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ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT

ARKITEKTURA ISLAME

ISLAMIC ARCHITECTURE AND ITS DEVELOPMENT

An article by Brunilda Basha. Without a doubt, Architecture is the solemn identity of nations and civilizations. It is a unique or distinctive structure that becomes a reference point for an environment, a monument that symbolizes the identity, form and sound of a certain society, a monument that collectively represents the image that a society carries. Architecture was born together with the man who created his shelter to live. It is also the strongest reference of our history and identity, origins, various events and developments in time and space. Not only that, but it is the connecting bridge between ruling civilizations of different eras, influencing each other throughout the time. The main architectural periods around the globe start from prehistoric age continuing with that of ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greek, Hellenic, Roman, Byzantine, Islamic, Ottoman, Indian, Japanese, Chinese, Modern Age, and up to this day.

In this article we will focus on Oriental Architecture, or more precisely Islamic Architecture. Islamic architecture is a global movement and development which originated in the Arab countries and spread from Spain to India within a century. Throughout its history, Islamic architecture has adapted and reacted to the different existing cultures and traditions of objects without weakening the spiritual essence, which was its source of inspiration. Its development was mainly influenced by the constructions made in the Arabian Peninsula during the time of the Prophet (s.a.w) as well as the architectural works of the Greeks, Romans, Byzantines and Persians, each with their own motifs, but always coming in an original style and in harmony with the environment, socio-cultural needs and conditions.

Suffice to mention masterpieces like the Mosque of Cordoba in Spain or Ibn Tulun in Cairo, the Taj Mahal Mosque in India, or the madrasas of Samarkand, and we come to have a perception of the harmony that this architecture philosophy conveys. Above all, the harmony of different styles which, although in distant geographical boundaries, still have an encounter point. For this diversity and unity, the scholar Titus Burckhardt would say that “Islamic art includes a whole range of styles, each of which is clearly distinguished and corresponds to a specific ethnic environment, although no specific style can be described as more or less” Islamic” than the other; this is an example of the phenomenon of diversity in unity, or unity in diversity. ”

Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba, Spain

But when and how did Islamic Architecture start?

It is pertinent to mention that much research has been and is being conducted on Islamic art and architecture. Scholars have always had differing opinions on whether there is an architecture that can be called “Islamic” or not, and if so, what its meaning is and what the main features are. Should every object built only in Muslim-majority countries be called Islamic, or just every object built by Muslims? Is it just the architecture of the East and the countries ruled by the Ottoman Empire, or that in Indonesia and Spain? Is it Oriental or Islamic architecture? In fact, we can fearlessly use the term Islamic, because here we are not dealing with just one style within the Eastern countries, or with the outlook of Western scholars on Eastern culture.

Islamic architecture is the whole range of architecture that has evolved within Muslim culture throughout the history of Islam. The typology therefore includes religious as well as secular, historical buildings and modern expressions, resulting in countries that have been under different levels of Islamic influence. In addition to religious architecture, Islamic architecture includes palaces, forts, hospitals, schools, bazaars, public baths, fountains, caravanserais, bridges and other architectural constructions with artistic values.

The beginnings of Islamic Architecture date back to the beginning of the 7th century in Arabia with the reconstruction of the Kaaba, then the construction of the mosque-house complex of the Prophet Muhammad in Medina and continuing with its developments and spread in Iraq, Syria, Anatolia, North Africa, Egypt, Spain, Iran, etc…

A categorization based on political and stylistic developments would be as follows:

Taj Mahal Mosque

This period begins with the proclamation of the Prophet Muhammad, till the year 661. This period features a modest architecture, one-story buildings with local materials, without any distinctive architectural or artistic features. Small religious objects, without minarets. The Mosque in Medina later became an example for other mosques. The so-called Kufa type mosques are the first type of mosque in Islamic art. The shape of the mosque was extremely simple. In the beginning, the Prophet’s mosque was just a skeleton. Its walls consisted of clay bricks placed on stone foundations, without a roof and with three main entrances, from the south, east and west. With the increase of commitments, the form of the mosque also developed. Thus began the covering of the upper part in the form of a colonnade, the placement of cobblestones in one of its gates, the adding of a pulpit and a specific place for communication purposes, the mosque lighting at night and some partitions of spaces which facilitated the various functions of the mosque.

The first improvement of Islamic architecture took place during the Rashid Caliphate (632-661 CE), followed by further elaborations during the Umayyad Caliphate (661-750 CE). After that, different regions began to develop different architectural traditions, reflecting the natural synchronization between Islam and local traditions.

ARKITEKTURA ISLAME
Plan and illustration of the Medina Mosque

2. Umayyad Period (661–750)

Umayyad architecture represents the birth of the first Islamic architectural tradition, which adapted features from earlier styles, including those of the Sassanians and Byzantines. During this period Islamic art developed rapidly. This sparked the growth of new architectural forms and buildings. The development center of the state was Damascus. In that period, the religious architecture consisted of the transept plan (like in basilicas), the mosque developed its main structural and functional elements such as the Minaret, Mihrab, Maksurah and the dome. The dome at the Dome of the Rock building gained all the radiant power that is so characteristic of Islamic architecture.

Decorative arts established their foundations through the use of calligraphy, glass mosaics and geometric abstracts. Important works of that time can be mentioned “Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem”, the Great Mosque of Damascus, Kharana Castle, palaces in the city of Anjar, the Great Kairouan Mosque, etc.

ARKITEKTURA ISLAME
Dome of the Rock

3. Andalusia Umayyad Period (8th-11th century)

With the takeover of the Abbasids, the Umayyads developed their course by continuing from North Africa – to Spain. In Spain, it is probably the culmination of artistic and architectural values. There are two important Islamic works in Andalusia that attract attention: the Cordoba Mosque and the Alhambra Palace. The mosque’s hypostyle plan, consisting of a rectangular prayer hall and an enclosed courtyard, followed a tradition established in the Umayyad and Abbasid mosques of Syria and Iraq. However, the dramatic articulation of the prayer hall interior was unparalleled. The system of columns supporting double arcades and arches is an unusual treatment that, structurally, combine a wonderful visual effect with the practical advantage of providing a greater height within the hall. The decorations are sensational, with several types of marble, glass mosaics, floral elements, endless geometric decorations, colors and materials in complete harmony, lighting and courtyards, gardens and vegetation elements.

ARKITEKTURA ISLAME
Alhambra Palace

4. Abbaside Period (750 – 1258)

With the Abbasids, Islamic architecture spread eastward. Regional and political change also resulted in the field of architecture and decoration. As a plan, the transept plan type gives way to the Kufa plan. In terms of materials, clay and bricks were used instead of stone. The most important cultural centers of the Abbasids were the cities of Baghdad, Samarra and Raqqa. This period also marks one of the oldest urban planning of the Islamic city, that of Baghdad in the middle of the 8th century. “For the earliest city of Baghdad, although completely extinct, we have very accurate descriptions, it was a perfect circular city, enclosed in a double wall, with residential neighborhoods presented in the form of a ring and roads leading out of the center. Between this ring and in the center of a green space were placed the Caliph’s palace and the great mosque. The four fortified gates, which allowed access to the four main arteries, face south-east, southwest, north-east and north-west. (Burckhardt, T; pg. 199-201)

A visualization of the Round City. Illustration: Jean Soutif / Science Photo Library

While as objects we can mention: the Great Mosque of Samara or the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. The construction of the world’s first university, Al-Qarawiyyin, founded by Fatima al-Fihri in Fes, Morocco, is also built in this period. In the beginning it was designed as a mosque, madrasa and educational center for higher education.

University of Al Qaraouiyine

5. Fatimid Period (909 to 1171)

The Fatimid period, took its name from the daughter of the Prophet Muhammad (Fatime). The Fatimid architecture combines elements from the architecture of Syria, Iraq and Iran in East Asia, with elements from North Africa to the west. While the capitals of the columns and axes came from classical architecture.
It is mainly architecture made out of stone and brick which is used not only for structural construction but also as decoration. Some other architectural features that can be mentioned are “Kufi” Calligraphy which is widely used in inscriptions, “Fluted” decoration, as well as arabesque, floral and geometry decoration, which are executed in marble, mortar, stone or wood. The Fatimids developed the use of the four-center arch of the Keel Arch and the muqarnas, a feature that connects the square with the dome – a complex innovation.
The range of constructions varied from mosques, mausoleums, tomb monuments, palaces, monumental gates, schools, etc. The central area of ​​activity and architectural expression during the Fatimid rule was in Cairo.
In Cairo, their first congregational mosque was al-Azhar, founded together with the city (969–73), and a higher education institution (al-Azhar University) was built next to it.

ARKITEKTURA ISLAME
Al-Azhar Mosque

6. Ayyubid Period (1171–1260)

The Ayyubid dynasty came to power under the leadership of Salah al-Din (r. 1169–93), known as Saladin. Ayyubid architecture displays a continuum between two traditions: the late Fatimids and the early Mamluks. The Ayyubids left an impressive tradition of military architecture, built as a response to their war with the Crusaders. A number of fortresses originally built by the Crusaders were later taken over by the Ayyubids, who renovated and expanded them. Another development of this period are the dwelling palaces of the rulers within their castles. Meanwhile, the establishment of madrasas, higher institutions of religious learning, such as Zahiriya (1219) in Aleppo and that of al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (1243) in Cairo, exemplify the Ayyubid interest in education. In this period an important role was played by women, e.g. The Al Sahiba Madrasa in Damascus (1233) was built by Rabia Khatun, and the Mausoleum of al-Salih Najm al-Din Ayyub (1250) was commissioned by his wife Shajar al-Durr. In plan, Ayyubid madrassas usually consist of a courtyard surrounded by two to four iwans, as well as smaller rooms for students and teachers. Over time, the four-iwan plan became predominant. The Ayyubids also introduced a combination of mausoleum and madrasa towards the end of their rule.

Some features of this architecture are the direction of the streets and buildings in accordance with the Qibla, the massive use of iwan, the diversity of the minaret with different sections (square, circular, combined), the use of the “muqarna”, the use of ablaq technique for facades (stone rows in alternating colors). In terms of building materials, stone was widely used in these architectural traditions, while brick and plaster are most common in eastern Syria. Among other arts, enameled glass rose to excellence in this period and carved wood was also esteemed by Ayyubid patrons. Techniques established and developed during this time formed the foundation of the arts in the Mamluk period.

Madrasa al-Zahiriyya
Madrasa al-Zahiriyya

7. The Mamluk Period (1250–1517)

Mamluk sultanate emerged when the Turkish Mamluks ended the Ayyubid realm in Cairo and established their own rule. Mamluk history is divided into two periods based on different dynastic lines: the Bahri Mamluks (1250–1382) of Qipchaq Turkic origin from southern Russia, and the Burji Mamluks (1382–1517) of Caucasian Circassian origin. The Mamluks used architecture among other means to restore their authority as empire. They used every means to connect with the actions of prominent past rulers and worked “to create the pieces of an empire” (Newhall, 1987). The Mamluk architecture was very cosmopolitan in nature. Cairo as an important international political and trade center attracted artisans from different regions. Consequently, Mamluk architecture incorporated influences from Andalusia, North Africa, Europe, Central Asia, and Persia. Mamluk buildings are generally not symmetrical, rather they tend to emphasize the use of balance over symmetry in their overall composition. The buildings are monumental in scale, especially those located in Cairo.

Mamluk architecture is built mainly of stone. Wood is used for elements such as doors, mihrabs, as well as for mashrabiyyas. The domes are usually built of stone. Plaster is used for decorative elements. The four-iwan plan, which was introduced earlier in the Ayyubid architecture, was the most common plan for the Mamluk religious buildings. The minaret has different sections along its axis, resulting in a three-level minaret (square base, followed by an octagonal axis, which would be processed by a circular axis, the upper part of which could be colonized. Balconies that rest on the arches of the mukarnas can separate these parts from each other) The dome shape in Mamluke architecture often have a cylindrical tumbler and an emphatic profile.

Mamluks used calligraphy widely. Also, the ablaq technique, introduced during the late Ayyubid period, and the use of muqarnas everywhere, even in column capitals, became a characteristic of Mamluke architecture. The dome exteriors are often decorated with carved stones, revealing intricate, zigzag and intricate star-shaped patterns, as well as Arabic patterns.

Mamluk-era architecture in Cairo

8. The Great Seljuks (1038-1194)

The Seljuk Empire was founded by the Oghuz Turks in the second half of the 11th century in Khorasan. The center of the state was Iran, where the first Seljuk structures were built. During this period, Iran was completely under Seljuk realm. Unfortunately the Mongol invasions destroyed most of these buildings and only a few remained. In 1063 Isfahan became the capital of the Great Seljuk Empire under Alp Arslan. The Melikşah sultanate (1072 – 1092) was the most brilliant period of the Seljuks in all aspects. The great Seljuk art formed the basis of the Anatolian and Ottoman Seljuk arts. The Seljuks brought many new elements in architecture. Double dome, angular roof, sharp arch, Turkish triangle in dome construction, square column capital, cylindrical minarets, sometimes with high and thin grooves. The type of mosque with four iwans, courtyards and domes in front of the altar, created by the Great Seljuks. This architecture period was also characterized by memorial tombs which were usually octagonal structures with domed roofs. The most impressive example of tomb architecture is the mausoleum of Sultan Sanjar in Merv. Another monument of this period is the Isfahan Mosque, an early Abbasid hypostyle mosque with cylindrical, brick pillars, to which the Seljuks added two monumental domes, one on the side of the qibla (built by Nizam al-Mulk between 1072 and 1075) and another on the north side (1088-89), and four iwans with a torch in the centers of its four gates overlooking the courtyard built in the early 12th century. This glass is the most cited example of transformation from the hypostyle plan to the four ivane (ivane) plane.

Shah Mosque, Isfahan, Iran

9. Seljuk Period of Anatolia (1071-1307)

After the victory of Malazgirt in 1071, the Turks conquered Anatolia and created the Seljuk State of Anatolia. The capital of the state was initially Iznik, and then moved to Konya. The Anatolian Seljuks left many architectural and artisanal examples. The great Seljuk art (Great Seljuk) played the most important role in the development of the Seljuk art of Anatolia. The Anatolian Seljuks built structures with various functions, such as mosques, mausoleums, bell towers, madrasas, baths, caravanserais, bedestenes, bazaars, bridges, castles, palaces and residences in different regions of Anatolia.

Characteristics of Seljuk architecture in the region, are the elaborated facades of the stone portal, carved into a deep relief, the small courtyards which are sometimes covered (to withstand the cold climate) and the presentation of the tiles as architectural decor. The first mosques built in Anatolia, such as the mosques of Diyarbakir (1091), Dunaysir (1204) and Silvan (1152), have a model based on that of the Great Mosque in Damascus. Like mosques, Anatolian Seljuk madrasas (eg Sivash Gok Madrasas) were built around small courtyards, which were sometimes covered with domes or arches. The central courtyard was often surrounded by arcades, with an iwan on the side of the qibla, that functioned as a prayer hall. The mausoleums were like those of Central Asia, with an octagonal plan and conical roof. (Kırşehir Melik Gazi Kümbeti).

Sivas Gök Medrese

10. Ilkhanid Period (1256–1353)

The Mongol conquests in the Islamic world began in 1221, with the conquest of Eastern Iran. They subjugated all of Iran and by 1258 had taken Baghdad, ending the Abbasid caliphate (750–1258). By establishing the rule over much of Western Asia, including Iraq, Iran, Khurasan, the Caucasus, and parts of Asia Minor, Hülegü (d. 1256–65) was given the title of “Il-Khan” – Khan’s Subordinate. This branch of the Mongol dynasty, which became known as the Ilkhanids (1256–1353), concentrated its power in northwestern Iran. Although the Mongol conquests initially brought destruction, after the conversion to Islam of Il-Khan Mahmud Ghazan in 1295, Islamic art flourished once again. East Asian elements embedded in the existing Perso-Islamic repertoire created a new artistic vocabulary, which was imitated from Anatolia to India, profoundly influencing artistic production. During the Ilkhanid period, the decorative arts — textiles, ceramics, metalwork, jewelry, lighting, and manuscript illustration — developed further. Baghdad once again became an important center. New ideas and motifs were introduced into the repertoire of Islamic art, including Chinese elements of the picturesque space, as well as motifs such as lotus, peony, cloud band, dragons and phoenix. After converting to Islam, the Ilkhanids built numerous Sufi mosques and shrines in cities throughout Iran, such as Ardabil, Isfahan, Natanz, Tabriz, Varamin, and Yazd (c. 1300–1350). After the death of the last Ilkhanid ruler in 1335, the empire disintegrated. Architecturally important monuments can be mentioned: Ali Shah Mosque in Tabriz, Sultan Oljaytu Mausoleum, Jomeh Mosque in Varamin.

Dome of Soltaniyeh

11. Timurid Period (1370–1507)

The Timurids were the last great dynasty to emerge from Central Asia. In 1370, the founder Timur, who belonged to a Turko-Mongolian tribe, established Samarkand as his capital. Within 35 years, he subjugated all of Central Asia, Greater Iran and Iraq, as well as parts of southern Russia and the Indian subcontinent. Timur’s successor, Shah Rukh (1405–47), barely managed to maintain the borders of the empire. The subsequent Timurid princes, sought to establish their own kingdoms, weakening the empire by internal strife. Eventually, only Khurasan and Transoxiana remained Timurid, and during the remaining years of the dynasty, these were governed by separate branches of the Timurid family. The main building material used for the imperial monuments was baked brick, although clad stone was used in Azerbaijan. The main forms of tile work were tile mosaics, with individual colored pieces cut to form patterns and tiles, painted under polish, known as a ‘haft rangi’ (seven colors). A large variety of arch shapes (including round arches, with two, three, and four centers), domes and arches, display the wide range of influences on Timurid architecture. Dome shapes became increasingly distinct under the Timurids, with the development of the double dome, where there is an outer dome and a shallow inner dome. The most characteristic feature of the Timurid period, is the massive scale of objects, accentuated by large entrance portals and thick minarets, covered with tile decoration. The most famous of the Timurid monuments are the temple of Ahmed Yasavi in ​​Turkestan (Yasi) in Kazakhstan and the Bibi-Khanym Mosque in Samarkand.

Ahmed Yasavi Temple

12. Ottoman Period (1299-1923)

The Ottoman Empire was founded in 1299 by Osman Gazi. The first capital of the empire was Bursa, then Edirne and finally, Istanbul. Ottoman rule extended for a period of about 700 years, and at its peak, the Ottoman Empire covered a vast territory which included the Balkans, Greece, Anatolia, Syria, Iraq, Egypt, the Holy Cities of Arabia, Algeria, and Tunisia. The empire lasted until 1924. Consequently, the character of Ottoman architecture underwent numerous changes during this long era. Ottoman art started initially in Iznik, continuing in Bursa and Edirne. It, later, took place in Istanbul, and then spread to all countries ruled by the Ottoman Empire. Today, Ottoman architecture is present in many countries such as the Balkans, Syria, Egypt, and in every country that was under the Ottoman Empire.

The architectural heritage of the Ottomans is divided into three periods, starting with the early formative phase, (1299 ¬1453). This is followed by the classical period (1453 – 1700), to which belong  most of the most famous monuments of Ottoman architecture, a number of which were designed by the great Ottoman architect, Sinan. This is followed by the late period (1718 – 1923) which is characterized by more developed and influential decorative elements of Western style.

The range of buildings varies from religious ones, such as mosques, tekkes, musalas, tombs; to social ones: public canteens, inns, bazaars, fountains, fountains, caravanserais; to the educational one: madrasa, mektepe; health: hospitals; civil: bridge, clock tower; residencale: saraye and summer residences.

Ottoman architecture demonstrates the influences of numerous traditions, including those of the Seljuks of Anatolia and Byzantium. In the early period the Edirne Üç Şerefeli Cami Mosque (1437 – 1447) is a turning point in Ottoman architecture: a hypostyle glass with a large domed canopy, that dominates both the interior and exterior profile of the mosque. An important role during this period, is played by the architecture developed in the Balkan countries, such as Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Macedonia, etc. During this, we also have a period of transition between Seljuk Anatolian Art to Classical Ottoman Art.

A key feature of Ottoman mosques from the early period, is the predominance of a central dome, covering a considerable part of the prayer hall.

Ulu Cami - Bursa Grand Mosque

The conquest of Constantinople in 1453, which marks the beginning of classical architecture, exposed the Ottoman architects to a whole new range of buildings, the most important of which is the Hagia Sophia (Aya Sophia), which was turned into a mosque (Petersen, 1995). The architect, who left traces in this period, is Arch. Sinani. The Ottoman state gradually expanded its borders. This growth and rise was not only in the political field, but also in the field of art. With the advent of the classical Ottoman phase, the central dome increased dramatically in size, and is often combined with a series of half-domes and small domes cascading from the central dome. A number of mosques have one, two or four half domes that support the central dome. Large Ottoman imperial religious complexes (eg the Suleymaniye Complex) usually consisted of several buildings within one complex; so in addition to the mosque, included a mausoleum for the master, a kitchen (canteen), a madrasa (school), a public bath, a hospital and shops. During the 16th century, magnificent works in architecture, calligraphy and miniature were produced. Among the main works we mention: Suleymaniye Mosque, Shehzade Mosque, Selimije Mosque in Edirne.

Suleymaniye Mosque

The Ottoman mosque is known for its simple, elegant pencil-shaped minaret, from one to three balconies, which is often flattened and terminated in an elongated conical lid, covered with lead. Muqarnas is used selectively in certain areas, such as the bottom of minaret balconies or over windows and portals. Calligraphy, which usually contains naskhi and thuluth inscriptions, is an integral part of the decorative process of many buildings.

Late Ottoman art (1718 – 1923), which developed under the influence of European styles and various characteristics. The stages of this period were:

  • The Tulip Period (1718 – 1730) – influences from Europe.
  • Baroque and Turkish Rococo Era (1730 – 1808)
  • The period of the Turkish empirical style (1808 – 1860) – can be seen the effect of the imperial style that appeared in France.
  • Eclectic Period (1860 – 1900)
  • Neoclassical Period / National Architecture Movement (1900 – 1923). Various artists, who wanted to avoid European influence, took the works of the classical period as an example. Thus, a national era (Neoclassical Period) began in “Turkish” art.

Some examples can be mentioned: Instanbul Nuruosmaniye Cami, The Mosque of Muhammad Ali Pasha, Cairo, The Dolmabahçe Mosque.

Muhammad Ali Pasha or Alabaster Mosque

13. Southeast Asian Architecture

In South Asia, Islamic architecture was strongly influenced by earlier Hindu styles. The domed domes and heavy use of marble, (with the Taj Mahal standing as a masterpiece of Indian Islamic architecture), were particularly prominent innovations of South Asia during the Mughal Empire. For large structures, red sandstone was the preferred building material, while marble was the only reserved material for the wealthiest. Less popular in the Islamic style are the mosques of China, which tend to resemble more Buddhist temples than traditional mosques. Often including two styles, the Arabic and the Chinese, in the architecture of the shrines. Chinese Islamic architecture displays a matchmaking synchronization. However, even when the mosque, more closely, resembles a traditional Buddhist or Chinese shrine, it still retains subtle Islamic elements, such as the mihrab, facing Mecca or Arabic, as well as Chinese calligraphy. As in China, religious architecture in Southeast Asia is strongly influenced by the region’s pre-Islamic architecture. This includes the characteristic pyramidal shapes of the Java Temple, or Rumah Gadang’s tent-like style in Sumatra, as well as the elegant, high-rise style of Southern Thailand.

Taj Mahal, India

14. Religious Architecture at the End of the XX Century

The last two decades have witnessed the resurgence of a historical movement in Islamic architecture, which is influenced by contemporary architectural thought in the West, as well as the influences of the culture of the state. Manifestations of this movement range from the romantic approach to historical precedents, initiated by Egyptian architect Hasan Fathy, to the free and, often, arbitrary use of forms, detached from their historical and geographical contexts, as illustrated by the works of the Egyptian ‘Abd al-Wahid al-Wakil. The approach is towards rational, abstract and, sometimes, minimalist projects. Some of the mosques we can mention: National Assembly Mosque, Ankara, (1987-89); The Great Mosque of Niono, Mali (1973); The Corniche Mosque, Jedda, Saudi Arabia (1986). By the Egyptian architect Abd al-Wahid al-Wakil; Mosque of Hassan II Casablanca, Morocco, (1986-93); The Mosque of Gurna, Egypt (1945); national Mosque, Kuala Lumpur (1965) Edinbrugh, Scotland Great Mosque (1987).

National Assembly Mosque, Ankara
National Mosque, Malaysia

Source:

  • A.W. Newhall , 1987, “The Patronage of the Mamluk Sultan Qa’it Bay, 872-901/1468-1496, Harvard University, Boston
  • Al-Harithy, Howayda. “The Concept of Space in Mamluk Architecture.” Muqarnas, vol. 18, 2001, pp. 73–93.
  • Burckhardt,Titus, 2009, “Art of Islam, Language and Meaning”, Commemorative Edition, World Wisdom
  • Fletcher, Banister, and Dan Cruickshank. 1996. “Sir Banister Fletcher’s a history of architecture”. Oxford: Architectural Press
  • Hillenbrand, Robert, 1998, “Islamic art and architecture”, London: Thames and Hudson
  • Islamic Art Museum
  • Islamic Encyclopedia
  • John Freely, 2011, “A history of Ottoman Architecture”, WIT Press, Boston
  • MIT, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Open Course
  • Museum With No Frontiers (MWNF)
  • Petersen, Andrew, 1995, Dictionary of Islamic Architecture, Routledge, London

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