sábado, 5 de marzo de 2011

Historical context of Islamic architecture (II): Umayyad Dynasty (661-750)

Umayyad Dynasty (661-750)

After the battle of Siffin Muawiyah I's power is consolidated on Islamic Caliphate. Muawiyah moved the capital from Medina to Damascus, placing the center of Muslim power in a thriving cultural area whose architecture will be the basis for the entire Umayyad building industry. The Umayyads absorbed and incorporated Hellenistic and Byzantine legacy, and merged the classical tradition of the Mediterranean in a different and innovative mold. 

Umayyad Caliphate at its greatest extent (c. 720). 

Islamic Art was formed, therefore, in Syria, and architecture, unmistakably Islamic due to their founders personality, didn't loose its connection with Christian and Byzantine art. The most important monuments are the Umayyad Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the oldest example of monumental Islamic shrine, the Great Mosque of Damascus, which served as model for later mosques, and the desert palaces of Syria, Jordan and Palestine. Buildings of this period will have a decisive influence on the development of all later Islamic architecture. 


Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem (687-691). Exterior. 

 
Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem (687-691). Floor plan.

Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem (687-691). Section through access portico.

Grand Mosque of Damascus (705-715). Exterior.

Grand Mosque of Damascus (705-715). Interior

Grand Mosque of Damascus (705-715). Floor plan showing original roman walls and new ummayad aditions.

 Grand Mosque of Damascus (705-715). Architectural Scheme.

Grand Mosque of Damascus (705-715). Detail of arches.

Qasr Kharana Palace, Syria (661-710). Exterior.

Qasr Kharana Palace, Syria (661-710). Floor plan.

Lecture taught at Notre Dame School of Architecture in South Bend, Indiana (USA), January 26, 2011.



Author: Pablo Álvarez Funes

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