Rise of Islam (01:51)
Islam emerged during the 7th century. The Prophet Muhammad and his followers conquered immense territory; the construction of mosques reinforced the new religion.
Dome of the Rock (06:12)
After Muhammad's death in 632 CE, his followers sought to impose their will on Jerusalem. Caliph Abd al-Malik of the Umyyad Dynasty decided to build a massive monument that could be seen from a great distance.
Umayyad Architecture (03:55)
The Dome of the Rock reflects the emerging aesthetic of Muslim architecture. The Dome rests on a circular arch of 12 columns and four pillars, with a diameter approaching 20 meters; its interior is decorated with elaborate mosaics.
Great Mosque of Al-Andalus (05:10)
Abbasids overthrew the Umayyad Dynasty in the 8th century; Abd al-Rahman I took refuge on the Iberian Peninsula. He sought to revive the influence of his familial line with the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba.
La Reconquista (03:19)
Ferdinand III gained control of Cordoba in 1236 CE; the conquerors practiced Catholicism in the Mosque-Cathedral of Cordoba. In 1523, the center of the monument was destroyed to build a new cathedral
Mosque of Ibn Tulun (06:45)
Ibn Tulun oversaw the construction of the 9th century mosque; it is the oldest surviving mosque in Cairo. Its design is a departure from the flamboyance of the Umayyad Dynasty.
Holy Site of Constantinople (05:38)
The Ottoman Dynasty reached its peak in the 16th century under the reign of Suleiman the Magnificent. He ordered construction of the Suleymaniye Mosque, one of the most important monuments in the history of Muslim architecture.
Monument of Safavid Dynasty (07:44)
The Ottomans were Sunni while the Persians were Shiites. In the early 17th century, Shah Abbas wanted to make Isfahan the epicenter of Shi'ism and he ordered construction of the Shah Mosque. A double shell system allowed construction of a larger dome.
Great Mosque of Delhi (10:52)
Monuments built during the reign of the Mughal Dynasty marked the height of Muslim expansion in India. The Jama Majid was born from the will of Emperor Shah Jahan, who also ordered construction of the Taj Mahal.
Credits: Mosques: Art and Space (00:36)
Credits: Mosques: Art and Space
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