The Mehmet Agha Mosque
The northern extension of Aghiou Phanouriou Street ends at right angles to the main market street (Sokratous Street) below one of the city’s most visible mosques, whose windows and wide wooden eaves overlook the street at a conspicuously different angle from everything else: this is the recently restored Mehmet Agha Mosque, built in two separate phases between 1820 and 1875. It is of a design which was generally used for crowded sites such as this; the prayer hall was raised well above a ground floor of arcaded shops, the rent from which contributed to the upkeep and charitable work of the mosque. The (restored) minaret, which here takes the form of a central, canopied, wooden tower above the main door, is of a design commoner in Syria and the Levant, and shows the eclecticism of Ottoman architecture in this twilight period. The three water fountains below, surmounted by marble plaques inscribed in Osmanli and dated 1291 (1874/5 in the Western calendar), are contemporary with the mosque.
The entire length of Sokratous Street can be best appreciated from this point as it rises from the harbour to the Mosque of Suleiman which crowns its summit. The line of one of the most important streets of Ancient Rhodes lies below it. In Byzantine and Mediaeval times the street was more an open space and market area, with its north side being formed by the south walls of the fortress which can still be seen 30m to the north on Theophiliskou and Agesandrou Streets. Later, in Ottoman times, the area was built up thereby defining Sokratous Street (then called ‘Uzun Carsi’) as the main bazaar of the city.
Rhodes Island is part of the Dodecanese Island Group, Greece.