teradesa.com The influence of architecture may vary from place to place, but one thing is for sure, architecture can help us connect with cultures and people. Islamic architecture takes this to another dimension by embedding in the discipline an additional element of divine connection.
With Islamic architecture, it is not just about the physical structure. Islamic architecture allows visitors to remember that there is something more than just architecture.
Each piece of Islamic architecture represents something spiritual, with domes, minarets, and arches all serving a specific purpose. To commemorate the legacy of the many wonders of Islamic architecture in the world, britishmuslim-magazine.com presents five of the most impressive buildings built with Islamic influence.
First, the Alhambra Palace in Granada
Considered by some to be the eighth wonder of the world, the Alhambra Palace is a representation of one of the finest works of Islamic art and architecture. Besides being the most visited historical attraction in Spain, the Alhambra Palace has stood the test of time by maintaining its structure since the 13th century. Many come here to marvel at the architecture, it is truly a place to reflect thanks to the overall beauty, care and detail found throughout the palace.
Second, La Giralda Tower in Seville
While in southern Spain, be sure to visit the Giralda Tower in Seville which used to be the minaret of a large mosque. With Seville celebrated as a Renaissance city and the most Italian city in Spain, its symbol, which appears on most souvenirs, will always be the Giralda Tower. It was originally built in the 12th century by the chief architect, Ahmad ibn Basu who laid the foundation of the minaret itself, recalling the minaret of the Kutubiyyah Mosque in Marrakech. Although it no longer functions as a minaret, it serves as the bell tower for the third largest cathedral in Europe and is a magnificent symbol of the city.
Third, the Blue Mosque in Istanbul
When in Istanbul, start by visiting the city’s most popular Mosque, the Sultan Ahmet Mosque, also known as the Blue Mosque. Built between 1609 and 1616 during the reign of Ahmed I, it is also known as the Blue Mosque because of the blue tiles that adorn its inner walls.
Once inside, one can marvel at the beautiful Ottoman architecture, which includes stained glass windows and decorative tiles. Take your time and feel the peace and tranquility, while watching worshippers pray and recite Quranic verses and Islamic poetry.
Fourth, the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca
This magnificent mosque stands majestically in Morocco’s largest city and has become an attraction for many visitors. The Hassan II Mosque is the largest mosque in Morocco and the third largest in the world.
Set on the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean, the mosque gracefully overlooks the sea. It is known to be home to the world’s tallest minaret which has a laser that illuminates the holy city of Makkah every night.
Fifth, the Jama Masjid in Delhi
Known as the largest mosque in India, the magnificent Jama Masjid has a courtyard that can accommodate up to 25,000 people. Construction of the mosque began in 1644 by Shah Jahan, who happened to be the same man who built the Taj Mahal for his wife. The four towers, two minarets, and three gates are meticulously constructed from pieces of red sandstone and white marble, with the size of the courtyard surprising visitors with its enormous size.
Historically, the mosque is very important, as it was the main mosque for the city’s sizable Muslim population as well as the Mughal emperors until the mid-19th century.