Classical Tour of Albania
The King's Mosque, Helveti Tekke and Inn of the
Islamic centre is just to the east of Mangalem quarter. It
consists of the King’s Mosque, Tekke of Helveti and the Inn
of the Dervishes.
The King’s Mosque was in danger of collapse in the C19th and underwent a almost complete rebuild.
To the right of the mihrab are the steps up to the minibar which is used by the imram to deliver the sermon.
Beyond the King’s Mosque is the Helveti Tekke. The building dates from the C15th although it was rebuilt by Ahmet Kurt Pasha in 1782. The inscription above the doorway is dedicated to him.
It has a small square prayer hall with an external portico. The columns are said to have come from the city of Apolonia.
Inside it has a beautifully painted wood ceiling decorated with gold leaf and there is a painted frieze round the top of the walls. The grilles cover holes designed to improve the acoustics of the prayer hall.
Cupboards in the walls have brightly painted doors.
At the back of the complex is the C19th Inn of the Dervishes. On the ground floor are open storage areas which could also be used to house animals. Above are the guest rooms with an open veranda. The building is now used for the offices of the directorate which manages the historic environment in Berat.
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