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Wednesday, May 18, 2016

Islamic Architecture

Islam means "surrender" , reflecting the believer's duty to submit to the will of God. (Allah) as interpreted in the Koran (Qur'an), the sacred book of his revelations to the prophet Muhammed (c. AD 570-632).

From its source in Arabia, islam spread rapidly through a combination of religious fervous and military might. Within three centuries the Middle East from Egypt to Mesopotamia was conquered, and the religion had penetrated along the North coast of Africa and into Spain. The main religious centres were Mecca, the prophet's birthplace, and Medina, to which he fled from enemies in 622, first year of the Muslim calendar.  Under the Umayyad dynasty (661-750) the chief city of the caliphs (spiritual and political successors to Muhammed) was moved to Damascus.

The 7th century Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, is the earliest great Muslim building in existence. In this period too the mosque acquired its basic form, to be developed in various ways throughout the Muslim world.

After the 10th century, the power structure of Islam was under the control of a succession of Turkish groups. The Seljuks, prolific builders, ruled from central Anatolia. In 1453 the Ottomans completed their conquests of the Byzantine Empire by taking Constantinople, and by 1600 much of south-east Europe, west Asia and north Africa was under their sway. The 16th century saw the creation of the Persian Safavid dynasty (1501-1732), while in India the northern states were unified under the Mughal Emperors (1526-1858), whose Indo-Islamic style reached its climax in the Taj Mahal. The architecture of Moorish Spain (8th-15th century) is notable for its opulent decoration.

DISCLAIMER:  All text from this blog entry are taken from the book The Story of Architecture by Patrick Nuttgens.


Mosques - meeting places of the Faithful structurally inspired by Muhammed's house at Medina - generally had the following features : a spacious courtyard containing a tank or fountain for ablutions; a decorated niche (mihrab) in a wall oriented to Mecca (qibla); a pulpit (minbar) to the right of the mihrab; a screened enclosure protecting the prayer leader; and one or more minarets from which the muezzin called believers to prayer 5 times a day.

The 7th-11th century was the age of the great congregational or Friday, mosques, with courtyards enclosed by flat-roofed porticoes to give protection from the sun, the deep one fronting the qibla wall forming a domed or multi-domed sanctuary.


With the 12th century came the emergence (fostered by the Seljuks in Anatolia and Iran and the Ayubbids in Egypt) of the madrasa: a colegiate mosque in which the porticoes were replaced by huge vaulted halls (iwans). Madrasas were sometimes linked with domed mausolea in a single complex. Instead of brick, ashlar masonry was now often used in some areas, sometimes with alternating light and dark courses. In the mid-16th century, the Ottomans developed a monumental type of mosque based partly on the Byzantine church of Santa Sophia, Istanbul.

Sher-dor madrasa is one of the three madrasas built in the Registan in Samarkand of the Timurid dynasty now in Uzbekistan.  In the 17th century the ruler of Samarkand, Yalangfush Bakhodur, ordered its construction together with the Tilya-Kori madrasa. The tiger mosaics on the face of each madrasa are interesting. In fact they flout the ban in Islam of the depiction of living beings on religious buildings.


A typically Islamic building type is the caravanserai: an inn often lavishly furbished, for traders and pilgrims. It often too the form of rectangular walled enclosure pierced by a wide portal. Similar in structure is the ribat, a kind of fortified monastery. Hunting-palaces, the speciality of the Umayyad caliphs, were built in a variety of styles. Houses were inward looking in design and planned to facilitate seclusion of women.


Surfaces were often mantled in decoration, brickwork, carved stucco, inlaid marble or lavish polychrome tilework perfected in Iran and Turkey in the 16th -17rth century. Since figurative representation was banned in religious art, decorative energy was channeled into geometric, arabesque and calligraphic motifs.  Arches, often horseshoe, trefoil or multiform, sometimes had joggled (i.e. interlocking) voussoirs of alternate colours. A common embellishment was superimposed tiers of complecxly articulated arches forming a stalactite (muqarnas) vault.


Seljuks from central Asia brought a more three-dimensional approach to Iranian architecture, and in the 11th-12th century evolved cylindrical minarets, geometrically patterned brickwork and the 4-iwan madrasa. After the mid 13th century under the Monguls and Timurids, buildings became more highly coloured and in the Safayid period mainly 16th-17th century vast areas were covered with glazed tiles, either in mosaics or individually patterned with several hues.


The Safayid capital of Isfahan is dominated by the turquise-blue domes of its mosques. The Masjid-Shah (Royal Mosque; 1612-37), the city's largest building, shows off Safayid tilework at its most exquisite. Entrance portal wit muqarnas is in the centre of south side of main square, but mosque itself is angled towards Mecca.

The chef jewels of the Friday mosque  (8th-17th century) are two 11th centruy domed chambers, both by deep iwans, at either end of the arched court. The so-called "Brown Dome" contains some of Iran's finest Seljuk brickwork.

Also at Isfahan: Mosque of the Shaykh Lurfllah (1617); Ali Qapu Palace (early 17th century); Khwaju Bridge (mid 17th century).


The Mosque of Gawhar Shad, Mashad, 1419 is fine example of Timurid tile-mosaic; first mosque to have pair of minarets flanking iwan rather than rising from parapets. Oldest mosque in Iran is Tarik Khana Mosque, Damghan (8th century).


The building styles of the Seljuk Turks (12th-13th century) were exploited by their Ottoman successors for half a century, until the Ottomans evolved their own style of mosque, partly inspired by Santa Sophia, Constantinople.


In Seljuk architecture superb carving is balanced against ashlar masonry. In mosque the domed hall was emphasized.

The Ince Minare Madrasa (Madrasa of the Slender Minaret), Konya (c. 1260-65) has a superb iwan portal. Also at Konya: the Buyuk Karatay Madrasa (1251).

Other buildings: Shifte Minare Madrasa, Erzurum (1253), with typical Seljuk tomb-tower; caravanserai, Aksaray (1229).


The Ottoman mosque, austerely geometrical, was grandly and harmoniously designed, with domed interior, pillared forecourt, subsidiary buildings and slender minarets. Tilework reached a peak in the 16th-17th  century. Greatest architect was Sinan (c. 1489-1588), whose buildings are well represented at Istanbul. His first major work, the Shehzade Mosque (mid 16th century), is among earliest to have pencil-like minarets. Large central dome abutted by 4 half-domes.

Sinan's complex of Sokollu Mehmet Pasha (1572) is cleverly adapted to uneven site (superb tilework, finest over minbar), while his Suleymaniye complex (1550-7), rivalling St. Sophia, is a vast civic centre with over 500 domes.

Final phase of classic Ottoman style is reached in the Mosque of Sultan Ahmet (early 17th century), with 6 minarets. Also at Istanbul; Topkapi Palace with Chinili Kiosk (1473).

At Edirne, the old capital, are the early Uch Sherefeli Mosque (1438-47), and the Selimiye complex, regarded by Sinan as his masterpiece; 4 soaring minarets.


Central Asia's finest Muslim architecture, built in baked brick, is embellished with a wealth of glazed tiles.


The Tomb of the Samanids, Bukhara (10th century), USSR (now  in Uzbekistan), one of Islam's earliest monumental tombs, has brick work with basket-weave ornamentation. Finest tilework of the region is at Samarkand, especially on the tombs of the Shah-I-Zinda and Gur Emir complexes (14th-15th century). Latter has curious ribbed dome which stands on a high drum. The basic plan of courtyard with minaret at each corner was later adopted in India. 

Named after Turabek-Khanum, the wife of Kutlug-Timur (ruled between 1321 and 1336), this structure is located at the northern part of ancient Gurgench. It is remarkable for its elegant design and stunning tile decoration, and it is a highly sophisticated work of architecture, both in its conceptualisation of spaces and in its engineering. Both are fully utilised in a conscious way to achieve a visual, aesthetic and spiritual effect.  
The original building was composed of two chambers: a large domed hall and a smaller one behind it. The large chamber is twelve-sided on the exterior and hexagonal on the interior, being preceded by an entrance portal and a vestibule.
One of the most impressive architectural features of the mausoleum is the circular dome covering the main hall, whose surface is covered in colourful mosaic which forms intricate ornamental patterns consisting of flowers and stars, creating a visual metaphor for the heavens. No comparable contemporary parallels can be found at Urgench, as some of the architectural features, such as the decorations mentioned above, do not appear in other monuments built during the lifetime of Turabek-Khanum, around 1330. Thus, it is difficult to date the building so early. These features do, however, appear in Central Asia later, during the reign of Timur, a warlord of Turco-Mongol descent. New technologies, such as mosaic faience, show up in Timur's earliest buildings, such as the Aq Saray palace in Shahrisabz, in Uzbekistan, which was begun in 1379 but was still unfinished in 1404.

The construction of the mausoleum provided important advances in building technology, displaying unsurpassed records of all kinds in terms of its vaulted constructions and artistic innovations. The achievements derived from the mausoleum's erection, together with the Timurids' patronage of music, calligraphy, Persian miniature painting, literature, and various scientific pursuits, gave birth to a distinct Islamic artistic style, to be known as Timurid.

The spacious structure employed a radially symmetrical plan for spatial arrangement. The visual balance created by the precise construction became a characteristic aesthetic feature of Timurid buildings-one which would famously be adopted by the Mughal Architecture of India, especially in the gardens and structures of Humayun's Tomb and Taj Mahal, both commissioned by descendants of Timur.

Sugong Tower or popularly know as Emin Minaret was constructed by local craftsmen using local materials and is located in Turfan, Xinjiang, China. The structure itself is made of wood and brick. It is an elegant, circular, tapered Islamic dome, with a diameter over 14 meters (46 feet) at its base and tapering to 2.8 meters at the top. The exterior is of sun-dried yellow bricks that narrow in shape as the tower rises. The richly textured bricks are carved into intricate, repetitive, geometric and floral mosaic patterns, such as stylized flowers and rhombuses. This mixture of Chinese and Islamic features is seen only in minarets in China. The unique geometric patterns are characteristic of Islamic architecture and have no counterparts in the architecture of China other than in Muslim structures. Positioned in the tower are several long, narrow windows at different heights and facing different directions that provide light and ventilation. The minaret has no stories. Inside, the spiraling internal support serves as a winding 72-step staircase to the top.


The earliest mosques of India, built in Delhi and Ajmer at the end of the 12th century, were converted Hindu and Jain temples. The Indo-Islamic style of the 13th century, which continued to use brackets and corbelling in the native mode, was eclipsed under the Mughal Empire (1526-1858), whose architecture progressed from early eclecticism to an emphatically Persian manner. The most enlightened patrons were Akbar (1556-1605), who favoured red sandstane, and his grandson Shah Jihan, whose bulbous-domed monuments in white marble were effectively combined with water gardens.


Qutb Minar minaret at 72.5 meter high

At Delhi stands the first great Indo-Islamic mosque; the Quwwat Al-Islam Mosque (begun c. 1197). Its domed gateway (1305) has non-indigenous squinches and voussoirs, and the horseshoe arches, with spearhead-shaped undersides that were to become typical of Delhi. Adjacent Qutb Minar minaret (1199) is very lofty: height of 72.5 meter.

Humayun's Tomb (1565), an early jewel of Mughal Delhi,marks infiltration of pure styles from Iran and Central Asia. Symmetrical composition on aracaded podium. Red sandstone beautifully picked out in white marble inlay. The fortified Tomb of Ghiyath Ad-Din Tughluq (1325) has sloping walls that were later a hallmark of Indo-Islamic building.

Also at Delhi: Friday Mosque (1644-58); Shah Jihan's Red Fort (1638), with bulbous domes and multifoil arches.  


The symmetrical and simple designed is in sharp contrast with the interior floor plan, of inner chambers, which is a square 'ninefold plan', where eight two-storyed vaulted chambers radiate from the central, double-height domed chamber. It can be entered through an imposing entrance iwan (high arc) on the south, which is slightly recessed, while others are covered with intricate jaalis, stone lattice work. Underneath this white dome in a domed chamber (hjra), lies the central octagonal sepulcher, the burial chamber containing a single cenotaph, that of the second Mughal Emperor, Humayun aligned on the north-south axis, as per Islamic tradition, wherein the head is placed to north, while the face is turned sideways towards Mecca.


Located at the Qutb Complex, it has a rich interior and plain exterior which are the highlights of this tomb. The tomb is quite simple but its entrance is intricately carved with geometrical and arabesque patterns. There are some Hindu motifs too though - like wheels, the lotus, diamonds and so on.

JAMA MASJID.  It is one of the largest mosques in India. The mosque was completed in 1656 AD with three great gates, four towers and two 40 m high minarets contsructed of strips of red sandstone and white marble. The courtyard can accomodate more than 25,000 persons. There are three domes on the terrace which are surrounded bythe two minarets. On the floor, a total of 899 borders are marked for worshippers.

The Red Fort was the residence of the Mughal emperor for nearly 200 years, until 1857. It is located in the centre of Delhi  and houses a number of museums. In addition to accommodating the emperors and their households, it was the ceremonial and political centre of Mughal government and the setting for events critically impacting the region.
Constructed in 1648 by the fifth Mughal Emperor Shah Jahan  as the palace of his fortified capital Shajahanabad, the Red Fort is named for its massive enclosing walls of red sandstone and is adjacent to the older Salimgarh Fort, built by Islam Shah Suri in 1546. The imperial apartments consist of a row of pavilions, connected by a water channel known as the Stream of Paradise (Nahr-i-Behisht). The fort complex is considered to represent the zenith of Mughal creativity under Shah Jahan and although the palace was planned according to Islamic prototypes, each pavilion contains architectural elements typical of Mughal buildings that reflect a fusion of  Timurid and Persian traditions. 

Diwa-i-Am, or Hall of Audience, located in the Red Fort of Delhi was where the Mughal emperor Shah Jahan (1628-1658) and his successors received members of the general public and heard their grievances. The proportions of this hall, of its columns, and of the engraved arches show high aesthetics and fine craftsmanship. With an impressive façade of nine engraved arch openings, the hall was ornamented with gilded and white shell lime chunam plaster work. Its ceiling and columns were painted with gold.


Agra's Taj Mahal (1632-54), greatest Mughal tomb, houses Shah Jihan and his favourite wife behind delicate marble screen. Central octagonal chamber on podium with 4 minarets at corners. Facades have huge Persian-style iwans. White marble exterior decorated with pietra dura (a form of inlay work). A sublimely beautiful building. Also at Agra: Tomb of I'timad ad Dawla.

Fatehpur Sikro (1569-74) is great sandstone  capital built by Akbar (abandoned 1585). Mughal architecture at most eclectic in palaces, colonnades and porticoes, asymmetrically planned.

TAJ MAHAL.  The tomb is the central focus of the entire complex of the Taj Mahal. It is a large, white marble structure standing on a square plinth  and consists of a symmetrical building with an iwan (an arch-shaped doorway) topped by a large dome and finial. Like most Mughal tombs, the basic elements are Persian in origin.

TOMB OF ITIMAD-UD-DAULAH.  It is a Mughal Mausoleum in the city of Agra in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh. Often described as a "jewel box". sometimes called the "Baby Taj". It is often regarded as a draft of the Taj Mahal.

BULAND DARWAZA.  or the "Gate of Magnificence", was built in 1576 A.D. by Akbar to commemorate his victory over Gujarat. It is the main entrance to the palace of Fatehpur Sikri, a town which is 43 km from Agra, India.

TOMB OF AKBAR THE GREAT. BULAND DARWAZA.  It is an important Mughal architecture masterpiece, built 1605-1613, set in 48 Ha (119 acres) of grounds in Sikandra, a suburb of Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India. The tomb building is a four-tiered pyramid, surmounted by a marble pavilion containing the false tomb. The true tomb, as in other mausoleums, is in the basement.

The tombs form a large cluster and stand on a raised platform. The tombs are domed structures built on a square base surrounded by pointed arches, a distinctive style that blends Persian,Pashtun and Hindu forms. The tombs are structures with intricately carved stonework and are surrounded by landscaped gardens.
The tombs were once furnished with carpetschandeliers and velvet canopies on silver poles. Copies of the Quran were kept on pedestals and readers recited verses from the holy book at regular intervals. Golden spires were fitted over the tombs of the sultans to distinguish their tombs from those of other members of the royal family.


The Tomb of Shir Shah Sur, Sasaram (c. 1540) uses octagonal form to perfection. Lahore, Pakistan Wazir Khan Mosque (1634), with superb tile-mosaics; Jihangir's Tomb (1627); Badshahi Mosque (1673-4).

The building is an octagon, 51 feet 9 inches in diameter internally, with walls 41 feet 4 inches high and 13 feet 3 inches thick, supported at the angles by sloping towers. Above this is a second octagon, 25 feet 8 inches high, then another at 26 feet 10 inches high. There is a narrow passage all around the top of the lower storey for the Moazzan, or public caller to prayers.
This structure is surmounted by a hemispherical dome 58 feet externally in diameter. The total height of the building is 100 feet, including a plinth of 3 feet. As it stands on the high ground, the total height above the road level is 150 feet.

The mausoleum is built entirely of red brick, bounded with beams of shisham wood, which have turned black over the centuries. The exterior is elaborately ornamented with glazed tile  panels, string-courses and battements. The colours used are dark blue, azure, and white, which contrast the deep red finely polished bricks.

The mausoleum is a building with one floor. The ground floor has a square shape. Its structure consists of a platform with a tall, octagonal tower and a projecting entrance in the middle of each side. The exterior of the mausoleum, including the lowest stage of the towers, is clad with red sandstone facing with rich panel decoration inlaid with marble decorative motifs. The four corners of the tower, with the white marble cupolas, rise in five stages to a height of 100 feet (30m) with a zigzag inlay of white and yellow marble. The building is divided into a series of vaulted compartments. The interior is embellished with floral frescoes with delicate inlay work and marble of various colours.

Shah Jahan Mosque is located in Thatta, Sindh province, Pakistan. The mosque was built in 1647, during the reign of Mughal King Shah Jahan, as a gift to the people of Sindh for their hospitality .

The mosque features extensive brickwork laid in geometric patterns, which is a decorative element unusual for Mughal era mosques, and is an element of Timurid architecture adopted for use in the mosque. The mosque's brickwork was also influenced by Sindhi vernacular styles, which in turn was influenced by Persian architecture. Brick work is most notable in the arcades surrounding the central courtyard, while concentric rings of brick are used to embellish the underside of peripheral domes.

The Sixty Dome Mosque  (more commonly known as Shait Gambuj Mosque or Saith Gunbad Masjid) has walls of unusually thick, tapered brick in the Tughlaq style and a hut-shaped roof line that anticipates later styles. The length of the mosque is 160 feet and width is 108 feet. There are 77 low domes arranged in seven rows of eleven, and one dome on each corner, bringing the total to 81 domes. There are four towers. Two of four towers were used to callazaan. The interior is divided into many aisles and bays  by slender columns, which culminate in numerous arches that support the roof.


Architecture of the Aghlabid dynasty (800-909), at its best in Tunisia, had powerfully simple forms. Spanish and Moroccan Islamic architecture developed in isolation: the narrow structural vocabulary led to restless virtuosity in decoration. Horseshoe and multifoil arches and exaggerated muqarnas work was widely exploited. Minarets square and sturdy.


The Great Mosque, Qairouan (9th century), Tunisia, much rebuilt, is structurally the most influential building in North Africa.

At Fez, Morocco, the Qarawiyyn Mosque (rebuilt 12th century) typifies the ornate decoration of the Almoravid period. The town's most monumental mosque is the Bu-Inaniyya Madrasa (1350-5). Also: Kutubiya Mosque, Marrakesh (12 century).


The most majestic structure of Cordoba, capital of Umayyad Spain is the Great Mosque (began 785), now a cathedral. Sanctuary is supported on a forest of columns.

The Spanish liking for decorative multiplicity was given full rein at the Alhambra, Granada (1338-90), a vast fortified palace with staggering ornate ceramic, stucco and plaster work. Court of the Lions was used for public ceremonials, Court of the Myrtles for sovereign and entourage.

Also in Spain: Aljaferia Palace, Saragossa (11th century); Mosque of Mardum, Toledo (1000): Giralda, Seville (12th century)

The Court of the Lions  (Patio de los Leones) is an oblong courtyard, 116 ft (35 m) in length by 66 ft (20 m) in width, surrounded by a low gallery supported on 124 white marble columns. A pavilion projects into the court at each extremity, with filigree walls and a light domed roof. The square is paved with coloured tiles and the colonnade with white marble, while the walls are covered 5 ft (1.5 m) up from the ground with blue and yellow tiles, with a border above and below of enamelled blue and gold. The columns supporting the roof and gallery are irregularly placed. They are adorned by varieties of foliage, etc.; about each arch there is a large square of stucco arabesques; and over the pillars is another stucco square of filigree work.


Kota Kinabalu City Mosque.  The mosque sits on a 14.83-acre (6.00 ha) site at Pasir Road on the shores of Likas Bay, on the South China Sea. It is partially surrounded by a human-made lagoon; this has given rise to the nickname "The Floating Mosque".[5] It has a maximum capacity of 12,000 worshipers.

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque.  The mosque's most recognizable feature - the main dome, is covered in pure gold. The mosque stands 52 m (171 ft) high and can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan. The main minaret is the mosque's tallest feature. In a unique way it mixes Renaissance and Italian architectural style. The minaret  has an elevator  to the top, where a visitor can enjoy a panoramic  view of the city.

Great Mosque of Central Java.  The mosque complex covers 10 hectares (25 acres). There are three central buildings arranged in the shape of a U, with the domed mosque at the centre; all buildings have pitched, tiled roofs, while the central mosque has four minarets. The central roof resembles the roof of a "joglo", the traditional Javanese house, and symbolises the rising steps toward heaven or to gain God's blessing. The long buildings forming the arms of the U house a library and auditorium respectively; the auditorium can hold up to 2,000 people.

In the central courtyard are six large hydraulically operated umbrellas, inspired by the ones at  Al-Masjif al-Nabawi in Medina, which are used to protect worshipers; the six umbrellas represent the six tenets of iman.

Jame'asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque, located in Bandar Seri Begawan, is the largest mosque in Brunei. It was built to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the sultan's reign, and opened in 1994. It is known locally as the Kiarong mosque.

Ubudiah Mosque- ranking high on the list of Malaysia's most beautiful mosques, the Masjid Ubudiah (or Ubudiah Mosque) stands proudly and majestically in Kuala Kangsar, with its golden dome and minarets creating a spellbinding sight, from near and afar. This imposing structure is now a symbol of great pride to all Muslims in the state of Perak Darul Ridzuan, the Land of Grace.

Kocatepe Mosque is the largest mosque in Ankara, the capital of Turkey. It was built between 1967 and 1987 in the Kocatepe quarter in Kizilay, and its size and prominent situation have made it a landmark that can be seen from almost anywhere in central Ankara.

Sabanci Central Mosque is built on the intersection of the main arteries, railway lines and roads that connect Adana to the surrounding cities and towns, has almost become the symbol of the city with its high minarets visible from almost anywhere in the city. The Mosque, which has a capacity to offer service to 28,500 people, is famous for being one of the biggest mosques in the Balkans and in the Middle East.

Qol Sharif Mosque.  Originally, the mosque was built in the Kazan Kremlin in the 16th century. It was named after Qolsarif, who served there. Qolşärif died with his numerous students while defending Kazan from Russian forces in 1552. It is believed that the building featured minarets, both in the form of cupolas and tents. Its design was traditional for Volga Bulgaria, although elements of early Renaissance and Ottoman architecture could have been used as well. In 1552, during the storming of Kazan it was destroyed by Ivan the Terrible.  Since 1996 the mosque has been rebuilt in Kazan Kremlin, although its look is decisively modern.

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, its design has been inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish mosque architecture, particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco being direct influences. The dome layout and floor plan of the mosque was inspired by the Badshahi Mosque and the architecture was inspired by Persian, Mughal and Moorish design. Its archways are quintessentially Moorish and its minarets classically Arab. The design of the mosque can be best described as a fusion of Arab, Persian, Mughal and Moorish architecture.

Sultan Abdul Samad Building.  Topped by a shiny copper dome and a 40m high clock tower, it is a major landmark in the city. It serves as the backdrop for important events such as the National Day Parade on 31 August and the ushering in of the New Year. This heritage building used to be occupied by the then Apex Court of Malaysia, 
the Supreme Court which was subsequently renamed the Federal Court. The Court of Appeal was also housed in this historic building. 

Mohammed V Mausoleum is a historical building located on the opposite side of theHassan Tower on the Yacoub al-Mansour esplanade in RabatMorocco. It contains the tombs of the Moroccan king and his two sons, late King Hassan II and Prince Abdallah. The building is considered a masterpiece of modern Alaouite dynasty architecture, with its white silhouette, topped by a typical green tiled roof, green being the color of Islam.

One of the Bosnia and Herzegovina's most recognizable landmarks, it is also considered one of the most exemplary pieces of Islamic architecture in the Balkans and was designed by Mimar Hayruddin, a student and apprentice of the famous architect Mimar Sinan.

It is the oldest and one of the most renowned mosques in the China, founded in 742 during the tang dynasty (618-907). However, the majority of the existing Xi’an Great Mosque was constructed during the Ming dynasty and further expanded in the Qing dynastyOccupying an area of over 12,000 square meters, the Great Mosque is divided into four courtyards, 250 meters long and 47 meters wide with a well-arranged layout. Landscaped with gardens, the further one strolls into its interior, the more serene one feels.

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