The project of the restoration of the Bayezid Μosque in Didymoteicho was included in the recovery and Resilience Fund with a budget of 10.531.772 euros and a completion horizon in 2025.
As stated by the Minister of Culture and Sports Lina Mendoni, “the Bayezid Mosque, an emblematic monument of Didymoteicho and one of the most important monuments of the Ottoman occupation, has been restored, with a guaranteed budget and a specific timetable. Since 2017, when the fire destroyed most of the monument, it took three years, until 2020, to be assigned by the Ministry of Culture and sports to the National Technical University of Athens research program, in order to propose the best solutions for the restoration of the particularly important and complex in its construction. The restoration of the mosque is a complex project with great technical difficulties in terms of interventions in the stone shell, which intensified after the fire, as well as in terms of the reconstruction of its wooden roof. Thanks to the cooperation of the competent services of the Ministry of Culture and sports with the scientific team of the National Technical University of Athens, the correct restoration proposal was prepared, so that the monument can be restored in accordance with the principles of Science and ethics”.
In June 2022, the Central Archaeological Council unanimously gave a positive opinion on the proposed solutions after investigating the architectural, static, seismic behavior and adequacy of the monument, following the documentation and analysis of the monument in the framework of the NTUA Research Program, budget 250.000 euros, which was funded by the Ministry of culture.
The mosque is to be restored to the standards of its last phase, the beginning of the 20th century, while highlighting elements of previous phases, so that the structural history of the monument is readable, as well as the interventions made in various periods of time. In addition, with funding from the PEP of Eastern Macedonia-Thrace – NSRF 2014-2020, amounting to 3.428.876 euros, the accompanying works and the configuration of the surrounding area of the monument continue.
The Bayezid mosque was inaugurated, according to the inscription of its entrance, in March 1420. It covers an area of nearly an acre and consists of a square-plan prayer hall and a minaret in the western corner. During the fire that broke out on March 22, 2017, the roof of the mosque was destroyed, making it imperative to completely restore it and especially the reconstruction of its entire roof. The crowning of the Oak roof with lead sheets contributed to its exceptional monumentality, while the complex structure of its skeleton makes it, moreover, as a construction itself, one of the most important historical wooden monuments on European soil.
A series of corrosive phenomena, misplaced previous interventions mainly in the surrounding area, but also the decomposition and fall inside the roof of the insulating clay mortar, which covered the epitegids, made necessary a series of preliminary interventions.
For the implementation of the multiple and complex restoration interventions of the monument, preliminary works were required in the interior and in the enclosure of the monument, as well as the construction of a temporary shelter for protection, but also the full coverage of its internal area with heavy type scaffolding.