1-8 of 8 Results  for:

  • Islamic Art x
  • Building/Structure x
Clear all


A. G. Gertsen

[Turk. Baghče sarǎy: ‘Garden palace’]

Ukrainian city in the Crimea, 35 km north-east of Sevastopol, which was the capital of the Tatar in the Crimea throughout the rule of the Giray dynasty (c. 1423–1783). It developed from an important burial ground of the Giray khans, but the Garden Palace (1503–19), founded by Khan Mengli Giray I (reg 1466–1514 with interruptions) and covering over 4 ha in the valley of the River Churuk-Su, represents the historical core of the city. The earliest structure is the Demirkap (‘Iron gate’) with an inscription referring to Mengli Giray and the date 1503. It is thought to be by the Italian architect Aleviz Novy or Aloisio (fl early 16th century), builder of the cathedral of the Archangel Michael (wooden church, 1333; rebuilt 1505–8) in the Moscow Kremlin. Little is known of the layout of the palace in the 16th and 17th centuries as it was badly damaged by fire in ...


Hafez K. Chehab

[Bayt al-dīn; (Qasr) Beit ed Din; Bteddin]

Palace on Mt Lebanon, south-east of Beirut. Built between 1804 and 1829 by the amir Bashir II Shihab, ruler of Mt Lebanon (reg 1788–1840), this stone palace is divided into three units: the Dar al-Barraniyya with an outer gate, large reception area and court; the Dar al-Wusta (1829) with reception and administrative areas; and the Dar al-Harim (1806) for the prince and his relatives. The marble gate of the Dar al-Harim is shaded by a two-storey iwan and the façade is shaded by a wooden porch. The three-storey quarters contain a formal reception hall decorated with marble panels in the Ottoman style and several apartments, courts and halls richly decorated with carved marble and painted wood. This luminous palace was surrounded by gardens irrigated by an aqueduct.

J. L. Burckhardt: Travels in Syria and the Holy Land (London, 1822), pp. 193–205H. O. Fleischer: ‘Über das syrische Fürstenhaus der Benu-Schihab’, ...


Mark Dike DeLancey

[Jenne] [Friday Mosque]

Malian mosque that was built in 1906–7 in the Sudanese style under the direction of master mason Ismaïla Traoré. Local historical traditions state that a mosque was first built on this site in the 12th century, replacing the palace of Djenné’s ruler Koi Konboro after he converted to Islam. By the turn of the 20th century the mosque was in ruins.

The mosque’s heavy earthen walls (see fig.) are inset with wooden timbers that act as scaffolding for replastering, while numerous pilasters create a sense of verticality. The horizontal emphasis of the eastern qibla wall is broken by three huge towers, creating a rhythmic alternation of reserved horizontal wall surfaces and projecting vertical towers. Towers in the centre of the north and south walls provide rooftop access for the call to prayer via internal staircases. A monumental entrance on the north side is composed of three projecting pillars enclosing two deep recesses. Seven projections at the top of the portal echo the tops of the pilasters extending beyond the roofline of the mosque walls....


Jonathan M. Bloom


Building reserved for Muslim mystics belonging to a religious order. The Arabic word is of Persian origin (khān: ‘lodging’; gāh: ‘place’), but several variant forms (khanqah, khanka etc) underscore its distance from that origin. The word first appeared in the works of 10th-century geographers in reference to Manichaean institutions of teaching and evangelism in eastern Iran and Transoxiana, as well as to those of the ascetic Karrami sect of Islam. By the end of the century, however, khānaqāhs begin to be associated with groups of Sufis, who lived a communal mystical life regulated by a code of rules. The khānaqāh seems to have absorbed and replaced the earlier institution of the ribāṭ, although in some regions the two terms, together with zāwiya, were used interchangeably. In the second half of the 11th century, adherents of khānaqāhs allied themselves with the ruling Saljuq élite and vice versa, which led to the rapid proliferation of the institution throughout the eastern Islamic lands under Saljuq suzerainty. The spread of the ...


Hafez K. Chehab

[Crac de Montréal; Montréal; Mons Regalus; Shaubak; Shawbak]

Castle in Jordan, south of Amman. Built in 1115 by King Baldwin I of Jerusalem (reg 1100–18) to menace the pilgrimage road to Mecca, the castle of Monreal surrendered to the Ayyubid ruler Salah al-Din (Saladin) in 1189. It was given to his brother al-Malik al-Adil (reg 1196–1218), whose son al-Mu‛azzam (reg 1218–27) enlarged and restored the fortress in 1226. Under the Mamluks (reg 1250–1517) it was known as Shawbak and became the centre of a district of the province of Kerak. Remains include several round towers and a deep well with a stairway said to lead to a spring, as well as two fragmentary churches with pointed vaults. Most of the fortress was rebuilt by the Ayyubids and Mamluks, but by 1340 the site was described as abandoned.

E. Brünnow and A. von Domaszewski: Die Provincia Arabia, 1 (Strasbourg, 1904), pp. 113–19P. Deschamps: ‘Les Deux Cracs des croisés’, ...



[Arab. masjid]

Muslim house of prayer. Islam requires no physical structure for valid prayer, which may be performed anywhere, and a minimal masjid (‘place of prostration’) may consist only of lines marked on the ground, but a building constructed especially for the purpose is preferred, in particular for congregational prayer at Friday noon, the principal weekly service. Such a building may be called a masjid or a jāmi (Turk. cami), from masjid al-jāmi‛ (Pers. masjid-i jāmi‛; Urdu jāmi‛ masjid), meaning ‘congregational mosque’. This term is often rendered in English as ‘great mosque’, or ‘Friday mosque’, a translation of masjid-i juma‛, a Persian variant. The word masjid may also be applied to any place where prayer is appropriate, for example the Masjid al-Haram, the enclosed area around the Ka‛ba in Mecca. Large buildings constructed for other religious purposes, such as madrasas and khānaqāhs, usually contain prayer-halls arranged like free-standing mosques. In cities throughout the Islamic world, the daily needs of the residents of particular quarters have been served by small mosques; they are often reduced versions of the major types of mosque that were most popular locally at the time of their construction. This article is concerned primarily with major structures built specifically for congregational prayer. For further bibliography and information on mosques in other types of buildings, ...


Gordon Campbell

Ornamental glass shade for an oil lamp, designed to be hung in a mosque. It is usually shaped like a vase, with a bulbous body, a flared neck, a flat base, and applied glass loops from which it was suspended. The form emerged in late 13th-century Syria, and many of the finest examples come from Syria and Egypt. From the 16th century mosque lamps were made in Europe (notably Venice) and exported to the Islamic world.

The inscriptions on mosque lamps generally mention the donor and include the opening lines of the ‘Verse of Light’ in the Qur'an (24.35), which likens God, the light of the heavens and the earth, to a glass lamp. Over a dozen mosque lamps from the three reigns of al-Nasir Muhammad (reg 1294–1340 with interruptions) represent the summit of 14th-century enamelled glass. A band of tall script at the neck with blue lettering on a gilded ground decorated with polychrome scrolls, leaves and buds contrasts with another band on the body inscribed with gold letters on a blue ground with scattered gold blossoms. At least 50 lamps inscribed with the Light Verse and the name of Hasan (...


Margaret Graves

From the Latin for “spoils [of war],” the term is used within the history of art and architecture to mean the re-use of earlier building materials and sculpture in later monuments. In Islamic architecture, the term spolia is most commonly, although by no means exclusively, used to refer to the re-use of Classical architectural elements, particularly stone columns and capitals, in medieval settings, but the term is equally applicable to Indian Muslims’ reuse of temple elements for their mosques. In most cases spolia were used only in the first periods of a region’s Islamization, where they may be regarded as not only a practical recycling of readily available building materials but also a representation of the triumph of Islam over earlier faiths.

The use of Classical and Byzantine spolia is seen in many of the great buildings of the early Islamic Mediterranean area. The two great monuments of the Umayyads, the Dome of the Rock (begun 692; ...