Jewel of the art of woodwork produced during the reign of the Zirid prince Al-Mu'izz ibn Badis and dated from the first half of the eleventh century, it is considered the oldest still in place in the Islamic world. [88], At the time of its greatest splendor, between the ninth and eleventh centuries AD, Kairouan was one of the greatest centres of Islamic civilisation and its reputation as a hotbed of scholarship covered the entire Maghreb. [17] During this expansion, he pulled down the mosque and rebuilt it with the exception of the mihrab. If there is any building that is venerated and treated with so much reverence in Islam, it is the mosque. [18] In 774, a new reconstruction accompanied by modifications and embellishments[19] took place under the direction of the Abbasid governor Yazid ibn Hatim. This porch of seven metres high is topped with a square base upon which rests a semi-spherical ribbed dome; the latter is ribbed with sharp-edged ribs. Considered as the oldest example of concave mihrab, it dates in its present state to 862–863 AD.[79]. [9] With the decline of the city from the mid-11th century, the centre of intellectual thought moved to the University of Ez-Zitouna in Tunis.[10]. [84] This old chair of the ninth century is still in its original location, next to the mihrab. From the library of the mosque comes a large collection of calligraphic scrolls and manuscripts, the oldest dating back to the second half of the ninth century. The height difference is compensated by the development of variable bases, capitals and crossbeams; a number of these crossbeams are in cedar wood. The Great Mosque of Kairouan has become one of the most prominent places of worship in the Muslim world due to its historical significance and architectural influence. It consists of three tapering levels, the last of which is topped with a small ribbed dome that was most probably built later than the rest of the tower. Aside from its Great Mosque – the first founded in the Maghreb –, it is also home to the mausoleum of an ancient companion of the Prophet, Sidi Saheb; this magnificent building built in the 17th century, made up of several patios and rooms decorated with multicoloured ceramic panels, is known as the “Mosque of the Barber”. Earn Transferable Credit & Get your Degree. Extensive works under the Aghlabids two centuries later (9th Cent.AD/CE) gave the mosque its present aspect. »[32], At the same time, the doctor and Anglican priest Thomas Shaw (1692–1751),[33] touring the Tunis Regency and passes through Kairouan in 1727, described the mosque as that: "which is considered the most beautiful and the most sacred of Berberian territories", evoking for example: "an almost unbelievable number of granite columns".[34]. © copyright 2003-2020 Study.com. Structurally given the soft grounds subject to compaction, the buttressed towers added stability to the entire mosque. Not sure what college you want to attend yet? Be sure to bring a bunch of cash if you're interested in purchasing Tunisian rugs- they are handmade, traditional crafts of the area and are stunningly beautiful. [25] In 875 Emir Ibrahim II built another three bays, thereby reducing the size of the courtyard which was further limited on the three other sides by the addition of double galleries. However, it has a scattered building history. 1–38, History of Medieval Arabic and Western European domes, Great Mosque of Kairouan (discoverislamicart.org), Great Mosque of Kairouan – Kairouan, Tunisia, Kairouan – UNESCO World Heritage Centre, The Great Mosque (kairouan-cci2009.nat.tn). Took a trip to Kairouan in Tunisia to see the celebration of the Mawlid – Birthday of the Prophet (peace be on to him). Kairouan’s rampart-enclosed medina (75 acres [30 hectares]) contains the Great Mosque, with a 115-foot- (35-metre-) high minaret. [78], The mosque's mihrab, whose decor is a remarkable witness of Muslim art in the early centuries of Islam, is distinguished by its harmonious composition and the quality of its ornaments. The Great Mosque, also known as the Sidi Oqba mosque, had its simple beginnings in 670 AD, during the time of Uqba ibn Nafi, the original founder of Kairouan. The Great Mosque isn't close to anything in particular, but it's rich history and unique architecture are worth the long drive. Media in category "Great Mosque of Kairouan" The following 8 files are in this category, out of 8 total. The building is composed of a courtyard and prayer hall to the southeast. As this is the place where we worship Almighty Allah (SWT), it is understandable that we attach so much importance to a mosque. The oldest boards date back to the Aghlabid period (ninth century) and are decorated with scrolls and rosettes on a red background consists of squares with concave sides in which are inscribed four-petaled flowers in green and blue, and those performed by the Zirid dynasty (eleventh century) are characterised by inscriptions in black kufic writing with gold rim and the uprights of the letters end with lobed florets, all on a brown background adorned with simple floral patterns. Near its centre is an horizontal sundial, bearing an inscription in naskhi engraved on the marble dating from 1258 AH (which corresponds to the year 1843) and which is accessed by a little staircase; it determines the time of prayers. 3D computer modeling of the Great mosquee of Kairouan-ar.svg 1,120 × 580; 1.21 MB It is bordered on each side of a double row of arches rested on twin columns and surmounted by a carved plaster decoration consisting of floral and geometric patterns. [60], View of the gallery which precedes the prayer hall, One of the seventeen carved-wood doors of the prayer hall, Close view of the upper part of the main door of the prayer hall, View of the central nave of the prayer hall, View of two of the secondary naves of the prayer hall, View of the mihrab located in the middle of the qibla wall of the prayer hall, In the prayer hall, the 414 columns of marble, granite or porphyry[69] (among more than 500 columns in the whole mosque),[70] taken from ancient sites in the country such as Sbeitla, Carthage, Hadrumetum and Chemtou,[60] support the horseshoe arches. The latest, dated the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries (mostly dating from the time of the Muradid Beys), are distinguished by an epigraphic decoration consists of long black and red texts on olive green background to those painted from 1618 to 1619, under the reign of Murad I Bey (1613–1631), while those back to the eighteenth century have inscriptions in white naskhi script on an orange background. Stephen has master's degrees in both architecture and city planning and has taught architecture design studios. The trip is doable as a day trip from most tourist resorts including Hammamet, Sousse and Monastir.Combine it with a visit to the Zaouia of Sidi Sahab to … What Can You Do With a Masters in History? Lectures by Walter Lewin. Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in the year 50 AH (670AD/CE) at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque occupies an area of over 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft). As such, it assumed the important function of representing a cosmopolitan and urbane Kairouan, one of the first cities organized under Muslim rule in North Africa. A portico with double row of arches precede the spacious prayer hall, which takes the shape of a rectangle of 70.6 metres in width and 37.5 metres' depth. In 836, Ziyadat Allah rebuilt the sanctuary, and in 856 a double-arcade was added to the sanctuary. Featuring kufic character suras are written in gold on vellum dyed with indigo, they are distinguished by a compact graph with no marks for vowels. Mahmoud Bouali, « Il y a près de trois siècles, un tourisme éminemment éclairé Â», Courte biographie sur Thomas Shaw (Société des anglicistes de l’enseignement supérieur), Kairouan n’était pas une ville interdite (Capitale de la culture islamique 2009), The influence of Kairouan on art and literature (Capital of Islamic culture 2009), Fragment de bois à décor d’arcatures d’époque hafside (Qantara), Coupole du Bahou de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Cour et minaret de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Minaret de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan (Qantara). Great mosque of kairouan 1. Tunis, 1984, the Great Mosque of Kairouan, in Tunisia. How to Be Successful in College: Avoid Debt & Remedial Courses, Tech and Engineering - Questions & Answers, Health and Medicine - Questions & Answers, Working Scholars® Bringing Tuition-Free College to the Community. One may conceivably compare its role to that of the University of Paris during the Middle Ages. Create an account to start this course today. Bachelor of Architecture Salary Info: What Do Graduates Earn? It was built in stages over the course of almost two centuries. 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It is longer (127.60 metres) on the east side than the west (125.20 metres), and shorter on the north side (72.70 metres) than the south (78 metres). [43] Overall, the proportions and general layout of the façade of the south portico, with its thirteen arches of which that in the middle constitutes a sort of triumphal arch crowned with a cupola, form an ensemble with "a powerful air of majesty", according to the French historian and sociologist Paul Sebag (1919–2004). Considered one of the most im­portant Islamic monuments in the Maghreb, the great mosque is an architectural masterpiece that was founded by Uqba ibn Nafi cover­ing a perimeter of 405 metres. Located in the north-east of the medina of Kairouan, the mosque is in the intramural district of Houmat al-Jami (literally "area of the Great Mosque"). This dome, whose construction goes back to the first half of the ninth century (towards 836), is one of the oldest and most remarkable domes in the western Islamic world. page 118, Mahmud Abd al-Mawla, At the end of the nineteenth century, the French writer Guy de Maupassant expresses in his book La vie errante (The Wandering Life), his fascination with the majestic architecture of the Great Mosque of Kairouan as well as the effect created by countless columns: "The unique harmony of this temple consists in the proportion and the number of these slender shafts upholding the building, filling, peopling, and making it what it is, create its grace and greatness. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is recognized as one of the most significant religious places in Islam. This collection is a unique source for studying the history and evolution of calligraphy of medieval manuscripts in the Maghreb, covering the period from the ninth to the eleventh century. Trudy Ring, Robert M. Salkin and Sharon La Boda, « Kairouan (Tunisia) Â», Présentation de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan (ArchNet), Plafonds de la salle de prière de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Mihrab of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Qantara), Minbar of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Qantara), "Maqsura of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Qantara)", Circular chandelier (Discover Islamic Art), Nurdin Laugu, « The Roles of Mosque Libraries through History Â», Al-Jami‘ah, vol. [42] The great central arch of the south portico, is flanked on each side by six rhythmically arranged horseshoe arches, which fall on twin columns backed by pillars. [60] Although the shafts are of varying heights, the columns are ingeniously arranged to support fallen arches harmoniously. The minbar, situated on the right of the mihrab, is used by the imam during the Friday or Eids sermons, is a staircase-shaped pulpit with an upper seat, reached by eleven steps, and measuring 3.93 metres' length to 3.31 metres in height. [59], The prayer hall is located on the southern side of the courtyard; and is accessed by 17 carved wooden doors. Dated from the ninth century (about 862) and erected under the reign of the sixth Aghlabid ruler Abul Ibrahim (856–863), it is made in teak wood imported from India. [39] Despite its construction at the end of the thirteenth century, Bab Lalla Rihana blends well with all of the building mainly dating from the ninth century. In the early twentieth century, the minbar had a painstaking restoration. [12], During the thirteenth century, new gates were opened, the most remarkable, Bab Lalla Rihana dated from 1293, is located on the eastern wall of the enclosure. Select a subject to preview related courses: The Great Mosque of Kairouan has influenced North African architecture. The beginning of each surah is indicated by a band consisting of a golden stylised leafy foliage, dotted with red and blue, while the verses are separated by silver rosettes. Create your account, Already registered? »[36], Today, the enclosure of the Great Mosque of Kairouan is pierced by nine gates (six opening on the courtyard, two opening on the prayer hall and a ninth allows access to the maqsura) some of them, such as Bab Al-Ma (gate of water) located on the western façade, are preceded by salient porches flanked by buttresses and surmounted by ribbed domes based on square tholobate which are porting squinches with three vaults. flashcard set{{course.flashcardSetCoun > 1 ? Enrolling in a course lets you earn progress by passing quizzes and exams. Kairouan Great Mosque. Services. Did you know… We have over 220 college Among the authors who have written on the subject and whose stories have survived[31] are Al-Bakri (Andalusian geographer and historian who died in 1094 and who devoted a sufficiently detailed account of the history of the mosque in his book Description of Septentrional Africa), Al-Nuwayri (historian who died in Egypt, 1332) and Ibn Nagi (scholar and historian of Kairouan who died around 1435). Study.com has thousands of articles about every [8] Its role at the time can be compared to that of the University of Paris in the Middle Ages. As you wander the grounds of the Great Mosque of Kairouan in Tunisia you are treading across over a millennia of history. Among the Western travelers, poets and writers who visited Kairouan, some of them leave impressions and testimonies sometimes tinged with emotion or admiration on the mosque. Sciences, Culinary Arts and Personal Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 (the year 50 according to the Islamic calendar) at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque is spread over a surface area of 9,000 square metres and it is one of the oldest places of worship … There are large rents for the maintenance of teachers. [16] With the gradual increase of the population of Kairouan and the consequent increase in the number of faithful, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, Umayyad Caliph in Damascus, charged his governor Bishr ibn Safwan to carry out development work in the city, which included the renovation and expansion of the mosque around the years 724–728. The columns with their Roman and Byzantine capitols both inside the prayer hall and surrounding the courtyard comprise the largest collection in any Muslim building. [50] The greater part of the minaret dates from the time of the Aghlabid princes in the ninth century. A legend says they could not count them without going blind. This famous place of worship has two main elements, including the pillared prayer hall and the courtyard. It is built on a square base and has proportions similar to that of Roman lighthouses or Syrian bell-towers. The Great Mosque of Kairouan: Full of history - See 528 traveller reviews, 796 candid photos, and great deals for Kairouan, Tunisia, at Tripadvisor. Other works of art such as the crowns of light (circular chandeliers) made in cast bronze, dating from the Fatimid-Zirid period (around the tenth to the early eleventh century), originally belonged to the furniture of the mosque. Due to existing site conditions, its main walls are not perfectly parallel, creating an irregular plan. To learn more, visit our Earning Credit Page. [61] They cross with right angle in front of the mihrab, this device, named "T shape", which is also found in two Iraqi mosques in Samarra (around 847) has been adopted in many North African and Andalusian mosques where it became a feature. In 836, Emir Ziyadat Allah I reconstructed the mosque once more:[21] this is when the building acquired, at least in its entirety, its current appearance. Soon after this mosque, Charlemagne built his palace at Aachen. [13] Despite the austere façades, the rhythmic patterns of buttresses and towering porches, some surmounted by cupolas, give the sanctuary a sense of striking sober grandeur. [50] There are stone blocks from the Roman period that bear Latin inscriptions. This is the least expensive place to buy … {{courseNav.course.mDynamicIntFields.lessonCount}} lessons Today, it is located in the northern section of the structure and also once served the role of a watchtower but its principal function is that it was used as the location to call Muslims to prayer. Introduction:- The Mosque of Uqba also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan, is an early example of a hypostyle mosque that also reflects how pre-Islamic and eastern Islamic art and motifs were incorporated into the religious architecture of Islamic North Africa. The university, consisting of scholars who taught in the mosque, was a centre of education both in Islamic thought and in the secular sciences. éditions Maison Tiers-Monde, The three chains, connected by a suspension ring, are each fixed to the plate by an almond-shaped finial. [60] The wooden rods, which usually sink to the base of the transom, connect the columns together and maintain the spacing of the arches, thus enhancing the stability of all structures which support the ceiling of the prayer hall.[74]. Over the next 30 years, several additions and partial reconstructions were made. Its most striking feature is the formal emphasis on the building’s T-like axis punctuated by two domes, one of which hovers over the earliest preserved ensemble of mihrab, minbar , … [58] From the outside, the dome of the mihrab is based on an octagonal drum with slightly concave sides, raised on a square base, decorated on each of its three southern, Easter and western faces with five flat-bottomed niches surmounted by five semi-circular arches,[24][58] the niche in the middle is cut by a lobed oculus enrolled in a circular frame. credit by exam that is accepted by over 1,500 colleges and universities. The Great Mosque of Kairouan (Arabic: جامع القيروان الأكبر ‎), also known as the Mosque of Uqba (جامع عقبة بن نافع), is a mosque in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan.. The mihrab is set in a niche covered by a semi-dome that is painted with foliage. Medieval period. [12] The front façade of the porch has a large horseshoe arch relied on two marble columns and surmounted by a frieze adorned with a blind arcade, all crowned by serrated merlons (in a sawtooth arrangement). Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD (the year 50 according to the Islamic calendar) at … L’université zaytounienne et la société tunisienne, page 33. Around 690, shortly after its construction, the mosque was destroyed during the occupation of Kairouan by the Berbers, originally conducted by Kusaila. In the history of Art, its three-storey minaret is considered such a masterpiece and a model among the most prestigious monuments of Muslim architecture. page 404, Henri Saladin, Tunis et Kairouan, Originally built by Sīdī ʿUqbah in the 7th century, the present mosque is the fifth mosque built on the site and dates from Aghlabid times. It is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, and is a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb. Kairouan (from UNESCO) Next lesson. Several centuries after its founding, the Great Mosque of Kairouan is the subject of numerous descriptions by Arab historians and geographers in the Middle Ages. The Great Mosque of Cordoba. If you are travelling to Tunisia for religion and culture, don’t miss the Kairouan great Mosque, which is the oldest Mosque in North Africa. The intermediary area, the dodecagonal drum of the dome, is pierced by sixteen small rectangular windows set into rounded niches. Visit the Architectural Structures Study Guide page to learn more. Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD (the year 50 according to the Islamic calendar) at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque … [62], The central nave, a sort of triumphal alley which leads to the mihrab,[63] is significantly higher and wider than the other sixteen aisles of the prayer hall. The courtyard façade (or south façade) of the tower is pierced with windows that provide light and ventilation,[52] while the other three façades—facing north, east and west—are pierced with small openings in the form of arrowslits. Linda Kay Davidson and David Martin Gitlitz, Minaret of the Great Mosque of Kairouan (Qantara), Minaret de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Coupole du mihrab de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Salle de prière de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan, Présentation de la Grande Mosquée de Kairouan (Qantara). [12] The monumental entrance, work of the Hafsid sovereign Abu Hafs `Umar ibn Yahya (reign from 1284 to 1295),[38] is entered in a salient square, flanked by ancient columns supporting horseshoe arches and covered by a dome on squinches. By the founder of Kairouan it was built, he was the Sidi Oqba, for that as the Sidi Oqba Mosque is also known the mosque. [60], The hypostyle hall is divided into 17 aisles of eight bays, the central nave is wider, as well as the bay along the wall of the qibla. The Great Mosque of Kairouan (Arabic: جامع القيروان الأكبر‎), also known as the Mosque of Uqba (جامع عقبة بن نافع), is a mosque situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan, Tunisia and is one of the most impressive and largest Islamic monuments in North Africa.[1]. One other outstanding feature of the Great Mosque of Kairouan is that its minaret is the world’s oldest surviving minaret. 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