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Link: PDF at soundofheaven.info Stable link here: soundofheaven.info webbin/book/lookupid?key=olbp Subject: Islamic architecture -- Egypt Studies and Sources on Islamic Art and Architecture: Supplements to Muqarnas Volume III. Doris Behrens-Abouseif's introduction to Cairo's Islamic. JSAH, L:4, DECEMBER for instance, did the potent concepts of the s cease to affect these architects from the s into the s? How can we.
Decorative features on the front of the towers include a band of Kufic under the corbelled moulding and heraldic devices in the form of shields. Islamic and Oriental Terms Glossary: It was intentioned American will. The other exterior walls are solid masonry relieved on the north-west and south-west sides by central side entrances and repeated keel- arched recesses with iron window grilles occasionally bricked in level with the ground of the mosque interior. This division led to a power struggle between the two, and Ibn Tulun exploited the situation by withholding revenues to Baghdad, thus increasing the wealth, power and independence of Egypt. Pharos lighthouse, Alexandria.
And under the dome was a great basin of marble 4 cubits in diameter with a jet of marble in the centre The roof had a railing around it of teakwood. Central fountain in the Mosque of Ibn Tulun. The plain stone cubic interior encloses an octagonal basin, and above this five tiers of crystalline stalactite niches muqarnas form the squinches and zone of transition that support the pointed dome. This zone is pierced on the four sides by tall pointed windows with three lights, and smaller windows above repeat the shapes of the muqarnas at regular intervals, admitting shafts of light into the interior.
On the outside the zone of transition is strongly marked by stepped corners leading to the smooth pointed dome crowned with a finial. Although Mamluk in style, it sits well in its ninth-century setting due to its fine proportion and clarity of form. It is carried through the ranks of pointed arcades in the riwaqs and prayer hall with a perfectly propor- tioned balance between solid and void.
The masses are relieved and articulated by the selective use of stucco decoration. Capital of colonnette. The capitals of these colonnettes consist of vine-leaf motifs which also form the scrollwork in the delicate band of stucco ornament framing the face of each arch, and forming an articu- lating band around the top of each pier above the capitals. The solid mass of the arcades is further relieved where the spandrels of each arch are pierced by a window framed with colonnettes.
These are flanked by rosettes or square panels with reticulated patterns. Beneath the cor- nice, sandwiched between two horizontal mouldings, a string course of octagonally framed rosettes provides a continuous frieze around the top of the sahn arcading. A corresponding frieze of circles set within recessed squares can be found on the exterior walls under the parapet where a striking band of crenellation lines the perimeter walls with merlons like serried ranks of soldiers standing arm in arm and shoul- der to shoulder.
All four walls of the mosque are pierced by over pointed arched windows containing delicate filigree grilles from many periods. The stucco decoration in the mosque is significant because it represents something of a milestone in Islamic art, suggesting a new grammar of ornament that extends well beyond the confines of archi- tecture.
Like the broader architectural masses, the detail is an import from Samarra. As a medium, it was valued for its flexibility and ease of manipulation. It was ideal for quickly covering surfaces, such as coarse brickwork, with fine dec- oration. This facility for spreading ornamentation over large areas has a long tradition in the Eastern world, and it may well account for the subordination of form to surface decoration in later Islamic architec- ture.
No traces of stucco have survived in the mosques of Samarra, but significant amounts have been excavated in the ruined palaces there at Balkuwara and Jausaq al-Khaqani. The remains of these palaces are fragmentary, and with the exception of Balkuwara, hardly any of the stucco ornamentation exists in situ. The importance of the Ibn Tulun mosque is that the stucco is in situ and it is here that we can best evaluate the decorative innovations begun at Samarra. The ornament at Samarra was originally excavated and classified by Ernst Herzfeld, and both he and Creswell divided it broadly into three styles while acknowledging that there were areas of overlap.
There was insufficient archaeological evidence to determine a chronology of style and all three coexisted throughout the period. The patterns generally represent a new synthesis of motifs well established in Hellenistic, Byzantine, Sassanian and Umayyad art.
These involve variations on the theme of the vine, with leaves, grapes and stalks as well as other motifs such as palmettes, rosettes and cornucopia. Style A is probably closer to the Western tradition with a more naturalistic treatment of the vine. These leaves are organically bound by stalks, and they scroll along borders, or roll up tightly into six lobed panels with beaded frames. Other configurations show leaves alternating with bunches of grapes in hexagonal panels.
The decoration is densely packed and deeply incised, so that the principal motifs, the vine leaves and grapes, are revealed in sharp relief. Style B shows a greater equilibrium between figure and ground. Unlike style A, where the vine leaves and grapes dominate the ornamental background, the principal motifs of style B are less differentiated and more integrated into the two-dimensional surface.
Although based on leaves and palmettes, the motifs are more abstracted, and there is less of a flourish as there are no stems to organically link the forms. They are more densely organized into the surface geometry of polylobes, polygons, squares and rectangles. In this respect we are witnessing the genesis of the Islamic arabesque. In contrast to the drilled beading and deeply incised carving of style A, the surface relief of style C is undulating, shallow and bevelled.
It involved a technique of casting the stucco from baked clay moulds so that the results could be assembled and installed with great speed. The motifs are very ambiguous, suggesting vases, bottles, spear heads, volutes, palmettes, crests, leaves and birds.
Unlike styles A and B, the motifs are not framed in discrete compartments and the elements cannot be so easily separated between figure and ground or positive and negative. The figure becomes the ground and vice versa. Stucco decoration in the The stucco decoration in the Ibn Tulun mosque, most notice- soffits of the arches in the Ibn Tulun mosque.
Familiar vegetal motifs including the vine leaf, acanthus, palmettes, rosettes, stalks and cornucopia appear in new combina- tions and ambiguous guises. Set between narrow borders, they densely fill the interstices of various geometric networks based on interlacing circles, equilateral triangles and squares. They fill circles, squares, rectangles, polygons and polylobes, and the geometrical forms regulate the pattern in a variety of ways — on a vertical and horizontal axis, or set in patterns of 45 or 60 degrees.
Some panels are tight, concentrated and angular, while others, based on inter- lacing circles, are more open and dynamic with a serpentine flour- ish.
The resulting symbiosis produces a rich and varied tapestry of pattern. Geometrical forms act as a trellis supporting the design, but they are never closed, crystallized or static.
They are dynamic, infinite and open-ended and rarely find a point of rest or termination. In this respect fundamental differences emerge between the uses of geo- metrical shapes in Islamic and Western art. In Islamic art they are dynamic and infinite, whereas the Western tradition, based on classical Graeco-Roman art, is closed and tends towards the finite and static.
In Islamic art, floral and vegetal arabesques are stylized and two-dimensional, respecting the flat plane of the surface, whereas Hellenistic art gravitates towards naturalism. As the nineteenth- century designer Owen Jones pointed out in his book The Grammar of Ornament, the flowers and leaves of Greek scrollwork grow out of the surface while Islamic design works dynamically with it.
He believed the West could learn from Islamic art and maintained that Ibn Tulun marked a critical stage in the evolution of Islamic decorative art that reached its peak in the Moorish art of the Alhambra Palace in Granada.
The architecture and decoration of the mosque of Ibn Tulun undoubtedly represents a landmark in the evolution of Islamic design but its immediate influence was somewhat limited. Stucco was the principal medium for decoration in the mosque, and Samarra style B dominates only fragments of woodwork in the door soffits derive from style C.
However, it was style C that emerged as the most enduring and widespread influence across the decorative arts in Egypt during this period. Fragments of stucco now displayed in the Museum of Islamic Art, Cairo, clearly show the influence of style C on the domestic architecture of Fustat, but more significantly, it proved a more suitable vehicle for the decorative arts, where its tight organization of ambiguous pattern provided a distinctive form of surface decoration for pottery, rock crystal and woodwork.
It was a style that endured well into the Ikhshidid and Fatimid eras and its distinctive bevelled patterns can be seen more than a century later in the tie-beams and doors of the mosque of al-Hakim — , where something of a Tulunid revival can also be seen in the piers, arcades and monumental grandeur. Ibn Tulun died in May before his dispute with al-Muwaffaq could be resolved. In the heat of the fighting he fled in panic, but the reserve of his army held its ground, and against all the odds achieved a remarkable victory before going on to take Damascus.
His personal courage on this campaign won the respect of his men and his occupation of northern Iraq secured a peace treaty with the caliph. In al-Muwaffaq concluded an agreement which guar- anteed Khumarawaih and his descendants the governance of Egypt, Syria, Cilicia and parts of northern Iraq for the next thirty years.
The marriage was an extravagant and indulgent affair and the estimated cost to Khumarawaih was a million dinars. It mirrored his extravagance elsewhere, particularly in the field of architecture, where his new palace became the stuff of legend. According to al-Maqrizi: He enlarged the palace and turned the Maydan into a garden, which he planted with rare trees and exquisite roses. The stems of the trees were thought unsightly and he coated them with sheets of copper gilt, between which and the trunk leaden pipes supplied water, not only to the trees, but to the canals and fountains that irrigated the garden by means of water wheels.
There were beds of basil carefully cut out to formal patterns, red, blue and yellow water lilies and gillyflowers, exotic plants from all countries, apricots grafted upon almond trees, and various horticultural experiments. A pigeon tower in the midst was stocked with turtle doves, wood pigeons, and all sorts of birds with rich plumage or sweet song, who made a cheerful concert as they perched on the ladders set against the walls or skimmed over the pond and rivulets.
In front of the palace he laid out a lake of quicksilver, by the advice of his physician who recommended it as a cure for insomnia. It was 50 cubits each way and cost immense sums.
Here the prince lay on an airbed, linked by silk cords to silver columns at the margin, and as he rocked and courted sleep his blue eyed lion Zureyk faithfully guarded his master.
It was the kind of hyperbole that inspired the Arabian Nights and it is worth noting that many of those magical stories ori- ginated in Cairo.
Such fantasies should not be dryly dismissed, because they are a part of the mythology of the court, and to some extent they determined the expectation and extravagance of later palace architec- ture. It is a culture that provides the imaginative context and imagery permeating the other visual arts; it explains the dancers, musicians, hunters, falconers, knights, heraldic beasts and enthroned potentates who adorn all manner of luxuries.
Poetry and panegyric literature become a defining aspect of later Muslim palaces such as the Alhambra in Granada. Thereafter the Tulunid dynasty went into a spiral of rapid decline. This gave the caliph a pretext to intervene and he sent the imperial army to Syria where he put down the Qarmati rebellion.
His forces then attacked Egypt by land and sea and they finally captured Fustat in Egypt was now brought to heel and returned to Abbasid rule, and for the next thirty years she went through an unsettled period of decline under a succession of weak Turkish military governors. It needed a strong bulwark against the Fatimid threat, and accepted that in order to achieve this Egypt needed a degree of autonomy under a strong ruler. In the country was res- cued from a state of anarchy with the appointment of Muhammad ibn Tughj as governor.
He had the support of Baghdad, although the Abbasid empire was in a fragmented state and the caliph had little authority over the many break-away provinces which now enjoyed some autonomy. When the Ikhshid died he was succeeded by his two sons and the title passed to the eldest, who was fourteen. He ruled for nineteen years, maintaining the policies of his predecessor, but when he died in Ahmed a child of eleven , the younger son of the Ikhshid, was elected successor.
This succession unleashed a squabble for power among a clique of ambitious but incompetent ministers, and the turmoil they created opened the door to the Fatimid conquest of Egypt in It was their belief that Ali and his descendants the imams would inherit the religious authority and divine wisdom of the Prophet. In so doing, they initiated a belief in divine leadership. Meanwhile, as his re-emergence is awaited, the light of divine wisdom and leadership is carried by his descendants, the holy imams.
The Fatimid dynasty of Egypt differed fundamentally from its political predecessors by initiating a religious movement. This dynasty was the centre of a mission which spawned an empire that almost overthrew the Abbasid caliphate.
He began a mission in his home town of Aska Mukrum near Ahwaz on the Persian Gulf but was forced to flee to Syria where he settled in Salamiyya, became a successful merchant and engaged in undercover missionary activity. They became the Qarmati sect, or Carmathians, and it was their insurrection in Syria that precipitated the downfall of the Tulunids. This was a busy trading centre, and like his great-grandfather he conducted his ministry incognito with the identity of a merchant.
The Tunisian capital, Qairawan, proved unsuitable for the new regime because it was a stronghold of Sunni orthodoxy, so after a brief residency at the royal city of Raqqada, a new capital, Mahdiya, was established on the coast.
The empire of al-Mahdi, who ruled from to , included Sicily, and extended across North Africa from the Atlantic coast of Morocco to Libya. In the great mosque was built and this broadly follows the plan of the great congregational mosque of Qairawan.
The portal is pierced with a horseshoe arch flanked by two tiers of tall narrow blind arches. The sahn is surrounded by four riwaqs, each with a single aisle, and the prayer hall has nine aisles, three bays deep, perpendicular to the qibla wall. Another architectural design anticipating later developments in Cairo is the city of Mansuriyya, built between and This city was built by the Imam al-Mansur following his victory over the Kharijite rebels.
They destroyed the city of Raqqada, and Mansuriyya was built from material salvaged from its ruins. Its circular plan was based on the city of Baghdad, but the arrangement of its gates and palaces anticipates the planning of al-Qahira Fatimid Cairo.
He was assisted in his conquest by a brilliant general, Jawhar al-Siqilli, and a Jewish convert, Yaqub ibn Killis, who was formerly a high ranking official under the previous Ikhshidid regime. Unlike al-Mansuriyya in Tunisia, al-Qahira was built to a rectangular plan and its mud-brick walls encompassed the area which still forms the nucleus of old Cairo.
There is little today that remains from the Fatimid era, and the Khan al-Khalili bazaar now covers the site once occupied by the two great palaces and royal cemetery. In contrast to its present urban density, al-Qahira was originally very spacious, with land for animals and gardens and orchards irrigated by wells and water- wheels.
According to the eleventh-century Persian scholar Nasir i Khusraw —88 , the city contained 20, shops, 20, houses, numerous caravanserais and four congregational mosques. Most of the original mud-brick walls had disintegrated when Nasir i Khusraw visited the city in , but he describes the houses as being higher than the ramparts, spaciously planned, built of marble and up to five or six storeys high.
There were two palaces, the eastern and western, separated by a parade ground, and the palace population was estimated at 30,, including 12, servants. The larger palace had up to 4, rooms with great halls, including the Emerald Hall, the Divan and the throne-room with its gold throne set on silver steps, sculpted with hunting scenes and surrounded by a golden filigree screen. Similar hunting motifs have survived in fragments of decorative woodwork from the western palace, suggesting some truth among the hyperbole of these descriptions.
There were extensive gardens between al-Qahira and Fustat and much of this area suffered severe flooding in the summer. Despite the number of shops and caravanserais in al-Qahira, Fustat remained the commercial and economic centre, with its thriv- ing markets, port and dockyards. He admired the quality of the green glass and claimed that the lustre pottery was so fine you could see your hand through it.
Nasir i Khusraw describes houses of seven to fourteen storeys accommodating up to people, but this was almost certainly an exaggeration. Some houses had terraced roof gardens with shrubs, orange trees and bananas, and he describes one which was irrigated by a bull turning a contraption lifting water.
Other contemporary writers are less favourable, commenting on the pestilential nature of both cities, the squalor, the poor quality of the water and lack of hygiene. The northern location and higher elevation of al-Qahira was, however, slightly more salubrious. The original mud-brick walls of al-Qahira had crumbled by and a major reconstruction in brick and stone took place between and under the direction of Badr al-Jamali, vizier to the caliph al-Mustansir.
Badr al-Jamali was originally an Armenian slave who had risen through the ranks to become governor of Damascus and Acre. In the caliph secretly invited him to Cairo to help restore order, following a period of plague and famine during which the country had fallen into a state of anarchy and destitution.
By that time al-Mustansir had become a puppet ruler in the hands of his insubordinate Turkish and Berber troops and he needed outside help. When Badr al-Jamali arrived with his Armenian and Syrian bodyguard he ruthlessly rounded up and executed in one night all the leading palace officials and Turkish commanders. He was then given complete authority over the army, the missionaries and the bureaucracy, and became the de facto ruler of Egypt.
This is plausible, because after the Seljuk conquest of that region many Armenians settled in Cairo and al-Jamali might have felt some obligation to find employment for his kinsmen.
It also explains some of their Byzantine features, although the precise origins of its design cannot be located in the Edessa region. The most imposing stretch of fortification is at the Mosque north of the city stretching some of al-Azhar a s ri a l- M metres between Bab al-Nasr and Bab Fatimid a lij Bab Zuwaila al-Futuh, taking in the north wall of the Ayyubid Kh Al- mosque of al-Hakim.
Fatimid Cairo. Bab al-Nasr. Today the crenellation is bricked in and most of the arrow slits have been replaced with wider apertures for guns. Decorative features on the front of the towers include a band of Kufic under the corbelled moulding and heraldic devices in the form of shields. These are both circular and pointed in the Byzantine and Norman fashion, decorated with bosses, moulded rims and serrated edges.
Heraldic beasts such as lions and dragons are common devices on gates and towers across the Muslim world. In their protective capacity they are the Islamic counterpart to Byzantine icons which were once frequently placed on city gates and fortifications.
One of the most famous icons in the Byzantine world was the Mandylion of Edessa, an image of Christ imprinted on cloth, which according to tradition was discovered walled up in a niche above the city gate. Bab al-Futuh.
Bab Zuwaila. The surface of the lower storey is indented by round-arched recessed panels on the front and at each side. On the upper storey of each tower the surface is broken on three sides except the left-hand side of the left tower with recessed rectangular panels containing arrow slits set in round-arched panels. A moulding of parallel lines and loops frames and links the rectangular panels, and the towers are crested with round-headed crenellation. The interior structure of the gate is the reverse of Bab al-Nasr.
Here, a short barrel-vault joins the main entrance to the inner bay which is roofed by a dome on pendentives, and the long upper tower chambers are roofed by cross-vaults crowned with medallions. Bab Zuwaila —2 , to the south of al-Qahira, has large semi- circular towers, like Bab al-Futuh. The inside flanks of the towers contain recessed panels with lobed arches in the Moorish style — the earliest examples of this type in Cairo.
Between the two towers is a semi-circular gate supporting a gallery, and above this a connecting open semi-circular arch that forms a thick-set barrel-vault. It is thought that the gallery once accommodated musicians who accompanied ceremonial processions as they passed through the gate. The whole interior space is covered with a shallow dome set on pendentives in the Byzantine style. Mosque of al-Azhar. This was established as a place of worship and seat of learning. It remains to this day the foremost centre for the study of Sunni law and theology.
The exoteric knowledge, which governs everyday life, was regarded as accessible to all Muslims, but esoteric knowledge was only passed on to initiates.
With the establishment of the Fatimid caliphate the teaching of the missionaries became open and institutionalized, and the supreme qadi judge responsible for such matters became a signi- ficant political appointment.
Prayer hall of Mosque of al-Azhar. It was the exo- teric teaching of the sharia rather than the esoteric doctrine batin that preoccupied the scholars of the mosque of al-Azhar. Regular teaching at al-Azhar, however, did not take place immediately, and it was not until , during the reign of the imam-caliph al-Aziz, that space was allocated for thirty-five teachers to give public lectures on jurisprudence.
Lectures on the secret doctrine of the sharia majalis al-hikma were given to initiates in the privacy of the royal palace — it must be remembered that the abode of the imam-caliph was a sacred domain. The aisles of the prayer hall ran parallel to the qibla wall, but a central aisle, arranged perpendicular to the mihrab, was wider and taller, giving it a processional emphasis.
Three domes were placed over the qibla aisle, one at the centre over the mihrab, and one at each end in the corners of the prayer hall. The rounded arches of the arcades were constructed of stucco-covered brick held by tie-beams and supported on recycled antique columns. Of this original mosque most of the south-west wall remains, as well as fragments of the north-east wall with surviving decorative stucco and round-headed window grilles.
The hood of the original stucco mihrab also survives. This is set in a frame of finely chiselled Kufic with a hood revealing a tightly scrolled pattern of tendrils and palmettes entwining a central five- lobed palmette surmounted by a bulbous chalice. Fatimid mihrab in the Mosque of al-Azhar. The Fatimid stucco panels on the opposite wall are exuberantly laden with a plenitude of vegetal motifs, including a palm tree, palmettes and a grape vine framed by bands of Kufic.
Certain aspects of the surface drilling recall Samarran stucco but the style is more densely floral and organic. Later Fatimid work, dating from the reign of the imam-caliph al-Hafiz mid-twelfth century , can be seen in the dome in the qibla riwaq at the north-west end of the central aisle.
Domes located at this point, corresponding to the mihrab dome, are common features of Tunisian architecture and they emphasize the ceremonial and processional aspect of the wider central aisle. The dome is supported on pointed keel-arches the shape of an upturned boat resting on antique columns braced with wooden tie-beams.
These features define the structural characteristics of Fatimid archi- tecture, providing a much lighter contrast to the solid brick piers of Tulunid architecture.
The keel-arch was a Fatimid innovation and it subsequently replaced the round arches of the earlier mosque. The qibla riwaq dome rests on four squinches alternating with windows made up of stucco grilles. One beautiful window grille consists of a diagonal trellis with intersecting stellar patterns, supporting a delicate interlace of quatrefoils, set with the earliest surviving examples of green and yellow stained glass. Bands of richly carved Kufic outline the windows and squinches as well as forming a continuous frieze around the bay and frame the keel-arches.
Dense patterns of arabesque fill the spandrels of the arches, and the interior of the dome consists of palmettes, stalks, leaves and fruit. The al-Azhar mosque has often been radically changed since the tenth century, most noticeably in the eighteenth century by the amir Abd al-Rahman Katkhuda, a philanthropist and passionate builder, who raised the floor and extended the prayer hall four bays beyond the original mihrab.
This irregular extension, coupled with the retention of the original mihrab, destroyed the symmetry and continuity of space as well as neutralizing the processional aspect of the central aisle. It is, nevertheless, an impressive hypostyle space with each bay forming a space frame made up of tie-beams criss-crossing and intersecting at right angles above the impost blocks of the slender antique Corinthian columns.
They form an open framework of cells appropriate for individual prayer and informal teaching purposes. Traditionally the teacher would sit at the foot of the column surrounded by his pupils, and according to Muqaddasi, in the tenth century there were such groups.
Stucco in the courtyard of the mosque of al-Azhar. The sahn riwaqs, which are mainly a modern reconstruction, consist of arcades of keel-arches, joined by tie-beams, mounted on antique marble columns. Above the apex of each arch is a fluted sunburst medallion encircled with a delicate border of alternating scrolls and arrow-heads crisply set in a finely inscribed zigzag of chevrons. The pishtaq was an innovation of al-Hafiz and is a common feature in eastern Islamic architecture.
These are Mamluk, and in their richness, bravura and imposing scale they mark, in their different ways, the best of the late Burji Mamluk period. All this is evident in the rich density of his minaret above the entrance to the sahn. It is made up of three shafts, two octagonal and one cylindrical, separated by two finely fretted balconies supported on corbels cut into crystalline, stalactite sections known as muqarnas. Muqarnas form a central feature in the vocabulary of Islamic architecture, shaping vaults, niches and friezes in both a structural and decorative capacity.
The second shaft above it is decorated with plaiting, and the third is pierced by four arches and crowned with a third balcony surmounted by a bulbous finial. The first and second-level shafts of the minaret are separated by fretted balconies supported by muqarnas, and the twin rectangular shafts at the top are crested with muqarnas balconies and bulbous finials. Each side of the first storey is decorated with keel-arched panels, the second storey with blue faience, and the masonry is subtly variegated by the periodic alternation of courses of soft terracotta and biscuit-coloured stone.
It subsequently became the principal centre of legal and theological studies in the Sunni world. These institutions, known as madrasas, originated in eastern Persia where they grew out of small informal establishments attached to the houses of teachers and Sufi sheiks.
When the maintenance of orthodoxy became a political necessity, state-funded madrasas were set up, the first being the Nizamiya founded by the Seljuk vizier, Nizam al-Mulk, in Baghdad in It became an institution renowned for its excellence and served as a model for subsequent madrasas elsewhere in the Muslim world. Over the centuries madrasas were regularly added to the fabric of the mosque of al-Azhar, contributing to the irregularity and complexity of its architectural form.
Two of the earliest surviving madrasas, dating from Mamluk times, flank the entrance corridor to the mosque.
On the right- hand side is the madrasa and tomb of Amir Taibars , and on the left is the madrasa and tomb of Amir Aqbugha —9. The madrasa and tomb of Amir Aqbugha also contains library manuscripts.
Its entrance is original, and so is the decoration on the qibla wall, the glass mosaic in the mihrab and the octagonal shaft of the minaret, but the prominent dome of the tomb chamber rising from its fourteen-sided drum is Ottoman.
His small madrasa and tomb, situated to the north-east of the prayer hall, is cruciform in plan with a richly marbled floor and walls lined with cupboards inlaid with ebony, ivory and mother-of- pearl. The exterior of the small stone dome over the tomb chamber technically embodies all the assurance, ingenuity and virtuosity of the Barsbay period with its exquisitely cut arabesque. In addition to these Mamluk madrasas, the riwaqs of al-Hanafiyyah and al-Sharqiyyah were added to the al-Azhar mosque in the nineteenth century for teaching purposes, and in the riwaq of Abbas II was built to provide rooms for the officials of the mosque and further library and student facilities.
In recent years, al-Azhar has expanded into a modern university with faculties teach- ing medicine, agriculture and engineering. Minaret of al-Ghuri. Plan of the mosque of al-Azhar. This was the nearest approximation to a medieval university. It was founded by the imam-caliph al-Hakim in , and was probably modelled on the Dar al-Ilm established by Abu Nasr Sabur ibn Ardashir in the suburbs of Baghdad in —3.
This remarkable work was produced without the aid of an observatory, and the imam-caliph al-Hakim, eager to further the study of astronomy, commissioned the building of an observatory on the Muqattam hills. However, the work was never finished and subsequent attempts to build the observatory were not entirely successful.
According to Behrens-Abouseif, an attempt was made to reconstruct the observatory on the Bab al-Nasr during the reign of al-Amir —31 but this project was never completed.
Like the great library of Alexandria it was destroyed in a piecemeal way. Sunni accounts of the Fatimid period are, however, unsympathetic, and in the case of the imam-caliph al-Hakim, we are presented with a personality who was demonized and described, among other things, as unpredictable, sadistic, despotic and insane.
According to Sunni historians, al-Hakim inaugurated a twenty- five year reign of terror in which he murdered and tortured his viziers, courtiers and officials on impulse, and persecuted the Jews, Christians and Sunni Muslims in equal measure.
He put restrictions on Sunni worship, made the Jews and Christians wear special dress and seized church property. He was a misogynist who placed women under a form of house arrest and stopped them wearing jewellery. He detested dogs even more than women and destroyed many of them.
His lifestyle was austere and his habit of making incognito nocturnal visits to the suqs of the city inspired many of the stories in The Thousand and One Nights. The city of Fustat was looted and burned for three days. Soon after these events al-Hakim disappeared in the Muqattam Hills. He was probably assassin- ated as a consequence of a conspiracy involving his sister, but his supporters refused to believe he was dead.
The leader of these followers, al-Darazi, fled to Syria and formed the sect known as the Druzes. He established a number of pious foundations including the Rashida mosque in Fustat and a mosque in Maks and he completed the great mosque which bears his name near the gates of Bab al-Nasr and Bab al-Futuh. This mosque was begun by his father, the imam-caliph al-Aziz, in and completed by al-Hakim between and Richard Ettinghausen and Oleg Grabar suggest it served principally as a royal sanctuary and imperial mosque for ceremonial purposes, isolated from the main centres of population.
It has the same monumental simplicity as Ibn Tulun and is likewise built substantially of brick with pointed arches springing from rectangular piers, but its proportions are taller. The plan of the prayer hall follows the Tunisian model with a wider, taller, perpendicular central aisle leading towards the mihrab.
Three domes are arranged along the transverse qibla aisle, one over the mihrab and two in the corners of the prayer hall. Unlike al-Azhar and the Tunisian mosques, there is no corresponding dome at the front of the central aisle facing the sahn. It is flanked inside with paired marble columns, and above its apex is a band of three stucco grilled windows. Blind recessed niches adorn its spandrels, but elsewhere the spandrels in the riwaq arcades are pierced and lightened with pointed arched openings in similar fashion to Ibn Tulun.
It is broken at the centre in the Tunisian style with a strong cubic projecting portal decorated with niches containing arabesques similar to those in the mihrab hood of al-Azhar. Northern minaret of mosque of al-Hakim. These Mabkhara top added by Baybars al-Jashankir.
Pharos lighthouse, Alexandria. Badr al-Jamali to strengthen and incorporate the mosque into the general scheme of fortification. Despite their mass and weight they are not load bearing, but immure and preserve the lower shafts of 7m the original minarets. These were revealed when the rubble infill between them and the containing salient wall was removed during 9m restoration work. The enclosing function of these structures is similar to the cubic corner towers of the Mahdiya mosque in 15m Tunisia which contain water cisterns.
The beautiful minarets that now form the superstructure were added by Baibars al-Jashankir after the earthquake of The lower shafts of the original minarets differ, the northern being a tapering cylinder on a square 50m block, and the southern having a taller rectangular shaft supporting an octagonal second tier.
Hillenbrand has suggested that the multi-partite division of the Egyptian minaret may derive from the Pharos, the famous Hellenistic lighthouse of Alexandria.
However, the earliest minarets evolved in Syria, 60m taking their simple rectangular form from church towers and it was this format that was widely adopted in North Africa and Spain.
The multi-partite division of the minaret is essentially an Egyptian feature and for this reason the Pharos may well provide a clue to its development. Built by Ptolemy II c. It suffered earthquake damage on numerous occasions, losing its lantern in and the octagonal tier in , before its final destruction by earthquake in It was made up of three main shafts — square, then octagonal and cylindrical — and we can piece together its original appearance from contemporary descriptions, Hellenistic coins, terracotta lamps and the surviving Ptolemaic light- house at Abu Sir which is a similar three-tiered structure.
Construction and Reconstruction. Delgado Cepeda, eds. Fucecchio Florence: Kim Williams Books. G IECK. Engineering Formulas. McGraw Hill Professional. Thesis, University of Heidelberg. Seljuk Muqarnas along the Silk Road.
Portal September Mathematics in Islamic Arts. Cities as Built and Lived Environments: Architecture, Interiors, Fine Arts Mimar: Architecture in Development Muqarnas: Charles E. Islamic Architecture in Cairo: Citation Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. An Introduction. Leiden; New York: In her effort to provide a well-studied key to the profusion of monuments that form what UNESCO has listed as one of the "Cities of Human Heritage," Behrens-Abouseif identifies Cairo's significant architectural developments in an easy to follow, chronological format.
Appended to each site description are bibliographic entries, further enhancing the value of this book as a research tool.