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Kasaba Mahmut Bey Mosque

Kasaba Köyü, Kastamonu, Turkey

Open during normal working hours. The mosque now has a full-time guard.

Ten miles from Kastamonu, a stunning medieval mosque in a completely pastoral setting. Long may it remain so. Solvi dos Santos’s photographs can be seen in Cornucopia 45.

Cornucopia 45

Kastamonu: The Painted Mosque

The sleepy village of Kasaba is at the end of a country lane that follows gently rolling hilltops dropping to a leafy valley ten miles from Kastamonu. You cross a bridge, then ford the river and pull up in front of a crumbling mansion. Opposite is the mosque, a sturdy barn of a building. The windows are small and few. There is no hint of the cabinet-maker’s dream within. But Kasaba gives its past away: it is a nickname, and means town – the old name was Ilısu. In the 17th century, 25,000 souls lived here: now there are at most 400.

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