis of the mosque's wooden timbers shows that they date back to 1206, less than 100 years after Seljuk Turks routed the Byzantines at the Battle of Manzikert and began settling in Anatolia.

The builders used oaks with a diameter of over 1 meter, cutting them into planks and columns.

Without nails, the building manages to stay firm thanks to interlocking shapes where the wooden boards join together.

A flexible foundation protects the buildings from earthquakes, allowing the structure to shake rather than forcing it to collapse.

If the mosque did collapse in an earthquake, the angle of the columns would reportedly make the structure fall in the direction of Mecca.

Besides it structural features, the mosque also has impressive colorful Seljuk and Ottoman motifs that are painted on the walls.

The mosque's imam Ahmet Özköse says that many foreign and local visitors come to see the unusual mosque, as well as a team of foreign scientists who come to study the building's earthquake resistance.

Özköse adds that the 300-person mosque was restored over 10 years ago, and they are hoping for further restoration to be carried out soon so that this incredible structure survives for many centuries to come.

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