Post was not sent - check your email addresses! Shortly thereafter, Kairouan became the religious center and capital of Tunisia. The Aghlabids (800-909 C.E.) Great Mosque of Mecca, mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, built to enclose the Ka‘bah, the holiest shrine in Islam. See the bottom of each page for copyright information. The stone dome is constructed of twenty four ribs that each have a small corbel at their base, so the dome looks like a cut cantaloupe, according to the architectural historian K. A. C. Creswell. A Friday Mosque is used for communal prayers on the Muslim holy day, Friday. The Great Mosque had fifteen thoroughfares leading from it into a city that may have had a circular layout like Baghdad, the capital of the Islamic empire during Kairouan’s heyday. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. Date of Monument: Hegira 221 / AD 836. Located in: Kairouan, Tunisia The Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia was originally built as a Friday Mosque to be used for communal prayer on the Muslim holy day of Friday by the general Sidi Okba in 670 AD. Individual pages signify the copyright for the content on that page. 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Kairouan is about 160 kilometres south of Tunis and was founded by the Arabs in around 670 AD. The Aghlabids constructed the Great Mosque and established a university in it which catered to both Islamic scholarship and the secular sciences. The Great Mosque was literally and figuratively at the center of Kairouan activity, growth, and prestige. Because a ruler’s legitimacy could rest upon the mention of his name during the sermon, the minbar served both religious and secular purposes. Sorry, your blog cannot share posts by email. In 1294, Caliph al-Mustansir restored the courtyard and added monumental portals, such as Bab al-Ma on the east and the domed Bab Lalla Rejana on the west. The Great Mosque of Kairouan was established in 670 AD by Uqba ibn Nafi, the Arab general and is spread across an area of nine thousand square metres. By the mid-tenth century, Kairouan became a thriving settlement with marketplaces, agriculture imported from surrounding towns, cisterns supplying water, and textile and ceramic manufacturing areas. STUDY. The mosque was the first building to be erected in the town (2), a … 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. This was the same time as the reign of Charlemagne. This is the talk page for discussing improvements to the Great Mosque of Kairouan article. were the semi-independent rulers of much of North Africa. History: The Great Mosque at Kairouan inherited the site of the first Muslim oratory in the Maghreb, which was built by … But the mosque at Kairouan was much grander than anything being built in Northern Europe at this time By Dr. Colette ApelianAdjunct Professor of Art HistoryJohns Hopkins University. As it was placed just off the mihrab axis, it also affirmed the mihrab’s importance. Great Mosque of Kairouan. In 863 by the Emir Abou Ibrahim Ahmad was built the current mosque. Also known as the Mosque of Sidi Ukba, Al-Qayrawan (1) Mosque was built by the first Muslims to arrive in Tunisia and North Africa under the leadership of Uqba Ibn Nafi in 670 CE. Though the mosque is now near the northwest city ramparts established in the eleventh century, when Sidi Okba founded Kairouan, it was probably closer to the center of town, near what was the governor’s residence and the main thoroughfare, a symbolically prominent and physical visible part of the city. Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email. The mosque communicated that Kairouan would become a cosmopolitan metropolis under strong Muslim control, an important distinction at this time and place. Outside the town is the zāwiyah (seat of a religious fraternity) of…. PLAY. The Great Mosque isn't close to anything in particular, but it's rich history and unique architecture are worth the long drive. Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~). Even today, the Great Mosque of Kairouan reflects the time and place in which it was built. As a Friday Mosque, it was one of if not the largest buildings in town. Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. April 23, 2015. The side of the minbar closest to the mihrab is composed of elaborately carved latticework with vegetal, floral, and geometric designs evocative of those used in Byzantine and Umayyad architecture. When the Great Mosque of Uqba came into view, it was immediately obvious why the structure—built by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD—is considered one of the most … The Great Mosque of Kairouan, also known as the Mosque of Uqba, is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan. The Great Mosque of Uqba. If there is any building that is venerated and treated with so much reverence in Islam, it is the mosque. Period / Dynasty: Umayyad, Abbasid. At Córdoba the earliest…. 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.. The mosque is regarded as one of the oldest places to worship in the Islamic world and is the ideal example of African-Islamic architecture. 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. The mosque was a critical addition, communicating that Kairouan would become a cosmopolitan metropolis under strong Muslim control, an important distinction at this time and place. (Photo: Angela Smith Kirkman) Youssef, our new Tunisian friend, navigated toward the old town center of Kairouan while my husband, Jason, sat shotgun reading from the guidebook. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. Introduction:-The Mosque of Uqba also known as the Great Mosque ofKairouan, is an early example of a hypostyle mosquethat also reflects how pre-Islamic and eastern Islamicart and motifs were incorporated into the religiousarchitecture of Islamic North Africa. This is the least expensive place to buy them. …acres [30 hectares]) contains the Great Mosque, with a 115-foot- (35-metre-) high minaret. At Córdoba the earliest… Read More Originally published by Smarthistory, 09.23.2016, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Founder:-Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the9th century. 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. Since it was used for Friday prayer, the mosque has a ninth-century minbar, a narrow wooden pulpit where the weekly sermon was delivered. Ordered by Islamic commander Uqba Ibn Nafie in 670 AD, the Mosque - built on 9,700 square meters - retains its beautiful structure and unique features despite the passage of time. It was built by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD and it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb. The minaret dates from the early ninth century, or at least its lower portion does. The history of the Great Mosque of Kairouan: In 670 in Kairouan was built the first mosque, to North Africa of Muslim Arabs shortly after the arrival. Kairouan: Mosque, University, Libraries. The aesthetics signified the Great Mosque and Kairouan, and, thus, its patrons, were just as important as the religious structures, cities, and rulers of other empires in this region, and that Kairouan was part of the burgeoning Islamic empire. See "Terms of Service" link for more information. They also built palaces, libraries, gardens and waterworks which enthralled visitors. The sanctuary roof and courtyard porticos are supported by repurposed Roman and Byzantine columns and capitals. Wider aisles leading to the mihrab and along the qibla wall give it a T-plan. What kind of mosque is it? The minbar is made from teak imported from Asia, an expensive material exemplifying Kairouan’s commercial reach. In the late ninth century, another Aghlabid ruler embellished the courtyard entrance to the prayer space and added a dome over the central arches and portal. The Great Mosque was literally and figuratively at the center of Kairouan activity, growth, and prestige. The mosque has great importance historically because it is the first mosque in the first Muslim town in the West. The small windows in the drum of the dome above the mihrab space let natural light into what was an otherwise dim interior. Kairouan: The Sidi Amor Abada Museum The Raqqada National Museum of Islamic art The Great Mosque of Kairouan The Sidi Abid al-Ghariani Mausoleum The Aghlabid basins: From 16/09 to 31/05 : 08.00 - 14.00 From 01/06 to 15/09 : 07.30 - 14.00 From 17/06 to 17/07 : Horaire Ramadan 8:00-14:00: 12 Dt : Grouped ticket. Click here to start a new topic. Known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan, it 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. In Kairouan the Great Mosque was built in stages between 836 and 866. They also feature stylized floral patterns like Byzantine and eastern Islamic examples. So in addition to functioning as a place to call for prayer, the minaret identifies the mosque’s presence and location in the city while helping to define the city’s religious identity. Like other hypostyle mosques, such as the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the mosque of Kairouan is roughly rectangular. It remained the capital until 1057, when the city was plundered by the seminomadic Hilalians, or Banu Hilal, an Arab tribe. In Kairouan the Great Mosque was built in stages between 836 and 866. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, also known as the Mosque of Uqba, 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.Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in the year 50 AH at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque occupies an area of over 9,000 square metres. Kairouan is regarded as a very holy city by Muslims and the Sidi Oqba Mosque is the first mosque built in Africa and is regarded as being the fourth most important mosque in Islam after the great mosques in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. The mosque, as it stands today, was builtby Ziyadat … So, in 670 CE, conquering general Sidi Okba constructed a Friday Mosque (masjid-i jami` or jami`) in what was becoming Kairouan in modern day Tunisia. Kairouan - Discover Great Mosque of Kairouan and live the real experience with the Green Michelin Guide - find useful information and opening times - Great Mosque of Kairouan Huge ochre-coloured walls surround the Great Mosque, which was built in the 7C and is considered to be one of the oldest in the Maghreb. The Great Mosque of Kairouan was a public structure, set along roads that served a city with a vibrant commercial, educational, and religious life. 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. Though the excessively decorated mihrab is unique, the panels are from the Syrian area. https://www.britannica.com/place/Great-Mosque-of-Kairouan. The dome is an architectural element borrowed from Roman and Byzantine architecture. The Mosque has Aghlabid architecture and appears as a fortress on a hill. The mosque was originally a hypostyle mosque, however it was mostly torn down and rebuilt in 863 AD by Prince Ziyadat Allah I. 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