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. ”