Old Mosque

Xhamia e Vjetër / Eski Camii

The Old Mosque or Sulejman Pasha mosque (Albanian: Xhamia e Sulejman Pashës) was the founding mosque of the Albanian capital Tirana. The city developed around the mosque, which was founded by the Ottoman Albanian Pasha Sulejman Bargjini along with a hamam and a bakery.

Built in 1614, it was the oldest mosque of the city of Tirana and was one of the oldest mosques in Albania. The Ottoman general and ethnic Albanian, Sulejman Bargjini had fought for the Ottomans against the Safavids in Persia.

Because of its minaret, the Old Mosque stood in rivalry with the Et’hem Bey Mosque founded by Sulejman Bargjini’s descendant Molla Bey of Petrela in 1793 and finished by his son Haxhi Etëhem Bey Mollaj. Next to the Sulejman Pasha mosque was the Sulejman Pasha Tomb. The Kapllan Pasha Tomb is in the same neighbourhood.

The mosque was destroyed in the Second World War, its remains and its minaret which still stood were destroyed in 1967 by the new Communist dictatorship under Enver Hoxha who also destroyed the Dine Hoxha mosque in Tirana. The monument of the “Unknown Soldier” (Albanian: Ushtari i panjohur) was constructed on its site instead.

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