Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors
Search in posts
Search in pages

Tzistarakis Mosque

Tzistarakis Mosque is an annex of the Museum Modern Greek Art.

  1. Modern and Contemporary era (1821 - )

    1839 There was also a minaret, which was demolished between 1839-1843.

    1915 Restored by Alexandros Orlandos.

    1918 It housed, until 1973, the "National Museum of Decorative Arts".

    1966 It was shaped for the prayer of the fallen monarch of Saudi Arabia, Ibn Saud.

    1975 It becomes Museum of Traditional Pottery and hosts the collection of Vassilis Kyriazopoulos.

    1981 An earthquake caused severe damages, but now the building is restored.

  2. Ottoman era (1453- 1821)

    1759 The voivode Mustafa Agha (Tzistarakis) built it, as indicated at the entrance.

  3. Byzantine era (331 AC- 1453)

  4. Roman era (30 BC- 330 AC)

  5. Hellenistic era (322- 31 BC)

  6. Classical era (478-323 BC)

  7. Archaic era (800-479 BC)

  8. Geometric era (-1100- 800 BC)

  9. Prehistory (-1100 BC)

What I can see

The Tzistarakis Mosque (or “Lower Bazaar”, “Lower Fountain” and “Kousournas” mosque) today operates as an annex of the Museum of Moden Greek Art. The ground floor houses tourist shops with illegal shading and air conditioning units, which have been placed with the tolerance of the state and interfere with the character of the monument. It is a square building with two levels, and the mosque is on the second floor, which has a hemispherical dome with an octagonal base.

What I can't see

According to the “Chronicle of Anthimos”, in order to build the mosque, the voivode Tzistarakis used lime, which came from “a column from that of Hadrian”, considering that he refers to a column from the temple of Olympian Zeus. It is more probable, however, that the voivode knocked down a column from the nearby Library of Hadrian. The Ottomans generally avoided damaging ancient monuments because they considered such acts sacrilegious and feared demons would be released. Indeed, an outbreak of the plague happened in Athens soon after Tzistarakis’ act and the Sultan removed him from his post. Following the Greek fight for independence, the use of the building changed several times (barracks, prison, warehouse). During the 2000’s, a discussion started on a possible reopening of the mosque, a fact that would meet Greece’s official obligation to build legitimate places of worship for its Muslim population. The centrality of the location and popularity of the square, coupled with reactions from some quarters arguing that the physiognomy of the historical centre would subsequently deteriorate, led to a postponement of the project. A decision was finally made to build a mosque in the western centre (Eleonas), an area with few homes, thus preventing a “ghettoization” of Muslim migrants.


  • Address: 1 Areos and Pandrosou St.


Unsigned, (2006), Τζαμί: Παιανία, Μοναστηράκι ή Ελαιώνας;, [Mosque: Peania, Monastiraki or Elaionas?], in Kathimerini,

Last visit 17/9/2013


Archaeology of the city of Athens, (d.u.), Τζαμί Τζισταράκη, [Tzistaraki Mosque], ΕΙΕ,

Last visit 17/9/2013


Yohalas T., Kafetzaki Τ., (2013), Αθήνα, Ιχνηλατώντας την πόλη με οδηγό την ιστορία και τη λογοτεχνία [Athens, Tracing the city guided by history and literature], ESTIA Bookstore


Michalopoulou, E., (ed) (2009), Η Οθωμανική αρχιτεκτονική στην Ελλάδα, [Ottoman Architecture in Greece], Ministry of Culture

Last visit 23/4/2022