Veli Pasha Mosque

The Veli Pasha Mosque is a building in Rethymno prefecture in the homonymous city and, particularly, in the Mastabas district.

Built on the ruins of the Catholic church of St Onuphrius, the Veli Pasha Mosque stood on the grounds of the Muslim cemetery and was surrounded by Turkish monastery (Tekke). 13 cells remain on the western side of the monastery and were recently restored. Tekke was built by Veli Pasha in 1651 and, probably, this was the year of the foundation of the Mosque as well.

At the southwestern corner of the Veli Pasha Mosque there are evident ruins of some complex. On its ground floor, an office, an abbey and a reception room must have been housed, while the on the above floor – a guestroom and a library.

The Veli Pasha Mosque or otherwise Mastaba Mosque is a square structure surmounted by nine domes. An impressive doorway is decorated with a carved grapevine. The minaret of 1789 is the oldest preserved in the whole Rethymno. The courtyard and the garden at prosperous times were lush with fruit trees and herbs.

The Veli Pasha Mosque has been restored and operates as the Paleontological Museum of Rethymno, being part of the Natural History Museum of Athens of Goulandris Foundation. The paleontological collection of the Municipality of Rethymno is the significant part of the exhibits.