Yilanli Mosque & Complex

Yilanli Mosque & Complex

The Yılanlı Mosque, an ancient structure located in Kastamonu, was built during the final period of the Anatolian Seljuk State in 1273. The mosque complex has served as an essential element of Turkish-Islamic civilization in Kastamonu for centuries.

During the Ottoman era, the building was known as "Darü'ş-Şifa" and functioned as a medical faculty and hospital. Aspiring medical students were educated here.

Yilanli Mosque & Complex

Darü'ş Şifa was established by Ali, son of Süleyman (Ali's grandfather), who ruled as a Pervaneoğulları principality. The architect behind the construction was Küherbaş. However, the building suffered partial destruction in 1837 when a fire broke out, leaving only the entrance door remaining. The traces of the fire from 1837 are still visible on the entrance door today.

Inside the tomb, there are 25 sarcophagi, including the metal casket of Abdülfettah-ı Veli, the grandson of Abdulkadir Geylani, an important figure in Islam. The casket is located on the east side of the Yılanlı Mosque, and its entrance is inside the mosque. Other coffins in the tomb belong to Abdülfettah-ı Veli's children and grandchildren, except for two.

Sadly, in 1837, the Darü'ş Şifa was partially destroyed due to a fire, which burnt down most of the building. However, the entrance door survived the fire and still bears traces of it today.

The mosque, which was built at the same time as the Darüş-Şifa, was also rebuilt after the fire. The complex also features two fountains that have plant-motif decorations, likely built at the same time as the other structures. These fountains were restored in 2006 by the General Directorate of Foundations.

One of the surviving structures from the original Seljuk era is the Crown Gate, which stands at its original height and width-four meters high and two and a half meters wide. The belt pediment of the gate features an inscription from the Quran: “In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and Most Merciful. We have sent down the Qur'an as a cure and mercy to the believers." The Prophet (SAW) is quoted saying, "O servants of Allah! Get treated. Surely, Allah has created medicine for all diseases."

Considering that the Yilanli Complex mostly served as a faculty of medicine, the inscription on the Crown Gate makes even more sense as it highlights that God has created the cure for everything, but people must seek and find the medicine.