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Achitecture in the Modern Arab and Islamic World - Essay Example

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The construction of the mosque was in AD 705 and 715 by the Umayyad Caliph al-Walid 11. The location of the mosque is in the old city of Damascus. Some Muslims…
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Achitecture in the Modern Arab and Islamic World
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Download file to see previous pages id to contain the head of John the Baptist, a man honored as a prophet by the Christian and Muslim faithfuls, as well as some fragments of Syrio-Roman, which still remain in the structure. The mosque stands on the site of a 1st century Hellenic temple to Jupiter and of a later church of St. John the Baptist3.
The mosque occupies a huge quadrangle 515 by 330 feet (approximated at 157 by 100m) and contains a large open courtyard surrounded by an arcade of arches supported by slender columns4. The Liwan, also known as the hall of worship, runs through the length of the south side of the mosque. This section has three divisions of long isles by rows of columns and arches. The marble grilles that cover the windows in the south wall are part of the earliest examples of geometric interlace in Islamic architecture5. On the other hand, the walls of the mosque once covered with more than one acre of mosaics depicting a fanciful landscape thought to be the Quranic paradise, though only fragments survive to this day. Timur destroyed the original construction of the mosque in 1401, but the Arabs rebuilt it, then it later suffered major damages from a razing fire in 18936. This undertook another reconstruction project even though it was impossible to restore the magnificent structure back to its original splendor.
However, the Umayyad Great Mosque of Damascus still stands as an impressive architectural monument of Islam. As mentioned earlier, the mosque underwent a number of reconstructions but these did not destroy its basic plan7. The original setting of the mosque contained an arcade of the sanctuary faced and it comprised of one pier alternating with two columns. This changed subsequently to piers only. The mosque also contains a range of different arch forms used in the arcades inclusive of round, slightly pointed arches, and semi-circular horseshoe. The walls of the mosque have decorations of glass mosaics similar to those in the Dome of the rock8. These mosaics contain ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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