Ummayad mosque an architectural analysis

Wikipedia Great Mosque of Damascus interior of the great mosque, containing the shrine of St. John the Baptist view image source: An earlier Roman temenos on the site determined its size by metersits location, and the lower course of some of the walls, as well as the position of the east and west entrances.

Ummayad mosque an architectural analysis

Following text was originally written by: It was, of course, a place of worship, but it was also the social and political center of the nascent Muslim community. Under the Abbasids, the mosque developed a new character as an exclusively religious institution. In early Islamic times, there had been no architectural uniformity, as mosques were made out of older structures or constructed in local vernacular styles.

Ummayad mosque an architectural analysis this changed in the Abbasid period. The great Ummayad mosque an architectural analysis of the early Abbasid caliphate, combined with the growing role of the ulama, meant that a standard type of Friday mosque evolved over a wide geographical area, although individual examples might differ in the use of local materials and techniques of construction.

The typical Friday mosque in the Abbasid period was a rectangular structure, somewhat longer than it was wide, with a rectangular courtyard in its center. The courtyard was surrounded by hypostyle halls, in which many stone columns or brick piers supported a flat wooden roof.

The hall was wider on the side of the qibla wall, which faced Mecca, and had in its middle a mihrab, or niche. In order to emphasize the mihrab, builders might add a small dome directly in front of it or a wider aisle leading from the courtyard.

To the right of the mihrab stood a stepped minbar, or pulpit, from which the imam prayer leader gave the Friday sermon khutba. In the Umayyad period, the caliph himself had often given the sermon, but by Abbasid times the caliph rarely, if ever, attended worship in the Friday mosque, and the job of leading prayers was taken over by a member of the ulama.

On the opposite side of the courtyard from the mihrab, stood a tower. Rather, their monumental size and prominent placement suggest that they were erected to advertise the presence of the Friday mosque from afar and symbolize the preeminent role of the mosque in Abbasid society.

Islamic Art and Architecture: The Great Umayyad Mosque of Damascus

In the same way that a standard mosque style was spread throughout the Abbasid domains, many other forms and techniques that had been developed in the capital were disseminated to the provinces.

In contrast to the Umayyads, who in Syria had built stone structures, Abbasid builders favored mud brick and baked brick covered with a rendering of gypsum plaster, often painted, carved, or molded with geometric and vegetal designs.


In part, this choice of materials may have been due to the lack of suitable building stone in the heartland of Abbasid power, but in practical terms it meant that Abbasid-style buildings could be erected wherever the raw materials — clay, lime, and gypsum — were found, in effect everywhere.

Similarly, the Abbasid style of molded stucco decoration, which combined late anti practical innovation was transformed into an aesthetic one, as builders throughout the Abbasid lands adopted this type of stucco revetment.

Baghdad, the imperial metropolis of a far-flung empire, exerted a magnetic attraction on people and ideas.

The capital also served as a kind of clearing house, as people and ideas returned to the provinces with new ideas and experiences. For example, it now seems that in the 8th century Syrian glassmakers invented the decorative technique of using metallic oxides to give their wares a lustrous sheen after they had been fired a second time in a reducing, low-oxygen kiln.

This unique technique of luster decoration was adapted by potters in Abbasid Iraq, who used it to decorate their earthenware ceramics. From Iraq, Abbasid potters introduced the technique to Egypt, where it took on a new life of its own.

Baghdad also set the style for cultural norms in the Abbasid period, even for rival powers. For example, the Umayyads of Spain, who challenged the Abbasids political legitimacy, nevertheless emulated their art and culture.

The musician Ziryaban emigre from Baghdad, became the arbiter of fine taste in 9th-century Cordoba, where he set the standards for dress, table manners, protocol, etiquette, and even the coiffures of men and women.

Exploring islamic art in the early period (7th c. – 13th c.)

Similarly, Abbasid elegance was emulated by their religious and political rivals in Byzantium. In a Byzantine envoy went to Baghdad, where he was so impressed by the splendor of Abbasid architecture that on his return to Constantinople he persuaded Emperor Theophilos to build a palace exactly like the ones he had seen.

Theophilos complied, and a palace was built at Bryas, now Maltepe, an Asiatic suburb of Constantinople on the Sea of Marmara. Only the substructure remains, but it shows a large rectangular enclosure that calls to mind Umayyad and Abbasid palaces. The only departure from the Abbasid model was a chapel added next to the imperial chamber and a triconch church set in the middle of the courtyard.

Virtually nothing but memories remains of Abbasid Baghdad, which has been rebuilt over the centuries, and the vast palaces of Samarra have long since fallen into ruin.

Much Abbasid art was ephemeral, made of materials such as cloth, plaster, and wood, which have not survived the ravages of time.

Ummayad mosque an architectural analysis

Fragile ceramics and glassware were broken, but their shards have remained to give an unusually clear picture of the tableware of the Abbasid elites.

Since what remains does not necessarily reflect what was made, the historian needs to combine the artistic remains with the many textual sources for the period and the archeological evidence to recreate a picture of the splendors and glories of Abbasid art.

What do you think? Leave a respectful comment.

The search for a capital Building large new cities was the major architectural activity of the Abbasid caliphs. In terms of function, these cities were logical successors to the garrison cities that the Umayyads had built in newly conquered regions.

In terms of architecture, however, these new cities were the continuation of a long Mesopotamian and Iranian tradition of rulers building administrative capitals. During the first decade of Abbasid rule, the caliphs erected several administrative centers in the vicinity of Kufa, in southern Iraq.

They were known as al-Hashimiya in reference to the family from which both the Prophet and the Abbasids descendedbut nothing remains of them and the sources provide little additional information. These centers must have been royal residences, since at least one of them had a throne room, called a khadra, the same word that had been used in the Umayyad period for a throne room.

The Abbasid throne room was on an upper floor, for the 9th-century historian al-Tabari reported that, when the Rawandiya rebels, members of an extremist Shiite sect, approached Caliph al-Mansur — in his khadra, they attempted to escape out the window and fell to their deaths.Great Mosque of Damascus, also called Umayyad Mosque, the earliest surviving stone mosque, built between ad and by the Umayyad Caliph al-Walīd I.

The mosque stands on the site of a 1st-century Hellenic temple to Jupiter and of a later church of St. John the Baptist. These events engendered greater architectural movements reflecting the Umayyad grandeur as portrayed in their master pieces; the Dome of the Rock and the Great Mosque of Damascus.

The full article examines the main flagship construction projects of that period and explores its innovative architectural and artistic elements. The Umayyad Mosque is visited by masses of Shia pilgrims because the prisoners of the Battle of Karbala were kept and eventually killed in a jail located in the eastern section of the ancient temple; the battle occurred in and the Umayyad Caliph Yazid defeated the supporters of Husayn Ibn Ali, who is regarded by the Shia as the Martyr of.

The Great Mosque of Cordoba: Geometric Analysis By Najib Gedal on December 14, in Architecture, Mosques, Patterns & Geometry · 2 Comments Ilm al-Miqdar (The science of proportion) is a body of knowledge concerned principally with the study of spatial order through the measure and relationships of forms.

The mosque is located on an artificial platform which is known today as the (Al Haram Al Sahreef), established in the times of King Herod, The site's significance stems from religious traditions regarding the rock, known as the Foundation Stone, at its heart, which bears great significance for Jews, Christians, and Muslims.

Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria Space and Symbolism By Shijo Jose (A//) History of Architecture II Year Sem IV Great Mosque of Damascus, also called Umayyad Mosque, the earliest surviving stone mosque, built between ad and by the Umayyad Caliph al-Walīd I.

Islamic Architecture by Dxx : Building Analysis - Dome of the Rock