ThePlace and Importance of the Ottoman Period Sabilhanes in the Crete Aqua Architecture

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İbrahimgil A.

Technics Technologies Education Management-TTEM, vol.15, no.2, pp.61-79, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal)


Since Crete Island has a strategic importance on the Eastern Mediterranean border, it has been dominated by many civilizations such as Minoan, Doric, Ancient Greek, Roman, Damascus Umayyad, Andalusian Umayyad, Byzantine and Venetian states. The first contact of the Crete Island with the Turks began with Aydin and Menteseogullari principalities from the 1330s. and during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim, 1645 Captain-Derya Yusuf Pasha conquered Chania Castle, then Rethymno, Kisamo, Granbosa and Apokorano castles were taken by the raids of Deli Huseyin Pasha. Finally, in 1669, with a military operation under the supervision of Grand Vizier Koprulu Fazil Ahmet Pasha, Heraklion Castle was conquered and the entire island was included in the Ottoman administration. The island exited Ottoman rule in 1913 and after the Treaty of Lausanne (1923) within the scope of the exchange on the island, the Muslim population emigrated to Turkey. The aim of this article is to evaluate the original contribution of the Ottomans to the water architecture in Crete over a period of nearly 300 years, through the sabilhanes. Waterways were built on the island during the Venetian period. During the Ottoman period, these waterways were used effectively and maintained. Besides, sabilhanes built for charitable purposes are among the most elegant works of Ottoman-Turkish architecture. Having a unique position between sculpture and structure in the city, the physical structure of the sabilhanes can be regarded as an indicator of the architectural style, aesthetic taste, technology and also cultural and economic development of the city. The scope of this study is to examine the architectural features of eight sabilhanes built in the cities of Heraklion, Chania and Ierapetra in Crete. In this context, the issue of sabilhanes has been handled with examples in Istanbul and Cairo and a typology suitable for sabilhanes in Crete has been presented. The first sabilhane in Crete was built by (Queen Mother) Valide Hatice Turhan Sultan in 1672 in Heraklion. The last sabilhane was built in Yeraptra in 1872 by Ali Makaronake. In addition, two sultan fountains were built. Six of these eight sabilhanes in Crete were demolished, three of which were architecturally described from archive photographs. The facade and plan drawings of the two sabilhanes that have reached today were prepared by measuring, their inscriptions were read and dated and archive documents were obtained.