Yalbugha Mosque

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Yalbugha Mosque
جامع يلبغا
Basic information
Location Syria Damascus, Syria
Geographic coordinates 33°30′48″N 36°17′53″E / 33.51336°N 36.29808°E / 33.51336; 36.29808Coordinates: 33°30′48″N 36°17′53″E / 33.51336°N 36.29808°E / 33.51336; 36.29808
Affiliation Islam
Region Levant
Status Active
Architectural description
Architectural type Mosque Complex
Architectural style Mamluk
Completed 1264 The Mamluk mosque
1975 The modern mosque
Dome(s) 1
Minaret(s) 1
Materials limestone, basalt

The Yalbugha Mosque (Arabic: جامع يلبغا‎) is a Mamluk-era mosque in Damascus, Syria, situated along the Barada River and overlooking Marjeh Square. It was built by Mamluk princes in 1264 outside the city walls west of the citadel.[1] The mosque was described as one of the most famous, influential and beautiful mosques in Damascus. It served as a resting point before the departure of the Hajj caravan from Damascus.[2]


The Yalbugha Mosque was built in 1264 in an area known as al-Bahsa or Taht al-Qalaa ("below the citadel"). The mosque takes its name from Yalbugha, the governor of Damascus, who restored it in 1443. The ancient mosque was demolished in 1975 and replaced by a bigger structure bearing the same name. The new mosque remains unfinished due to uneven settlement of the structure.[1]


The original mosque's plan consisted of a rectangular prayer hall with a courtyard to its north. The courtyard had three muqarnas entrances from the east, north and west. Surrounding the courtyard from three sides are rooms that were used as a madrasa. The minaret was attached to the northern wall of the courtyard, while the central part was adorned by an ablution fountain and an arched kiosk to the side.[1]


The prayer hall was accessed through twelve archways topped with twenty four windows, that ran from the courtyard. The qibla decorations were kufic inscriptions incised into gypsum bands. The mihrab niche resembled that of the Umayyad Mosque and was built with white marble and crowned by a dome. To the west side of the mihrab is the minbar. The wooden minbar was adorned with elaborate geometric and floral patterns.[1]

Modern Mosque[edit]

The only element that has been preserved from the Mamluk mosque was the eastern courtyard entrance portal. It is now on view in the garden of the National Museum of Damascus. The portal was built with alternating courses of basalt and limestone.[1]


  1. ^ a b c d e Yalbugha Mosque Archnet Digital Library.
  2. ^ Sonbol, 2005, p.114