Top 10 Islamic Buildings in the World (Islamic Architecture Mosques)

Written by Collins Obara |
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The beautiful Islamic culture is defined by some of the most amazing architectural works in the world. Muslim architecture covers a wide range of structures from forts, tombs, mosques, and palaces. These fascinating structures are found in nations conquered by the Muslims back in the 7th century. Their type of architecture incorporates various architectural styles which include; Byzantine, Indo- Islamic, Sino- Islamic, Indonesian – Malay, Persian, Somali – Islamic and Sahelian- Islamic. These structures attract visitors from around the globe. Here are some of the best...

10 Badshahi Mosque

Located in Lahore, Pakistan. The mosque is one of the famous tourist attractions in Pakistan due to its outstanding beauty. The design blends Islam, Persian and Central Asian architectural styles. The exterior is magnificently decorated with stone carving and marble.

9) Al-Azhar Mosque

The first mosque to be built in the newly established capital Cairo, Egypt. It was primarily designed to be a center for spiritual nourishment to the new Islam converts in ancient Egypt and hence gained the name “City of a Thousand Minarets.” The mosque is of great importance to the Muslim society as it is linked to prophet Muhammad’s daughter Fatimah.

8) Süleymaniye Mosque

Built around 1550 and 1557 by the Ottoman emperor Suleyman. It’s the largest and arguably the most beautiful mosques in Istanbul. The mosque’s interior receives light from more than 100 large stained glass windows. The central dome stands 47m high.

7) Mosque of Córdoba

Located in the heart of Spain. The mosque took the site of a Christian church. The mosque has some outstanding features which include a remarkable 850 columns made marble, Jasper, and porphyry supporting arches. In addition to this are the richly decorated mihrab and a niche in a mosque pointing the holy city of Meca.

6) Citadel of Aleppo

Located in the Syrian city Aleppo. The structure is considered to be one of the largest palaces in the world and dates back to the third millennium BC. The hill upon which the palace is located is of spiritual importance to the Muslims as it is believed that's where Abraham, one of their great prophets, milked his sheep. The palace was used as barracks during the Ottoman empire. A residence, stores and defensive machinery are found behind the walls.

5) Great Mosque of Samarra

Located in Iraq and was built during the reign of Abbasid caliph Al- Mutawakkil around 850. It is probably the most significant mosque in the world having a total area of about 42 acres. The minaret which is 52 meters survived during the Mongolian and Hulagu invasion.

4) Dome of the Rock

Located in Jerusalem, Israel. It is one of the famous and adored Islamic monuments. Built about 55 years after the Arab conquered Jerusalem. The design and ornamentation are linked to the Byzantine architectural style. The site is sacred to both Muslims and Jews; in Islamic culture, it is considered to be a place where prophet Muhamad ascended to heaven, whereas for the Jews it is believed to be where Abraham was to sacrifice Isaac, his son.

3) Jameh Mosque of Isfahan

The mosque is located at the center of Isfahan, Iran. The mosque is one of the oldest buildings in the 8th century during the Seljuk Dynasty. Although the building has undergone renovations one of the oldest elements still standing are the two domes.

2) Alhambra

Located on a hill overlooking the Spanish city of Grenada. Built in the 14th by the  Nasrid dynasty.Most portions of the buildings were destroyed, and however, three parts remain, i.e., the fortress, the royal residence, a cluster of pavilions and gardens.

1) Taj Mahal

Built in 1631, during the reign of emperor Shah Jahan. The building has a quite a fascinating history in that its commission came after the third and favorite wife of Mughal died while delivering their fourteenth child. The mausoleum complex took two decades to complete and is outstanding for its size. The dome at the apex of the central mausoleum stands 73 meters above the ground. This is such a remarkable height in a period where building technology was not that advanced.

It is clear that Islamic society has great and beautiful architectural works. These great works of architecture are an inspiration to the modern world and a source of vast historical knowledge.

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