The Stone Carvings of “Hamko’s Mansion” at Konitsa (NW Greece)

Today, postdoctoral researcher Faidon Moudopoulos-Athanasiou is presenting at Turkologentag 2023 – The Fourth European Convention on Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies, which is taking place in Vienna on the 21-23rd of September 2023, organised by The Society of Turkic, Ottoman and Turkish Studies (Gesellschaft für Turkologie, Osmanistik und Türkeiforschung, GTOT).


The Stone Carvings of “Hamko’s Mansion” at Konitsa (NW Greece): New Interpretations for the Study of the Ottoman Heritage in the SW Balkans

In this contribution we present the stone carvings placed at the two gates (outer and inner) of “Hamko’s Manor” at Konitsa (NW Greece). It is a scheduled monument that has been recently restored, and its history is of value to the region of Epirus, as it was the family house of the mother of Ali Pasha Tepelenli of Ioannina. Carvings of the sort presented here are treated in folklore literature as apotropaic, protecting from the evil spirit and bad luck, as well as portraying the masons’ efforts to manifest their skill in their craft. These interpretations tie with the national categorisations of traditional crafts and vernacular architecture, which tend to de-ottomanise their context. Here, we argue for an interpretation of stone carvings as narratives reflecting the cultural ambiguities of the liminal Ottoman provinces of the SW Balkans. Taking as an example the two series of stone carvings from Hamko’s Mansion at Konitsa, we support that they are best viewed as forms of storytelling, reflecting the identity of the owners, as members of the Bektashi sufi order and warriors of the faith, gazis, while also vaguely expressing the values of the in-house rituals of the same tarikat. Furthermore, based on the stone carvings of the outer gate, we suggest an update on the chronology of the building.

Dr. Faidon Moudopoulos-Athanasiou is a postdoctoral fellow with the project Heritage under young forests: recording and interpreting the cultureal heritage underneath the afforested Zagori (NW Greece). Juan de la Cierva (FJC2021-047943-I), funded by MCIN/AEI /10.13039/501100011033 and the European Union NextGenerationEU/PRTR.

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