The Mosque of al-Bakiriyya dates to 1597 during the first Ottoman occupation in Yemen. It was built by the governor of Sana'a, Hasan Pasha, as a tribute to one of his friends who is buried next to the mosque. Nearby, off of the public square in front of the citadel gate, Hasan Pasha also commissioned the Baths of al-Bakiriyya. This hammam served as the waqf to provide the income to support the mosque. With its grand size and detailed carved ornamentation, al-Bakiriyya is a spectacular example of classical Ottoman architecture.
The Mosque of al-Bakiriyya consists of a large prayer hall preceded by a three-bay portico and a rectangular enclosed courtyard. Covering the main prayer hall of the mosque is a large dome, a feature that is unknown in Yemen prior to the Ottoman period. One enters the complex through a small domed portal off of the western wall of the courtyard. Once inside, the square tomb of Hasan Pasha'a friend is located on the same side, accessed through an entrance off of the portico. To the south, the courtyard extends into an ablution area at its furthest end. Parallel to the courtyard on the east runs a narrow corridor that leads to the minaret. To the north, one passes into the prayer hall through the center bay of the portico. The interior of the prayer hall is richly decorated with geometric patterns and Quranic inscriptions in carved gypsum.
In 1872, during the second Ottoman conquest, the mosque underwent restoration and significant new developments, including an elevated diwan in the prayer hall and a marble mihrab and minbar.
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