Around the mihrab are lustre tiles from Iraq. Outside the town is the zāwiyah (seat of a religious fraternity) of…. Proceeds are donated to charity. The mosque, as it stands today, was builtby Ziyadat … April 23, 2015. HISTORY The great mosque of Kairouan was built under the provinces of Ifriqiya, which the Arab annexed in AD 670, at which time they founded the city of Kairouan. Like Christian pulpits, the minbar made the prayer leader more visible and audible. Maqsuras are said to indicate political instability in a society. During the eighth century, Sidi Okba’s mosque was rebuilt at least twice as Kairouan prospered. In 836, Prince Ziyadat Allah I tore down most of the earlier mudbrick structure and rebuilt it in more permanent stone, brick, and wood. 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. 8 The Great Mosque of Kairouan. Please sign and date your posts by typing four tildes ( ~~~~). The Great Mosque of Kairouan is recognized as one of the most significant religious places in Islam. Like other hypostyle mosques, such as the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, the mosque of Kairouan is roughly rectangular. This was the same time as the reign of Charlemagne. But the mosque at Kairouan was much grander than anything being built in Northern Europe at this time This is the least expensive place to buy them. Shortly thereafter, Kairouan became the religious center and capital of Tunisia. Restored starting in 1962, the mosque is considered one of the most prestigious religious monuments in the country. It was built between 724 and 727 and has a massive square form. Rays fall around the most significant area of the mosque, the mihrab. Enter your email address to receive notifications of new posts by email. As it was placed just off the mihrab axis, it also affirmed the mihrab’s importance. So, the enclosure, along with its inscription, protected the lives and affirmed the status of persons allowed inside. 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. 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. At Córdoba the earliest… Read More 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. 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. At Córdoba the earliest…. It was a political capital, a pilgrimage city, and intellectual center, particularly for the Maliki school of Sunni Islam and the sciences. Location: In the Medina, Kairouan, Tunisia. See "Terms of Service" link for more information. As a Friday Mosque, it was one of if not the largest buildings in town. This is not a forum for general discussion of the article's subject. The Great Mosque was literally and figuratively at the center of Kairouan activity, growth, and prestige. The Great Mosque was literally and figuratively at the center of Kairouan activity, growth, and prestige. 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. In the 20th century it … However, the mosque we see today is essentially ninth century. It can also be referred to as Mosque of Uqba Ibn Nafi, in honor of its original founder. Soon after this mosque, Charlemagne built his palace at Aachen. Seventh-century North Africa was not the easiest place to establish a new city. 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. The mosque communicated that Kairouan would become a cosmopolitan metropolis under strong Muslim control, an important distinction at this time and place. 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 Aghlabids constructed the Great Mosque and established a university in it which catered to both Islamic scholarship and the secular sciences. Additional gates were constructed in later centuries. 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. Richard Ettinghausen, Oleg Grabar, Marilyn Jenkins-Madina. The Islamic governors of Tunisia built the Great Mosque at Kairouan in the 800s AD, in the time of the Abbasid Empire. 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. By the mid-tenth century, Kairouan became a thriving settlement with marketplaces, agriculture imported from … Since it was used for Friday prayer, the mosque has a ninth-century minbar, a narrow wooden pulpit where the weekly sermon was delivered. 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. …acres [30 hectares]) contains the Great Mosque, with a 115-foot- (35-metre-) high minaret. In the thirteenth century, the Hafsids gave the mosque a more fortified look when they added buttresses to support falling exterior walls, a practice continued in later centuries. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. 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. …in North Africa is at Kairouan, Tunisia. Built by Uqba ibn Nafi, an Arab general, around 680 AD (it is also called the Mosque of Uqba), this is the first mosque in the Islamic West. It was built twice. The Aghlabids (800-909 C.E.) The mosque has great importance historically because it is the first mosque in the first Muslim town in the West. Kairouan Tourism; Kairouan Hotels; Bed and Breakfast Kairouan Founder:-Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the9th century. Wider aisles leading to the mihrab and along the qibla wall give it a T-plan. Our logo, banner, and trademark are registered and fully copyright protected (not subject to Creative Commons). The dome emphasizes the placement of the mihrab, or prayer niche (below), which is on the same central axis and also under a cupola to signify its importance. Prince Ziyadat Allah got rid of earlier mudbrick and put in more permanent stone, brick and wood. Perhaps inspired by Roman lighthouses, the massive square Kairouan minaret is about thirty two meters tall, over one hundred feet, making it one of the highest structures around. Great Mosque of Kairouan. By Dr. Colette ApelianAdjunct Professor of Art HistoryJohns Hopkins University. 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, and maqṣūrah. It required battling Byzantines; convincing Berbers, the indigenous people of North Africa, to accept centralized Muslim rule; and persuading Middle Eastern merchants to move to North Africa. Patron(s): Ziyadat Allah I. In 863 by the Emir Abou Ibrahim Ahmad was built the current mosque. It is said to be the oldest surviving wooden minbar. They remove a ruler from the rest of the worshippers. 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, and maqṣūrah. 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 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. The drum rests on squinches, small arches decorated with shell over rosette designs similar to examples in Roman, Byzantine, and Umayyad Islamic art. 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 mosque was the first building to be erected in the town (2), a … The Great Mosque isn't close to anything in particular, but it's rich history and unique architecture are worth the long drive. They also built palaces, libraries, gardens and waterworks which enthralled visitors. Originally published by Smarthistory, 09.23.2016, under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International license. Answering these quiz and worksheet questions on the Great Mosque of Kairouan requires you to be familiar with architectural elements of the mosque and a collection it contains. 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. Great Mosque of Kairouan or the Mosque of Uqba is a mosque loacted in the historic town of Kairouan, Tunisia. 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. See the bottom of each page for copyright information. Be on the lookout for your Britannica newsletter to get trusted stories delivered right to your inbox. The sanctuary roof and courtyard porticos are supported by repurposed Roman and Byzantine columns and capitals. 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. 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