FOUNTAINS OF KAHRAMANKAZAN
Kahramankazan is situated at the upper Sakarya part of Inner Anatolia region. The town neighbours to Çubuk at the east, Ayaş at the west, Kızılcahamam at the north, and Yenmahalle and Sincan at the south.
The establishment date of the town, which is situated on the Mürted Plain on western Ankara, is unknown. Though, researches and archaeological excavations have shown that the town was an antique settlement which have held several different civilizations. The first Ottoman period recordings of the town, which has a history going back to Bornze Age, dates to AD 1463. During this date the town was mentioned as Murtadova, on another recording dated to 1530 it was mentioned as Murtazaabad, and in another recording dated to 1571 it was still Murtazaabad but this time it was mentioned as a district. According to the 1463 recordings the population density was concentrated mostly at the northern and northwestern Ankara. This shows that the region wehere the town is located was an important settlement during the 15th century.
Fountains built for fulfiling the need for water represents an important part of Turkish civil architecture. Rich people and governers in Anatolia have built water structures under their foundations. The “sadaka-i cariye” apprehension emerged after Islam, this became an encouragement for establishing foundations and charitable buildings. People have monuments built, such as han, hammam, mosque, fountains etc., so it woud benefit them after death in the other world. During the Ottoman Period, inner city water structures have increased. It is a known fact that after 16th century lots of fountains were built. These have gained architectural importance because of their façade formations. They have contributed to the urban esthetic with their periodical styles.
These buildings are being lost in time from both by human and natural causes. Most of the surviving ones are either lost their original state because of wrong restorations or they are in bad conditions.
We have documented 24 fountains during our research at the villages and districts of the town. We have prepared tables and classified them to their dates. Instead of making descriptions we have used photographs and drawings to make evaluations. The evaluations were made under headings such as plans, façade compositions, structure elements, inscriptions and decorations.
Out of 24 fountains 22 of them have rectangular, 2 of them have square plans. While 6 of them are connected to another sturcture, 18 are independent fountains. On their façade composition, 3 have pointed archs, while all others are flat surfaced. Cutstone, rubblestone, and marble were used as building materials. Marble was used generaly for the inscriptions, cutstone for front façades, and rubblestone for the side and back façades. Except 3 fountains none of them have water basins. The pipes are directly connected to the taps at the ones without a basin. Another notable feautre of Kahramakazan fountains is that they have a place to put the water bowl at their front façade. They are seen in 15 of the fountains with the shape of ogive, sliced, and pointed archs, and also rectangular.
Fountains are built smaller in size compared to mosques, madrasahs, hans, and hammams, with more simple features. The main place of the water flow have influenced the formation of the façades. We have classified them in 2 groups, flat surfaced and arched surfaced. Among these 24 fountains 3 have arches on their frontal façades. Pointed arch are the chosen types. First one is no. 8 Hacı Mahmud Fountain (1866) located at the Sarılar District. The center piece of the frontal façade with a pointed arch expands from the surface with two pillars. The fountain located at the Yazıbeyli District which dates to 1843, numbered 10, has two intimate pointed arches. The top part of the arch of the Katibzade Fountain, dated 1843, has collapsed. But the starting point of the arch indicates that it was a pointed arch.
18 of the fountains has insriptions. While 2 of these are made on sutstone, all the others are marble. 2 samples have sulus letters, aothers with talik letters. The ones without an inscription, number 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 20, 21, 22, 23, and 24, could be dated to the end of 19th century or the begning of the 20th century in accordance to their material, façade compositions and decorative features.
One of the founatins has a hipped roof. Besides this obviously renewed one others are all flat roofed.
These fountains were built or repaired by the people of the villages of districts, thus the function was more important then esthetics. This is the reason why decorating is scarce on these fountains. Most decorating are on the frontal façades. A simple façade composition is common among the Kahramankazan fountains. Because the main material of the fountains are cutstones, the decorating is also on these cutstones. The decoraing elements are floral and geometrical compositions. The relief technique is used on the decorating of these fountains.
There are rosettes on the upper corners of the Bölükbaşı Ahmed Ağa Fountain. The right one is composed of the interaction of hexagons, the left one has spiral (wheel of fortune) motif. At the Hacı Mahmud Fountain, the façade was ornamented with zigzags and fringes on the arch. Yazıbeli Fountain (1878) is the second one with an intense decorating. On the pointed arch surface there are 4 borders, one plain and three with geometrical decorating. On the slab of the Örencik Village Fountain (19th century) a different decorating was chosen. A dome was engraved on the slab and 3 oil lamp motifs are situated under this dome. A minaret with a single sharafa is engraved to the right side of the dome. Alems were also put on the dome and minaret motifs. The only fountain with an object motif is Çimşit District Fountain (19th century). On the inscription of the fountain there are crescent and star motifs mirroring each other.
Cypress tree motifs are located at the three corner of the inscription of the Hatıbpınar Fountain. Cypress trees are used as motifs on fountains as symbols for immortalitiy. There two little flowers one with 5 the other with 6 petals on the slab of the Hacı Mahmud Fountains. Between these two flowers there is another flower, on which the tap was put. Besides these two samples there are no other fountains with floral decorating.
Örencik Village Fountain (19th century) has two bird figures on its slab. Among the fountains we have examined this is the only sample with animal figures. It shows similarities with their bird figure with Tokat Taş Han Fountain (1626) and İzmir Çakaloğlu Han Fountain (1805).
Keywords: Kahramankazan, fountain, water structures, civil architecture.