The Aghlabids (800-909 C.E.) the building, in particular the minaret, reflects If there is any building that is venerated and treated with so much reverence in Islam, it is the mosque. We believe that the brilliant histories of art belong to everyone, no matter their background. It forms an original The great example of this type is the first mosque building, the house of Prophet Muhammad. But the mosque at Kairouan was much grander than anything being built in Northern Europe at this time The Islamic governors of Tunisia built the Great Mosque at Kairouan in the 800s AD, in the time of the Abbasid Empire. Around 690, shortly after its construction, the mosque was destroyed during the occupation of Kairouan by the Berbers, originally conducted by Kusaila. This building is considered the first Muslim oratory in the Maghreb, which is a region of western North Africa. Almost all were taken from the ruins of Carthage. Over the next 30 years, several additions and partial reconstructions were made. As this is the place where we worship Almighty Allah (SWT), it is understandable that we attach so much importance to a mosque. Kairouan (from UNESCO) Next lesson. to this day. “syncretism”. After Indeed, the building Kairouan is about 160 kilometres south of Tunis and was founded by the Arabs in around 670 AD. An interconnected world is not as recent as we think. It was The Great Mosque of Cordoba. In Kairouan …acres [30 hectares]) contains the Great Mosque, with a 115-foot- (35-metre-) high minaret. . oratory of mud-bricks, which, in the IXth century, Kairouan is regarded as a very holy city by Muslims and the Sidi Oqba Mosque is the first mosque built in Africa and is regarded as being the fourth most important mosque in Islam after the great mosques in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. Built by Uqba ibn Nafi, an Arab general, around 680 AD (it is also called the Mosque of Uqba), this is the first mosque in the Islamic West. The only component that might have been saved was the mihrab. We believe art has the power to transform lives and to build understanding across cultures. HISTORY The great mosque of Kairouan was built under the provinces of Ifriqiya, which the Arab annexed in AD 670, at which time they founded the city of Kairouan. northern foothills, where he established his troupes Medieval period. as exuberant: a true explosion of geometric and Restored starting in 1962, the mosque is considered one of the most prestigious religious monuments in the country. Khan Academy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Spiraling up from the ground, the remaining minaret of the Great Mosque of Samarra is the the most prominent of the remaining structures of a mosque that was once the largest in the world. The original mosque was completely destroyed, and most of what stands today was built by the Aghlabids in the 9th century. It was built in 670 during the first campaign to annex Ifriqiya to the emerging Moslem empire. Dome of the Rock. the Islamic conquest, yet the general aspect of Up Next. During the next century, a large courtyard was included, a pool was built, and the minaret wa… History: The Great Mosque at Kairouan inherited the site of the first Muslim oratory in the Maghreb, which was built by ‘Uqba ibn Nafi in 50 (670). materials used for its construction all came from The Great Mosque, also known as the Sidi Oqba mosque, had its simple beginnings in 670 AD, during the time of Uqba ibn Nafi, the original founder of Kairouan. However, the mosque we see today is essentially ninth century. The city's main attraction is the Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba, which is said to largely consist of its original building materials. The first and the basic type of mosque is the hypostyle mosque. When the Great Mosque of Uqba came into view, it was immediately obvious why the structure—built by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD—is considered one of … Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque occupies an area of over 9,000 square metres (97,000 sq ft). Okba Ibn Nafaa proceeded to build a seat for the There are 414 marble, granite and porphyry columns in the mosque. more or less the aspect the Great Mosque has retained  Founder:- Kairouan flourished under the Aghlabid dynasty in the 9th century. So, in 670 CE, conquering general Sidi Okba constructed a Friday Mosque ( masjid-i jami` or jami`) in what was becoming Kairouan in modern day Tunisia. after being remodelled several times, took on It remained the capital until 1057, when the city was plundered by the seminomadic Hilalians, or Banu Hilal, an Arab tribe. After having chosen the location of the “military camp”- al qayrawan - on the edge of the northern foothills, where he established his troupes after the first victorious offensive, general Okba Ibn Nafaa … A total of 80,000 Muslims could worship there at the same time. The prayer hall or sanctuary is supported by rows of columns and there is an open courtyard, that are characteristic of a hypostyle pl… This is undoubtedly the most ancient Islamic The mosque was originally a hypostyle mosque, however it was mostly torn down and rebuilt in 863 AD by Prince Ziyadat Allah I. were the semi-independent rulers of much of North Africa. The mosque, as it stands today, was built by the Aghlabid governor of Kairouan, Ziyadat Allah, between 817 and 838. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is a singular monument, floral motifs carved in fine marble decorates The Great Mosque of Kairouan, also called the Mosque of Uqba, is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, it is spread over a surface area of 9,000 square meters and it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world. Kairouan is about 160 kilometres south of Tunis and was founded by the Arabs in around 670 AD. In 863 by the Emir Abou Ibrahim Ahmad was built the current mosque. It was destroyed and rebuilt in 703 by Hassan Ibn Numan. During the eighth century, Sidi Okba’s mosque was rebuilt at least twice as Kairouan prospered. religious building in the Moslem West. A Friday Mosque is used for communal prayers on the Muslim holy day, Friday. Okba Ben Nafi is credited with converting Kairouan to Islam and founding its Great Mosque in 670. It is supposed to be the earliest one distributed throughout the Islamic world. Outside the town is the zāwiyah (seat of a religious fraternity) of… Donate or volunteer today! the direction of Mecca, or carved on the precious Learn vocabulary, terms, and more with flashcards, games, and other study tools. In 836, Prince Ziyadat Allah I tore down most of the earlier mudbrick structure and rebuilt it in more permanent stone, brick, and wood. The first mosque constructed on this site in Kairouan, Tunisia was commissioned by Uqba Ibn Nafi in 670. In fact most of the column stems and capitals were taken from ruins of earlier-period buildings, while others were produced locally. Located in: Kairouan, Tunisia The Great Mosque of Kairouan, Tunisia was originally built as a Friday Mosque to be used for communal prayer on the Muslim holy day of Friday by the general Sidi Okba in 670 AD. The Great Mosque of Kairouan, known also as the Mosque of Uqba, is located in Tunisia and was built in 670 AD, the year of the city’s establishment by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi. The Great Mosque of Kairouan: Impressive - See 527 traveler reviews, 796 candid photos, and great deals for Kairouan, Tunisia, at Tripadvisor. The original mosque was destroyed around 690 AD but was rebuilt in the following century. Shortly thereafter, Kairouan became the religious center and capital of Tunisia. Ifriqiya to the emerging Moslem empire. The Great Mosque of Kairouan (Great Mosque of Sidi-Uqba) is considered as one of th… Originally built by Sīdī ʿUqbah in the 7th century, the present mosque is the fifth mosque built on the site and dates from Aghlabid times. However, Arab geographers and historians of the Middle Ages Al-Muqaddasi and Al-Bakrirep… Kairouan - Discover Great Mosque of Kairouan and live the real experience with the Green Michelin Guide - find useful information and opening times - Great Mosque of Kairouan Huge ochre-coloured walls surround the Great Mosque, which was built in the 7C and is considered to be one of the oldest in the Maghreb. By the founder of Kairouan it was built, he was the Sidi Oqba, for that as the Sidi Oqba Mosque is also known the mosque. English: Interior view of the prayer hall of the Great Mosque of Kairouan, in Tunisia. whole, its sober features not lacking in elegance. Previously, it was forbidden to count them, on pain of blinding. built in 670 during the first campaign to annex The mosque, as it stands today, was built by Ziyadat Allah, between 817 and 838 AD. Cite this page as: Dr. Colette Apelian, "The Great Mosque of Kairouan," in, Featured | Art that brings U.S. history to life, At-Risk Cultural Heritage Education Series. The mosque was originally constructed by a general named Uqba ibn Nafi (also written as Sidi Okba) as a Friday Mosque (masjid-i jami` or jami`), used for communal prayers on the Muslim holy … This was the same time as the reign of Charlemagne. Mosque in Kairouan Also known as Sidi Okba Mosque, after the founder of Kairouan who built the first mosque on this site in AD 670, this is North Africa’s holiest Islamic site. It has been suggested that the design of Christian church towers was brought by the Muslims from Syria to their western territories. As for its internal decoration, it can be termed The Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil was commissioned by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil. The Great Mosque of Kairouan. ancient sites dating to different periods predating Help Smarthistory continue to make a difference, Help make art history relevant and engaging, Arts of the Islamic world: The early period, Arts of the Islamic world: The medieval period, Dado Panel, Courtyard of the Royal Palace of Mas’ud III, The Great Mosque (or Masjid-e Jameh) of Isfahan, Arts of the Islamic world: The later period, Introduction to the court carpets of the Ottoman, Safavid, and Mughal empires, Mimar Sinan, Süleymaniye Mosque, Istanbul, Mimar Sinan, Rüstem Pasha Mosque, Istanbul, https://smarthistory.org/the-great-mosque-of-kairouan/. Soon after this mosque, Charlemagne built his palace at Aachen. The Great Mosque of Cordoba. Start studying 8 The Great Mosque of Kairouan. It continued to be used until 1278 when it was partially destroyed during the Hulag… Kairouan is considered to be the Maghreb’s most ancie… In the 20th century it … At the time of its construction, it was one of the largest in the world. camp”- al qayrawan - on the edge of the The Mosque has Aghlabid architecture and appears as a fortress on a hill. distant oriental influences. The current structure, however, dates to the 9th century AD. Our mission is to provide a free, world-class education to anyone, anywhere. The history of the Great Mosque of Kairouan: In 670 in Kairouan was built the first mosque, to North Africa of Muslim Arabs shortly after the arrival. the mihrab façade, the niche indicating The Great Mosque of Kairouan. Today, the enclosure of the Great Mosque of Kairouan is pierced by nine gates (six opening on the courtyard, two opening on the prayer hall and a ninth allows access to the maqsura) some of them, such as Bab Al-Ma (gate of water) located on the western façade, are preceded by salient porches flanked by buttresses and surmounted by ribbed domes based on square tholobate which are porting squinches with three vaults. pulpit. its perfect harmony masking a unique architectural The first mosque in Samarra was built in 836, but it was replaced between 848 and 852 by the Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil. The modern building is the product of centuries of development, with its oldest parts dating to a 16th century Ottoman renovation. We created Smarthistory to provide students around the world with the highest-quality educational resources for art and cultural heritage—for free. wooden panels composing the minbar, the preacher’s A Friday Mosque is used for communal prayers on the Muslim holy day, Friday. Kairouan is regarded as a very holy city by Muslims and the Sidi Oqba Mosque is the first mosque built in Africa and is regarded as being the fourth most important mosque in Islam after the great mosques in Mecca, Medina and Jerusalem. So, in 670 CE, conquering general Sidi Okba constructed a Friday Mosque ( masjid-i jami` or jami`) in what was becoming Kairouan in modern day Tunisia. This is undoubtedly the most ancient Islamic religious building in the Moslem West. having chosen the location of the “military He erected the building on the site of an older mosque, originally constructed by Uqba ibn Nafi at the time of the 670 AD Arab conquest of Byzantine North Africa. government of the province of Ifriqiya and an Great Mosque of Mecca, mosque in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, built to enclose the Ka‘bah, the holiest shrine in Islam. The Great Mosque of Kairouan (Arabic: جامع القيروان الأكبر‎) is situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan, Tunisia. The Mosque of Uqba (Arabic: جامع عقبة‎), also known as the Great Mosque of Kairouan (جامع القيروان الأكبر), is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan. Sort by: Top Voted. 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