"White Village"                        Population: 3,700

3akkMarket day: Friday

The small village of Akköy sits just behind Pamukkale and you can see the travertines as you drive there from Denizli. There would be absolutely no reason to come here, though, were it not for one remarkable - and very well-concealed - treasure.

Right beside the outsize and overblown Merkez Yukarı Cami that was built in 2008 sits what looks at best like a battered schoolhouse but that turns out to be one of a group of painted mosques clustered around Denizli. 

Built between 1877 and 1878 and repaired in 1909, the mosque is completely covered with folk art paintings mainly of flowers but also of religous symbols.

The painting continues right up into the shallow cupola set into the panelled wooden ceiling and over the base of the kürsü.

The mimber has been moved from its original position leaving a blank strip in the middle of the decoration; in its current position it obscures what looks like a painting of a mosque. 

On the lefthand wall you will be able to see a painting of a pair of scales for weighing the soul of the deceased.

In the panel next to it steps lead down to hell represented by a cauldron of flames.

Next to that steps rise up to heaven represented by plentiful flowers.

Beyond that is an image of the Ka'aba in Mecca. 

A wooden gallery runs along the back of the mosque which is supported by four columns that are little more than rough-hewn trunks of trees.

The mosque is a little gem and it was worrying to hear talk of "restoration" although apparently the roof is leaking. The narthex area seems to be being used as a storehouse. 4akk

Transport info

There are buses from Denizli otogar to Akköy and back every half-hour until the evening. 

You might want to continue on to the village of Belenardıç which has a similar painted mosque. 

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