turkce links to original Turkish article
(Hurriyet Newspaper, 27 April 2014)
//ed. note: another in our occasional looks at unique slices of
The Ottoman 'revak' (portico) of Mecca, removed and restored.
The removal of the Ottoman 'revak' (portico), built during the
reigns of Sultan Selim II and Sultan Murat III (1573-1577) for
the Kaaba in Mecca, began in November 2012 and has now
been completed. For years the demolition of the revak was
a subject of discussion in the Islamic world.
The project to expand the Kaaba is being undertaken by the
Bin Ladin (!) Group, which has reached an agreement with the
Gursoy Group, one of the largest historic restoration companies
in Turkey, for the restoration of the revak. A team from Turkey
went to Saudi Arabia to remove and clean the revak. Some 496
columns, 881 bases, 152 domes, 232 small domes and 993
parapets - a total of 2,754 pieces - were transported to the
restoration site at Muzdelife (a place near Mecca between Mt.
Ararat and the valley of Mina.)
As the Saudi and Turkish experts inspected the revak they
encountered a 450- year old surprise concerning the form of
construction used for the domes: the construction style technique
had never before been seen in Islamic architecture. Another
surprise was that most of the columns and bases were from
the Hellenistic period and some were from the Omayyad
and Abbasi periods. The experts surmise that these columns
came to the Kaaba along with rocks brought from afar.
Mecca was part of the Ottoman Empire in those days.