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THE GREAT
MOSQUE
OF
KAIROUAN
Great Mosque of
Kairouan
Location: In the Medina, Kairouan,
Tunisia
Date of the monument: Hegira 221 / AD
836
Period / Dynasty: Umayyad,Abbasid
Patron(s): Ziyadat Allah I.
Area : 9000m2
Also known as : Mosque of Uqba
“one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model
for all later mosques in the Maghreb”
Plan of Kairouan
MOSQUE FACING
TOWARD MADINA
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.
Around 690, shortly after its construction, the mosque was destroyed during the
occupation of Kairouan by the Berbers, originally conducted by Kusaila. It was
rebuilt by the Ghassanid general Hasan ibn al-Nu'man in 703.With the gradual
increase of the population of Kairouan and the consequent increase in the number
of faithful, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, Umayyad Caliph in Damascus, charged his
governor Bishr ibn Safwan to carry out development work in the city which
include the renovation and expansion of the mosque around the years 724–728. In
view of its expansion, he pulled down the mosque and rebuilt it with the exception
of the mihrab. It was under his auspices that the construction of the minaret
began. In 774, a new reconstruction accompanied by modifications and
embellishments took place under the direction of the Abbasid governor Yazid Ibn
Hatim.
PLAN OF THE GREAT MOSQUE OF KAIROUAN
ARCHITCTURE
The great mosque of Kairouan was
simply made up of sun-dried bricks that
had stood their since the foundation of
the city. The mosque was constructed
with Abbasid style of a courtyard
surrounded by arcades, with a hypostyle
prayer hall roughly one-third the size of
the entire enclosed complex, has one
outstanding features- its minarets in the
form of a lighthouse.The use of Marbel
and granite wa done in the prayer hall
MINARET
The world's oldest surviving minaret, 8th-9th century.
It is 31.5 meters tall and is seated on a square base of 10.7 meters on each side.
It is located inside the enclosure and does not have direct access from the outside.
 It consists of three tapering levels, the last of which is topped with a small ribbed dome.
The first and second stories are surmounted by rounded merlons which are pierced by
arrowslits.
The minaret served as a watchtower, as well as to call the faithful to prayer.
The interior includes a staircase of 129 steps, surmounted by a barrel vault, which gives
to the terraces and the first tier of the minaret.
The courtyard facade (or south facade) of the tower is pierced with windows that provide
light and ventilation, while the other three facades—facing north, east and west—are
pierced with small openings in the form of arrowslits.
Details of minaret:
View of the second and
third storey's of the
minaret
Door of the minaret
Close view of one of the
Roman stones (with Latin
inscriptions) reused at the
base of the minaret
Wall and windows of the
south facade of the
minaret
COURTYARD
The courtyard is a vast trapezoidal area whose interior
dimensions are approximately 65 by 50 meters.
It is surrounded on all its four sides by a portico with double rows
of arches, opened by slightly horseshoe arches supported by
columns in various marbles and granite .
Access to the courtyard by six side entrances dating from the
ninth and thirteenth centuries.
The northern part of the courtyard is paved with flagstones while
the rest of the floor is almost entirely composed of white marble
slabs.
In the courtyard there are also several water wells some of which
are placed side by side.
Near its center is an horizontal sundial, bearing an inscription in
nakashi engraved on the marble dating from 1258 AH and which is
accessed by a little staircase ; it determines the time of prayers.
Details of the courtyard:
The horizontal sundial located
in the courtyard
Focus on one well of
the courtyard
Rain water collector cistern
Rain water collector basin
DOME
The Mosque has several domes, the largest being over the mihrab and the
entrance to the prayer hall from the courtyard. The dome of the mihrab is
based on an octagonal drum with slightly concave sides, raised on a
square base, decorated on each of its three southern, Easter and western
faces with five flat-bottomed niches surmounted by five semi-circular
arches,the niche in the middle is cut by a lobed oculus enrolled in a
circular frame. This dome, whose construction goes back to the first half
of the ninth century (towards 836), is one of the oldest and most
remarkable domes in the western Islamic world.
Prayer hall
The prayer hall is located on the southern side of the
courtyard ; and is accessed by 17 carved wooden doors. A
portico with double row of arches precede the spacious
prayer hall, which takes the shape of a rectangle of 70.6
meters in width and 37.5 meters depth
Details of the prayer hall:
View of the mihrab
located in the
middle of the qibla
wall of the prayer
hall
View of the
gallery which
precedes the
prayer hall
One of the
seventeen
carved-wood
doors of the
prayer hall
The mihrab, which indicates the
Qibla (direction of Mecca), in front
of which stands the imam during
the prayer, is located in the middle
of the southern wall of the prayer
hall. It is formed by an oven-
shaped niche framed by two
marble columns and topped by a
painted wooden half-cupola. The
niche of the mihrab is two meters
long, 4.5 meters high and 1.6
meters deep.
The wall of the mihrab is covered
with 28 panels of white marble,
carved and pierced, which have a
wide variety of plant and
geometric patterns including the
stylized grape leaf, the flower and
MIHRAB
4.5
m
2 m
MINBAR
The minbar, situated on the right of the mihrab, is used by the imam during the Friday or
Eids sermons, is a staircase-shaped pulpit with an upper seat, reached by eleven steps, and
measuring 3.93 meters length to 3.31 meters in height.
 It consists of an assembly of more than 300 finely carved wood pieces with an exceptional
ornamental wealth, among which about 90 rectangular panels carved with plenty of pine
cones, grape leaves, thin and flexible stems, lanceolate fruits and various geometric shapes.
The upper edge of the minbar ramp is adorned with a rich and graceful vegetal decoration
composed of alternately arranged foliated scrolls, each one containing a spread vine-leaf and
a cluster of grapes. In the early twentieth century, the minbar had a painstaking restoration
3.31
m
3.93m
COLUMN AND CEILING
In the prayer hall, the 414 columns of marble, granite or
porphyry taken from ancient sites in the country such as
Sbeïtla, Carthage, Hadrumetum and Chemtou, support the
horseshoe arches.
The covering of the prayer hall consists of painted ceilings
decorated with vegetal motifs and two domes : one raised at
the beginning of the central nave and the other in front of the
mihrab. The latter, which its hemispherical cap is cut by 24
concave grooves radiating around the top is based on ridged
horns shaped shell and a drum pierced by eight circular
windows which are inserted between sixteen niches grouped
by two.
THANKYOU
PRESENTED BY:
AMAN SINGH
NIKITA SHARMA
PRADEEP VERMA

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greatmosqueofkairouan-141108120257-conversion-gate02.pdf

  • 2. Great Mosque of Kairouan Location: In the Medina, Kairouan, Tunisia Date of the monument: Hegira 221 / AD 836 Period / Dynasty: Umayyad,Abbasid Patron(s): Ziyadat Allah I. Area : 9000m2 Also known as : Mosque of Uqba “one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb” Plan of Kairouan MOSQUE FACING TOWARD MADINA
  • 3. 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. Around 690, shortly after its construction, the mosque was destroyed during the occupation of Kairouan by the Berbers, originally conducted by Kusaila. It was rebuilt by the Ghassanid general Hasan ibn al-Nu'man in 703.With the gradual increase of the population of Kairouan and the consequent increase in the number of faithful, Hisham ibn Abd al-Malik, Umayyad Caliph in Damascus, charged his governor Bishr ibn Safwan to carry out development work in the city which include the renovation and expansion of the mosque around the years 724–728. In view of its expansion, he pulled down the mosque and rebuilt it with the exception of the mihrab. It was under his auspices that the construction of the minaret began. In 774, a new reconstruction accompanied by modifications and embellishments took place under the direction of the Abbasid governor Yazid Ibn Hatim.
  • 4. PLAN OF THE GREAT MOSQUE OF KAIROUAN
  • 5.
  • 6. ARCHITCTURE The great mosque of Kairouan was simply made up of sun-dried bricks that had stood their since the foundation of the city. The mosque was constructed with Abbasid style of a courtyard surrounded by arcades, with a hypostyle prayer hall roughly one-third the size of the entire enclosed complex, has one outstanding features- its minarets in the form of a lighthouse.The use of Marbel and granite wa done in the prayer hall
  • 7. MINARET The world's oldest surviving minaret, 8th-9th century. It is 31.5 meters tall and is seated on a square base of 10.7 meters on each side. It is located inside the enclosure and does not have direct access from the outside.  It consists of three tapering levels, the last of which is topped with a small ribbed dome. The first and second stories are surmounted by rounded merlons which are pierced by arrowslits. The minaret served as a watchtower, as well as to call the faithful to prayer. The interior includes a staircase of 129 steps, surmounted by a barrel vault, which gives to the terraces and the first tier of the minaret. The courtyard facade (or south facade) of the tower is pierced with windows that provide light and ventilation, while the other three facades—facing north, east and west—are pierced with small openings in the form of arrowslits.
  • 8. Details of minaret: View of the second and third storey's of the minaret Door of the minaret Close view of one of the Roman stones (with Latin inscriptions) reused at the base of the minaret Wall and windows of the south facade of the minaret
  • 9. COURTYARD The courtyard is a vast trapezoidal area whose interior dimensions are approximately 65 by 50 meters. It is surrounded on all its four sides by a portico with double rows of arches, opened by slightly horseshoe arches supported by columns in various marbles and granite . Access to the courtyard by six side entrances dating from the ninth and thirteenth centuries. The northern part of the courtyard is paved with flagstones while the rest of the floor is almost entirely composed of white marble slabs. In the courtyard there are also several water wells some of which are placed side by side. Near its center is an horizontal sundial, bearing an inscription in nakashi engraved on the marble dating from 1258 AH and which is accessed by a little staircase ; it determines the time of prayers.
  • 10. Details of the courtyard: The horizontal sundial located in the courtyard Focus on one well of the courtyard Rain water collector cistern Rain water collector basin
  • 11. DOME The Mosque has several domes, the largest being over the mihrab and the entrance to the prayer hall from the courtyard. The dome of the mihrab is based on an octagonal drum with slightly concave sides, raised on a square base, decorated on each of its three southern, Easter and western faces with five flat-bottomed niches surmounted by five semi-circular arches,the niche in the middle is cut by a lobed oculus enrolled in a circular frame. This dome, whose construction goes back to the first half of the ninth century (towards 836), is one of the oldest and most remarkable domes in the western Islamic world.
  • 12. Prayer hall The prayer hall is located on the southern side of the courtyard ; and is accessed by 17 carved wooden doors. A portico with double row of arches precede the spacious prayer hall, which takes the shape of a rectangle of 70.6 meters in width and 37.5 meters depth
  • 13. Details of the prayer hall: View of the mihrab located in the middle of the qibla wall of the prayer hall View of the gallery which precedes the prayer hall One of the seventeen carved-wood doors of the prayer hall
  • 14. The mihrab, which indicates the Qibla (direction of Mecca), in front of which stands the imam during the prayer, is located in the middle of the southern wall of the prayer hall. It is formed by an oven- shaped niche framed by two marble columns and topped by a painted wooden half-cupola. The niche of the mihrab is two meters long, 4.5 meters high and 1.6 meters deep. The wall of the mihrab is covered with 28 panels of white marble, carved and pierced, which have a wide variety of plant and geometric patterns including the stylized grape leaf, the flower and MIHRAB 4.5 m 2 m
  • 15. MINBAR The minbar, situated on the right of the mihrab, is used by the imam during the Friday or Eids sermons, is a staircase-shaped pulpit with an upper seat, reached by eleven steps, and measuring 3.93 meters length to 3.31 meters in height.  It consists of an assembly of more than 300 finely carved wood pieces with an exceptional ornamental wealth, among which about 90 rectangular panels carved with plenty of pine cones, grape leaves, thin and flexible stems, lanceolate fruits and various geometric shapes. The upper edge of the minbar ramp is adorned with a rich and graceful vegetal decoration composed of alternately arranged foliated scrolls, each one containing a spread vine-leaf and a cluster of grapes. In the early twentieth century, the minbar had a painstaking restoration 3.31 m 3.93m
  • 16. COLUMN AND CEILING In the prayer hall, the 414 columns of marble, granite or porphyry taken from ancient sites in the country such as Sbeïtla, Carthage, Hadrumetum and Chemtou, support the horseshoe arches. The covering of the prayer hall consists of painted ceilings decorated with vegetal motifs and two domes : one raised at the beginning of the central nave and the other in front of the mihrab. The latter, which its hemispherical cap is cut by 24 concave grooves radiating around the top is based on ridged horns shaped shell and a drum pierced by eight circular windows which are inserted between sixteen niches grouped by two.