Great Mosque of Samarra
|Great Mosque of Samarra|
Arabic: جامع سامراء الكبير
or المسجد الجامع في سامراء
or مسجد سامراء الكبير
Minaret at the Great Mosque of Samarra
|Ecclesiastical or organisational status||Mosque and shrine|
|Date established||848 CE|
|Minaret height||52 metres (171 ft)|
|UNESCO World Heritage Site|
|Official name||Samarra Archaeological City|
|Criteria||Cultural: ii, iii, iv|
|Inscription||2007 (31st Session)|
|Area||15,058 hectares (37,210 acres)|
|Buffer zone||31,414 hectares (77,630 acres)|
The Great Mosque of Samarra (Arabic: جامع سامراء الكبير or المسجد الجامع في سامراء or مسجد سامراء الكبير) is a ninth-century mosque located in Samarra, Iraq. The mosque was commissioned in 848 and completed in 851 by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who reigned (in Samarra) from 847 until 861. The mosque is located within the 15,058-hectare (37,210-acre) Samarra Archaeological City UNESCO World Heritage Site, listed in 2007.
The Great Mosque of Samarra was, for a time, the largest mosque in the world; its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, is a spiralling cone 52 metres (171 ft) high and 33 metres (108 ft) wide with a spiral ramp. The reign of al-Mutawakkil had a great effect on the appearance of the city, for he seems to have been a lover of architecture, and the one responsible for building the great Mosque of Samarra. In a list of his building projects which appears in several different versions, the new Congregational Mosque and up to twenty palaces are mentioned, totalling between 258 and 294 million dirhams. The new Congregational Mosque, with its spiral minaret, built between 849 (235 AH) and 851 (235 AH), formed part of an extension of the city to the east, extending into the old hunting park.
The mosque had 17 aisles, and its walls were paneled with mosaics of dark blue glass. It was part of an extension of Samarra eastwards.
The art and architecture of the mosque were influential; stucco carvings within the mosque in floral and geometric designs represent early Islamic decoration. Additionally, the mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, Egypt was based on the Samarra mosque in many regards.
The Malwiya Minaret (Arabic: ملوية malwiyah) is part of the Great Mosque of Samarra. The minaret was originally connected to the mosque by a bridge.
The minaret or tower was constructed in 848–852 of sandstone, and is unique among other minarets because of its ascending spiral conical design. 52 metres (171 ft) high and 33 metres (108 ft) wide at the base, the spiral contains stairs reaching to the top. The word "malwiya" translates as "twisted" or "snail shell."
The Malwiya was used for the "call to prayer"; its height made it practical for such use. It is visible from a considerable distance in the area around Samarra and therefore may have been designed as a strong visual statement of the presence of Islam in the Tigris Valley.
The minaret's unique spiral design is said by some to be derived from the architecture of the Mesopotamian ziggurats. Some consider the influence of the Pillar of Gor, built in Sassanian period, more prominent.
In 2005 the top of the Malwiya minaret was damaged by a bomb. Iraqi police said insurgents blew up the top section of the 52-metre (171 ft) tower, which had previously been used by US soldiers as a lookout position, although US troops had pulled out of the site a month before.
Minaret of Abu Dulaf Mosque, also in Samarra, Iraq
Minaret of the Mosque of Ibn Tulun, inspired by the malwiya
Chapel of Thanksgiving at Thanks-Giving Square in Dallas, Texas, built in 1976, inspired by the malwiya
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Great mosque, Samarra, was built during the caliphate of al-Mutawakkil. It is the largest mosque in the world. Built entirely of brick within a wall flanked with towers, it has a 55 m high minaret with a spiral ramp that recalls the ziggurats of Mesopotamia
- "The city of Samarra was built during the Mu'tokul Abbasid period". Rch.ac.ir. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
- "Self-Guided Tour". Thanksgiving.org.
- "Travel Tips: Thanks-Giving Chapel's Islamic Design a Visual, Spiritual Gem in Downtown Dallas". WRMEA. Retrieved 10 February 2019.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Great Mosque of Samarra.|
- The Great Mosque, Samarra, Iraq
- "Samarra Archaeological City". World Heritage Site. UNESCO. 2019.
- Photo of The Great Mosque
- Photo and information
- Photos, floor plans, and information
- Ernst Herzfeld Papers, Series 7: Records of Samarra Expeditions, Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil Collections Search Center, S.I.R.I.S., Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
- Ernst Herzfeld Papers, Series 7: Records of Samarra Expeditions, 1906-1945 Smithsonian Institution, Freer Gallery of Art and Arthur M. Sackler Gallery Archives, Washington, DC