List of described mosques and Islamic sites

Here are listed mosques and Islamic sites described by Wondermondo.

Click on headings to sort the table!

NoNameCountry
319 Al-Aqsa Mosque Palestine
328 Great Mosque of Djenné Mali
376 Kaaba and Masjid-al-Haram Saudi Arabia
399 Hagia Sophia Turkey
408 Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi United Arab Emirates
434 Agadez Mosque Niger
439 Bobo Dioulasso Grand Mosque Burkina Faso
450 Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque Brunei

Map of described Islamic shrines

Kaaba, Mecca - the holiest of all Islamic sites
Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia - the holiest of all Islamic sites.
deendotsg, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

History of Islam starts in early 7th century with the deeds of historical personality - prophet Muhammad (ca 570/571 - 632). Main activities of Muhammad took place in Mecca and Medina (Saudi Arabia) and their vicinities, where today are located most important Islamic sites.

Soon after the death of Muhammad there started divisions regarding the understanding of Islam teachings and succession of Muhammad. This led to development of Sunni Islam and Shia Islam, as well as some other interpretations of Islam teaching. Sunni Islam by far is more widespread denomination and thus it has most religious monuments. Meanwhile Shia Islam has got magnificent and very interesting monuments due to worship of Imams - regarded to be successors of Muhammad, spiritual and political rulers of their commune.

Depiction of humans and animals is not allowed in Islam, especially in religious buildings. Islamic architects and artists have compensated this with rich and sophisticated ornaments (arabesques) and especially - calligraphy.

Mosques

Jama Mosque in Delhi, India
Jama Mosque in Delhi, India.
Manjeet Bawa, Flickr / CC BY 2.0

Place for worship in Islam is called mosque. Mosques serve also for education, news exchange, dispute settling. There are widespread small, privately owned mosques but here more attention is turned towards larger, public mosques.

Initially, in 7th century mosques were unpretentious, large halls for gatherings. Over the time, as Islam was spreading, there developed diverse, locally adapted architectural forms of mosques.

Early type of mosques were hypostile mosques - basically large rectangular halls with flat roof supported by multiple columns. It might be surprising to many - but one of the best examples of this style is in Europe, Spain - Great Mosque of Córdoba (Cathedral of Cordoba) - built over long time in 7th - 8th centuries.

Christian Byzantine architecture (like Hagia Sophia in Istanbul) influences a rise of distinct regional style in Anatolia - central dome mosques with large dome over prayer hall (Selimiye Mosque, Turkey).

Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, Iran
Iwan of Vakil Mosque in Shiraz, Iran.
dynamosquito, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Magnificent and often beautiful mosques are iwan mosques - characteristic for Sassanid architecture mainly in Iran - but also in Uzbekistan, Pakistan, India and other countries. Iwan is vaulted room with walls from three sides and fourth side - entirely open. Iwans typically open towards a central courtyard. Characteristic iwan mosques are Jamé Mosque of Isfahan (Isfahan, Iran), Shah Mosque (Isfahan, Iran).

Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali
Great Mosque of Djenné, Mali.
qiv, Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0

Unique monuments are ancient adobe mosques of Sahel and Sudan. Most magnificent is Great Mosque of Djenné (Mopti, Mali), interesting monument is Larabanga Mosque (Larabanga, Ghana).

Minarets

Minaret of Samarra Mosque, Iraq
Minaret of Samarra Mosque, Iraq. J.Gordon, Wikimedia Commons. CC-BY-2.0

Minarets are towers next to mosques or at their corners. These towers primarily serve as a convenient place for calling the believers to prayer - but also as watchtowers (in ancient times, in some regions), as air condition mechanisms for ventilating the large prayer halls.

Initially mosques were built without minarets, but the first minarets appeared in 7th - 9th centuries in Egypt, Syria, Iraq. Number of minarets differs in different regions - from one (Morocco) up to six (some mosques in Turkey). Architecture also is diverse - in China minarets are shaped in local style, many times similar to Buddhist pagodas, while in Turkey minarets are slender, formed like enormous pencils.

Outstanding mosques and Islamic sites

Below are listed some of most important, impressive and beautiful Islamic monuments of the world, arranged by region and age:

Saudi Arabia

Levant

Iraq

Iran

Magreb

South Asia

Other countries


Creative Commons Non-Commercial Share Alike 3.0 4 May 2010 Gatis Pāvils

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