AHI 1E Lecture Notes - Lecture 4: Mihrab, Portico

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3 Oct 2016
10/03/2016 Lecture 4
Umayyad Building Campaign: important, showy buildings that showed Umayyad
dynastic style
Emergence of a dynastic style
Mount Moraya was taken over for buildings
The function of the Dome of the Rock at the time is unclear
The depictions/ inscriptions are different from imperial Byzantine Empire.
The dome of the rock is not a mosque. Its function in Umayyad times is unclear. Now it
is a mosque.
The dome of the rock is the site believed to be from where the prophet ascended to
Umayyad’s capital is Damascus
They built a Great Mosque of Damascus: son of a caliph built it. Both father and son
made the plans for this in a unified way. Its function was to create a place of gathering
where government buildings/residence of the caliph are close by to the mosque.
General features: large rectangular open space with a courtyard, covered area where
congregation takes place on Fridays.
Becomes a great iconic place: political and urban influence (in the middle of the central
city) …the structure is embedded into daily life
Has a lot of doors
Cathedral of St. John in Damascus (important)
They took over Damascus because it was seen as a sacred building
There was a Christian community residing but they were told to leave
Umayyads were known for taking over very meaningful sites
West portico of Great Mosque of Damascus…Under the plaster during 19th century, they
found mosaics. So they took off the plaster to show the visual mosaics.
Barada panel: mosaic with lots of trees, Greco-Roman buildings, no humans,
Interpretations: vision of Umayyad peace, or heaven
Using golden glass mosaics- materials
In the middle of the courtyard, 8-sided pavilion with a dome sitting on ancient columns.
The exterior was covered in golden glass mosaics as well.
The money of the community was kept in here. Only accessible by a ladder
Map of Mabada: on the floor, colored stones, have captions, labeled, have writing
Columns and space is very high in Damascus mosque
Unlikely that Umayyad buildings were made by Muslims but the patrons for definite
were Muslims. Most likely, they were made by local laborers
Anti-Umayyads groups believed that they were making their buildings too much like
those of the Christians.
Great Mosque of Cordoba has been rebuilt multiple times, so it is very layered. It was
then changed to a cathedral. Now it is a functioning Church
Hypostyle Mosque- one that has many columns.
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