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Islamic architecture

Islamic architecture is the entire range of architecture that has evolved from Islam as a social, cultural, political and religious phenomenon.Hence the term encompasses religious buildings as well as secular ones, historic as well as modern expressions and the production of all places that have come under the varying levels of Islamic influence.

Table of contents
1 Classifiction of Islamic architecture
2 Elements of Islamic style
3 Interpretation
4 Influences
5 Moorish Architecture
6 Mughal Architecture
7 External link

Classifiction of Islamic architecture

Islamic architecture can be classified according to

Elements of Islamic style

Islamic architecture may be identified with the following design elements:


Common interpretations of Islamic architecture include the following:


A specifically Islamic architectural style developed soon after the death of the
Prophet in AD 632. From the beginning the style drew from Roman, Egyptian, Persian/Sassanid, and Byzantine styles. An early example may be identified as early as AD 691 with the completion of Qubbat al-Sakhrah (Dome of the Rock) in Jerusalem. It featured interior vaulted spaces, a circular dome, and the use of stylized repeating decorative patterns (arabesque).

The Great Mosque of Sammarra in Iraq, completed in AD 847, combined the hypostyle architecture of rows of columns supporting a flat base above which a huge spiraling minaret was constructed.

Moorish Architecture

Construction of the Great Mosque at Cordoba beginning in AD 785 marks the beginning of Islamic architecture in Spain and Northern Africa (see Moors). The mosque is noted for its striking interior arches. Moorish architecture reached its peak with the construction of the Alhambra, the magnificent palace/fortress of Granada, with its open and breezy interior spaces adorned in red, blue, and gold. the walls are decorated with stylize foliage motifs, Arabic inscriptions, and arabesque design work, with walls covered in glazed tile.

Mughal Architecture

Another distinctive sub-style is the architecture of the Mughal Empire in India in the 16th century. Blending Islamic and Hindu elements, the emperor Akbar constructed the royal city of Fatehpur Sikri, located 26 miles west of Agra, in the late 1500s.

The most famous example of Mughal architecture is the Taj Mahal, the "teardrop on eternity", completed in 1648 by the emperor Shah Jahan in memory of his wife Mumtaz Mahal who died while giving birth to their 14th child. The extensive use of precious and semiprecious stones as inlay and the vast quantity of white marble required nearly bankrupted the empire. The Taj Mahal is completely symmetric other than the sarcophagus of Shah Jahan which is placed off center in the crypt room below the main floor. This symmetry extended to the building of an entire mirror mosque in red sandstone to complement the Mecca-facing mosque place to the west of the main structure.

see also: architecture, mosque, madrassa

External link

Discussion of Islamic architecture