So tomorrow is my last day in Tetovo. Yesterday my fellow teacher Besa took me on a walk around the old town of Tetovo. We went to several places that I had visited in the past, most importantly for me, the Colored Mosque. There are so many beautiful old buildings in Tetovo, including the Turkish tekke or Muslim monastery that I have also written about, associated with the Bektashi sect, one of the ancient mystical sects of Islam. The first mosque on this site was probably guild in 1495, but this is the Balkans and land has slipped back and forth during wars. In 1833 the mosque was rebuilt by Abdurrahman Pasha, the son of Rexhep Pasha. Now maybe you are asking what is a Pasha and the answer is a Pasha is a title for landlords and generals in the Ottoman Empire. This Mosque was build next to the Shkuma river, where there were other buildings of Islamic origin including a bath that is now open as an art gallery.
The single classical minaret allows one to see the Colored Mosque in Tetovo from all over the city. I am so glad that I visited it again as I wondered where Abdurrahman Pasha, son of Rexhep Pasha, got the ideas for his amazing interior with its yellow and red flower baskets cascading off the walls of this beautiful and welcoming sacred place.
Merrilee Cunningham, WITS Writer to the Balkans
[photo of Colored Mosque from balkantravellers.com]