miércoles, 9 de marzo de 2011

Historical context of Islamic architecture (VI): Mamluk Dynasty (1250-1517)

Mamluks were initially Turkish origin slaves used by Ayyubid to protect their borders from Crusaders and Mongols. After consolidating their borders and demising Crusaders states after Seventh Crusade, Mamluk general Muizz Izz-al-Din Aybak murdered the widow of last Ayyubid sultan and proclaimed himself monarch. 

Greatest extent of the Mamluk Sultanate in 1279 

Mamluks were able to drive again in Syria and Egypt, and built a strong empire that would eventually be defeated by Ottomans. Wealth and luxury reigned in Cairo, Mamluk Sultans court and because of this artists and architects will develop an unique and elegant architecture. For Islamic world, Mamluk period marks a time of renewal and rebirth. Mameluks enthusiastically founded religious institutions and reconstructed existing ones, which places them among the biggest islamic drivers of art and architecture. A typical example of this period is Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan (1356), a cruciform plan tomb mosque in which its four cross arms are formed by four iwans surrounding a central courtyard.

Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan, Cairo, Egypt (1356-1363). Ground floor.

Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan, Cairo, Egypt (1356-1363). Volume.

Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan, Cairo, Egypt (1356-1363). Scheme.

Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan, Cairo, Egypt (1356-1363). General view.

Mosque-Madrassa of Hassan, Cairo, Egypt (1356-1363). Court.

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

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