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The Great Mosque of Djenne
The narrator says that this is the largest building in the entire world that is made of mud. Two brothers previously owned the land where the Islamic building is situated before they sold it to Prophet Muhammad. The mosque has an Arabian courtyard that contains a unique architecture of bricks. Edges of the courtyard area adjacent to huts that the religious leader built for his wives. The huts are also made of bricks, and the structures are roofed with palm leaves. At the center of the large building is a well that the Prophet dug a well to have a continuous source of water. Notably, the palm tree columns that are nicely covered by palm leaves were some of the features that were borrowed by all other mosques that were built afterward. Moreover, this Arabian architectural plan was inherited by Middle Eastern courtyards where they play different roles such as being places for tethering animals, washing, cooking and preaching. On some occasions, courtyards offer perfect places for followers to spend their nights going about their activities while being protected by their strong walls (“Paradise Found”).
Several things about the Great Mosque of Djenne attract me. First, the building has a rich history of not only being used as a temple but also as a home for the Prophet, his wives, and followers. Second, it is this Mosque where Muhammad was told to change the direction he was facing while praying – from Jerusalem to Mecca. Third, the site has historical maps of the Islamic world, and one learns that they include places such as Spain, the Arabian Peninsula, and North Africa, all of which are important places in the spread of Islam. Finally, I find it interesting to learn that although Prophet Muhammad was born about 570 years after the birth of Christ, the new Islam religion spread at an astonishing pace around the world (“Paradise Found”).
This religious building was designed and put up by Ahmed, who was the Ottoman Sultan, about a thousand years after the Great Mosque of Djenne. The architect who designed the mosque is described as a hero because he outdid Christians in their architectural plans. Borrowing from other mosques around the world, the religious site has a tomb of its founder, a school, as well as a hospice. It is important to underscore that even though the site is used as a tourist attraction, non-worshippers are prohibited from using it for thirty minutes when Muslims pray five times during the day. The magnificent architecture of the mosque can be seen when an individual enters it from the west. Remarkable parts of the site on the south lie on the foundation of the Great fortress, which was one of the fortresses built before the founding of the mosque (“Paradise Found”).
I was fascinated by a few things about the Blue Mosque. First, I was attracted by its domes that appear flattered in comparison to St. Peter’s in Rome. In fact, they resemble the top of a saucer, and they make someone feel enclosed and view it as if it is a gigantic dome. Second, I was astonished by the information about the expensive upkeep of the mosque that was funded by 217 villages and islands under the leadership of the Sultan. In addition, the building was maintained by funds received from the enterprises the Sultan built near the corner; an example was a Turkish bath (“Paradise Found”). I also like the amount of blue, which is, of course, why the prayer center was given its name.
The Pasha Mosque is one of the earliest Islamic constructions built by the Ottoman Empire in Istanbul. The building sits on a high terrace that is surrounded by a series of shops, whose income was expected to support the complex housing the prayer center. Although its courtyard is relatively spacious, the interior series of steps are narrow, particularly in the corners. In addition, the exterior architecture is typified by domed bays that are connected to a row of columns. Concerning the interior of this mosque, the structure has several patterns of flora and geometry. Different designs represent the historical utilization of Armenian bole, which was a red pigment that was widely used in pottery. The mosque’s plan shows an octagon put inside a rectangle. Both southern and northern parts are collections of galleries that get structural strength from pillars and marble columns (“Paradise Found”).
What attracts me the most in this mosque is the prolific utilization of Nick tiles. Some mosques constructed later used these tiles sparingly (“Paradise Found”). The lavish use of the tiles is a demonstration that the founder of the mosque wanted it to stand for opulence in society and draw as many worshippers and believers as possible. The magnificence of the building is further improved by a mixture of sage green and purple, which represent the early coloring standard of Damascus ware.
“Paradise Found (Islamic Culture Documentary).” YouTube, Uploaded by Timeline – World History Documentaries, 2017. Web.