A unique and intricate style, the tradition of Maya architecture spans several thousands of years. Often, the buildings most dramatic and easily recognizable as Mayans are the stepped pyramids the Terminal Pre-classic period, being based on the general Mesoamerican architectural traditions, these pyramids relied on intricate carved stone in order to create a stairstep design. Each pyramid was dedicated to a deity whose shrine sat at its peak, during this height of Maya culture, the centers of their religious and bureaucratic power grew into large cities, namely Tikal, and Uxmal. Through observation of the numerous consistent elements and stylistic distinctions, remnants of Maya architecture have become an important key to understanding the evolution of their ancient temples, Maya architecture tends to integrate a great degree of natural features. However, some semblance of order, as required by any large city, at the onset of large-scale construction, a predetermined axis was typically established in congruence with the cardinal directions.
Immediately outside of this center were the structures of lesser nobles, smaller temples, and individual shrines. Outside of the evolving urban core were the less permanent. Classic Era Maya urban design could easily be described as the division of space by great monuments, in this case, the open public plazas were the gathering places for the people and the focus of the urban design, while interior space was entirely secondary. Only in the Late Post-Classic era did the great Maya cities develop into more fortress-like defensive structures that lacked, for the most part, the large and numerous plazas of the Classic. A flight of steep stone steps split the large stepped platforms on at least one side. Depending on the prevalent stylistic tendencies of an area, these platforms most often were built of a stucco, as is the case with many other Maya reliefs, those on the platforms often were related to the intended purpose of the residing structure. Thus, as the platforms were completed, the grand residences and temples of the Maya were constructed on the solid foundations of the platforms.
Commonly, these would continue uninterrupted around a structure and contain a variety of artwork pertaining to the inhabitants or purpose of a building. Though not the case in all Maya locations, broad use of painted stucco has been discovered as well and it has been suggested that, in conjunction to the Maya Long Count Calendar, every fifty-two years, or cycle and pyramids were remodeled and rebuilt. It appears now that the process was often instigated by a new ruler or for political matters. However, the process of rebuilding on top of old structures is indeed a common one, most notably, the North Acropolis at Tikal seems to be the sum total of 1,500 years of architectural modifications. These were commonly limestone platforms of typically less than four meters in height where public ceremonies and often highly decorated, the palaces usually sat close to the center of a city and housed the populations elite. Every exceedingly large royal palace, or one consisting of many chambers on different levels might be referred to as an acropolis, archaeologists seem to agree that many palaces are home to various tombs
History of architecture
The history of architecture traces the changes in architecture through various traditions, overarching stylistic trends, and dates. The branches of architecture are civil, naval, Neolithic architecture is the architecture of the Neolithic period. In Southwest Asia, Neolithic cultures appear soon after 10,000 BC, initially in the Levant and from there spread eastwards and westwards. There are early Neolithic cultures in Southeast Anatolia and Iraq by 8000 BC, and food-producing societies first appear in southeast Europe by 7000 BC, and Central Europe by c.5500 BC. The neolithic people in the Levant, Syria, northern Mesopotamia and Central Asia were great builders, at Çatalhöyük, houses were plastered and painted with elaborate scenes of humans and animals. The Mediterranean neolithic cultures of Malta worshiped in megalithic temples, in Europe, long houses built from wattle and daub were constructed. Elaborate tombs for the dead were built and these tombs are particularly numerous in Ireland, where there are many thousands still in existence.
Neolithic people in the British Isles built long barrows and chamber tombs for their dead and causewayed camps, henges flint mines and cursus monuments. Ancient Mesopotamia is most noted for its construction of mud brick buildings, the word Ziggurat is an anglicized form of the Akkadian word ziqqurratum, the name given to the solid stepped towers of mud brick. It derives from the verb zaqaru, ‘to be high, the buildings are described as being like mountains linking Earth and heaven. The ziggurat at Ur, excavated by Leonard Woolley, is 64 by 46 meters at base and it was built under Ur-Nammu and rebuilt under Nabonidus when it was increased in height to probably seven stories. Harvests for example were seen as the benevolence of fertility deities, Ancient architecture is characterized by this tension between the divine and mortal world. Cities would mark a contained sacred space over the wilderness of nature outside, the architect, be he priest or king, was not the sole important figure, he was merely part of a continuing tradition.
The architecture and urbanism of the Greeks and Romans was very different from that of the Egyptians and Persians, civic life gained importance for all members of the community. Greek civic life was sustained by new, open spaces called the agora which were surrounded by public buildings, the agora embodied the newfound respect for social justice received through open debate rather than imperial mandate. Though divine wisdom still presided over human affairs, the rituals of ancient civilizations had become inscribed in space. Each place had its own nature, set within a world refracted through myth, the Romans conquered the Greek cities in Italy around three hundred years BCE and much of the Western world after that. One way to look at the unity of Roman architecture is through a new-found realization of theory derived from practice, civically we find this happening in the Roman forum, where public participation is increasingly removed from the concrete performance of rituals and represented in the decor of the architecture
Hindu temple architecture
The Hindu temple architecture is an open, symmetry driven structure, with many variations, on a square grid of padas, depicting perfect geometric shapes such as circles and squares. In ancient Indian texts, a temple is a place for Tirtha - pilgrimage and it is a sacred site whose ambience and design attempts to symbolically condense the ideal tenets of Hindu way of life. The architectural principles of Hindu temples in India are described in Shilpa Shastras, susan Lewandowski states that the underlying principle in a Hindu temple is built around the belief that all things are one, everything is connected. A Hindu temple is meant to encourage reflection, facilitate purification of one’s mind, the specific process is left to the devotee’s school of belief. The primary deity of different Hindu temples varies to reflect this spiritual spectrum and these harmonious places were recommended in these texts with the explanation that such are the places where gods play, and thus the best site for Hindu temples.
While major Hindu Mandirs are recommended at sangams, river banks and seashore, Brhat Samhita, here too, they recommend that a pond be built preferably in front or to the left of the temple with water gardens. If water is present naturally nor by design, water is symbolically present at the consecration of temple or the deity. A Hindu temple design follows a design called vastu-purusha-mandala. The name is a composite Sanskrit word with three of the most important components of the plan, mandala means circle, Purusha is universal essence at the core of Hindu tradition, while Vastu means the dwelling structure. The design lays out a Hindu temple in a symmetrical, self-repeating structure derived from central beliefs, cardinality, the four cardinal directions help create the axis of a Hindu temple, around which is formed a perfect square in the space available. The circle of mandala circumscribes the square, the square is considered divine for its perfection and as a symbolic product of knowledge and human thought, while circle is considered earthly and observed in everyday life.
The square is divided into perfect square grids, in large temples, this is often a 8x8 or 64 grid structure. In ceremonial temple superstructures, this is an 81 sub-square grid, the square is symbolic and has Vedic origins from fire altar, Agni. The alignment along cardinal direction, similarly is an extension of Vedic rituals of three fires and this symbolism is found among Greek and other ancient civilizations, through the gnomon. The second design of 4 padas has a central core at the diagonal intersection. The 9 pada design has a sacred surrounded center, and is the template for the smallest temple, older Hindu temple vastumandalas may use the 9 through 49 pada series, but 64 is considered the most sacred geometric grid in Hindu temples. It is called Manduka, Bhekapada or Ajira in various ancient Sanskrit texts, each pada is conceptually assigned to a symbolic element, sometimes in the form of a deity or to a spirit or apasara. The central square of the 64 is dedicated to the Brahman, in a Hindu temple’s structure of symmetry and concentric squares, each concentric layer has significance
Architecture of Mesopotamia
Among the Mesopotamian architectural accomplishments are the development of urban planning, the courtyard house, and ziggurats. No architectural profession existed in Mesopotamia, scribes drafted and managed construction for the government, the Mesopotamians regarded the craft of building as a divine gift taught to men by the gods as listed in me 28. Sumerian masonry was usually mortarless although bitumen was sometimes used, brick styles, which varied greatly over time, are categorized by period. The advantages to plano-convex bricks were the speed of manufacture as well as the surface which held the finishing plaster coat better than a smooth surface from other brick types. Bricks were sun baked to harden them and these types of bricks are much less durable than oven-baked ones so buildings eventually deteriorated. They were periodically destroyed and rebuilt on the same spot and this planned structural life cycle gradually raised the level of cities, so that they came to be elevated above the surrounding plain.
The resulting mounds are known as tells, and are throughout the ancient Near East. Civic buildings slowed decay by using cones of colored stone, terracotta panels, specially prized were imported building materials such as cedar from Lebanon, diorite from Arabia, and lapis lazuli from India. Mesopotamia is along the border of IRAQ, Babylonian temples are massive structures of crude brick, supported by buttresses, the rain being carried off by drains. One such drain at Ur was made of lead, the use of brick led to the early development of the pilaster and column, and of frescoes and enamelled tiles. The walls were brilliantly colored, and sometimes plated with zinc or gold, painted terra-cotta cones for torches were embedded in the plaster. As time went on, Assyrian architects began to shake free of Babylonian influence. The walls of Assyrian palaces were lined with sculptured and coloured slabs of stone, in Babylonia, in place of the bas relief, there is greater use of three-dimensional figures in the round – the earliest examples being the statues from Girsu, that are realistic if somewhat clumsy.
The paucity of stone in Babylonia made every pebble precious, two seal-cylinders from the age of Sargon of Akkad are among the best examples of their kind. One of the first remarkable specimens of early metallurgy to be discovered by archaeologists is the vase of Entemena. At a epoch, great excellence was attained in the manufacture of jewellery as earrings. Copper, was worked with skill, indeed, it is possible that Babylonia was the home of copper-working. The people were famous at a date for their embroideries
The distinctive features of Mesoamerican architecture encompass a number of different regional and historical styles, which however are significantly interrelated. Mesoamerican architecture is noted for its pyramids which are the largest such structures. One interesting and widely researched topic is the relation between cosmovision, religion and architecture in Mesoamerica, much seems to suggest that many traits of Mesoamerican architecture were governed by religious and mythological ideas. For example, the layout of most Mesoamerican cities seem to be influenced by the directions and their mythological. Another part of Mesoamerican architecture is its iconography, the monumental architecture of Mesoamerica was decorated with images of religious and cultural significance, and in many cases with writing in some of the Mesoamerican writing systems. Iconographic decorations and texts on buildings are important contributors to the current knowledge of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican society, history.
An important part of the Mesoamerican religious system was replicating their beliefs in concrete tangible forms, the underworld was represented by the direction north and many structures and buildings related to the underworld, such as tombs, are often found in the citys northern half. Mesoamerican architecture is designed to align to specific celestial events. Pyramids and other structures were designed to achieve special lighting effects on the equinoxes or on other days important in the Mesoamerican cosmovision. A famous example is the El Castillo pyramid at Chichen Itza, much Mesoamerican architecture is aligned to roughly 15° east of north. Vincent H Malmstrom has argued that this is because of a wish to align the pyramids to face the sunset on August 13. Often the most important religious temples sat atop the towering pyramids, while recent discoveries point toward the extensive use of pyramids as tombs, the temples themselves seem to rarely, if ever, contain burials. Residing atop the pyramids, some of over two-hundred feet, such as that at El Mirador, commonly topped with a roof comb, or superficial grandiose wall, these temples might have served as a type of propaganda.
All but the earliest ball courts are masonry structures, the vertical faces, such as those at Chichen Itza and El Tajin, are often covered with complex iconography and scenes of human sacrifice. Although the alleys in early ball courts were open-ended, ball courts had enclosed end-zones, the playing alley may be at ground level, or the ball court may be sunken. Ball courts were no mean feats of engineering, one of the sandstone stones on El Tajins South Ball court is 11 m long and weighs more than 10 tons. Large and often decorated, the palaces usually sat close to the center of a city. Any exceedingly large royal palace, or one consisting of many chambers on different levels might be referred to as an acropolis, archaeologists seem to agree that many palaces are home to various tombs
Cheshire is a county in North West England, bordering Merseyside and Greater Manchester to the north, Derbyshire to the east and Shropshire to the south and Wales to the west. Cheshires county town is Chester, the largest town is Warrington, other major towns include Congleton, Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Widnes and Winsford. The county covers 905 square miles and has a population of around 1 million and it is mostly rural, with a number of small towns and villages supporting the agricultural and other industries which produce Cheshire cheese, salt and silk. Cheshires name was derived from an early name for Chester. Although the name first appears in 980, it is thought that the county was created by Edward the Elder around 920, in the Domesday Book, Chester was recorded as having the name Cestrescir, derived from the name for Chester at the time. A series of changes occurred as English itself changed, together with some simplifications and elision, resulted in the name Cheshire. Because of the close links with the land bordering Cheshire to the west.
The Domesday Book records Cheshire as having two complete Hundreds that became the part of Flintshire. Additionally, another portion of the Duddestan Hundred became known as Maelor Saesneg when it was transferred to North Wales. For this and other reasons, the Welsh name for Cheshire is sometimes used within Wales, after the Norman conquest of 1066 by William I, dissent and resistance continued for many years after the invasion. In 1069 local resistance in Cheshire was finally put down using draconian measures as part of the Harrying of the North, the ferocity of the campaign against the English populace was enough to end all future resistance. Examples were made of major landowners such as Earl Edwin of Mercia, William I made Cheshire a county palatine and gave Gerbod the Fleming the new title of Earl of Chester. When Gerbod returned to Normandy in about 1070, the king used his absence to declare the earldom forfeit, due to Cheshires strategic location on Welsh Marches, the Earl had complete autonomous powers to rule on behalf of the king in the county palatine.
Cheshire in the Domesday Book is recorded as a larger county than it is today. It included two hundreds and Exestan, that became part of North Wales. At the time of the Domesday Book, it included as part of Duddestan Hundred the area of land known as English Maelor in Wales. The area between the Mersey and Ribble formed part of the returns for Cheshire, an example is the barony of Halton. One of Hugh dAvranches barons has been identified as Robert Nicholls, Baron of Halton, in 1182 the land north of the Mersey became administered as part of the new county of Lancashire, thus resolving any uncertainty about the county in which the land Inter Ripam et Mersam was
Architecture of India
The architecture of India is rooted in its history and religion. Indian architecture progressed with time and assimilated the many influences that came as a result of Indias global discourse with other regions of the world throughout its millennia-old past. The architectural methods practiced in India are a result of examination and implementation of its established building traditions, though old, this Eastern tradition has incorporated modern values as India became a modern nation state. The economic reforms of 1991 further bolstered the urban architecture of India as the country became more integrated with the worlds economy, traditional Vastu Shastra remains influential in Indias architecture during the contemporary era. The Indus Valley Civilization was a Bronze Age civilization in the region of the Indian subcontinent, consisting of what is now mainly modern-day Pakistan. Flourishing around the Indus River basin, the civilization primarily centred along the Indus and the Punjab region, extending into the Ghaggar-Hakra River valley and the Ganges-Yamuna Doab.
Geographically, the civilization was spread over an area of some 1,260,000 square km, the Indus Valley is one of the worlds earliest urban civilizations, along with its contemporaries and Ancient Egypt. At its peak, the Indus Civilization may have had a population of well over five million, inhabitants of the ancient Indus river valley developed new techniques in metallurgy and handicraft and produced copper, bronze and tin. The civilization is noted for its cities built of brick, roadside drainage system, the baths and toilets system the cities had is acknowledged as one of the most advanced in the ancient world. The grid layout planning of the cities with roads at right angles is a modern system that was implemented in the cities of this particular civilization. The urban agglomeration and production scale of this civilization was unsurpassed at the time. Excavation of Harappan sites has been ongoing since 1920, with important breakthroughs occurring as recently as 1999, to date, over 1,052 cities and settlements have been found, mainly in the general region of the Ghaggar-Hakra river and its tributaries.
Among the settlements were the urban centres of Harappa, Mohenjo-daro, Kalibanga. The Buddhist stupa, a dome shaped monument, was used in India as a commemorative monument associated with storing sacred relics, the stupa architecture was adopted in Southeast and East Asia, where it became prominent as a Buddhist monument used for enshrining sacred relics. Fortified cities with stūpas and temples were constructed during the Maurya empire, wooden architecture was popular and rock cut architecture became solidified. Guard rails—consisting of posts, and a coping—became a feature of safety surrounding a stupa, temples—build on elliptical, quadrilateral, or apsidal plans—were constructed using brick and timber. The Indian gateway arches, the torana, reached East Asia with the spread of Buddhism, some scholars hold that torii derives from the torana gates at the Buddhist historic site of Sanchi. Rock-cut stepwells in India date from 200–400 AD, the construction of wells at Dhank and stepped ponds at Bhinmal took place
Gothic architecture is a style of architecture that flourished in Europe during the high and late medieval period. It evolved from Romanesque architecture and was succeeded by Renaissance architecture and its characteristics include the pointed arch, the ribbed vault and the flying buttress. Gothic architecture is most familiar as the architecture of many of the cathedrals, abbeys. It is the architecture of many castles, town halls, guild halls, universities and to a less prominent extent, private dwellings, for this reason a study of Gothic architecture is largely a study of cathedrals and churches. A series of Gothic revivals began in mid-18th-century England, spread through 19th-century Europe and continued, largely for ecclesiastical and university structures, the term Gothic architecture originated as a pejorative description. Hence, François Rabelais, of the 16th century, imagines an inscription over the door of his utopian Abbey of Thélème, Here enter no hypocrites, slipping in a slighting reference to Gotz and Ostrogotz.
Authorities such as Christopher Wren lent their aid in deprecating the old medieval style, the Company disapproved of several of these new manners, which are defective and which belong for the most part to the Gothic. Gothic architecture is the architecture of the medieval period, characterised by use of the pointed arch. As an architectural style, Gothic developed primarily in ecclesiastical architecture, the greatest number of surviving Gothic buildings are churches. The Gothic style is most particularly associated with the cathedrals of Northern France. At the end of the 12th century, Europe was divided into a multitude of city states, norway came under the influence of England, while the other Scandinavian countries and Poland were influenced by trading contacts with the Hanseatic League. Angevin kings brought the Gothic tradition from France to Southern Italy, throughout Europe at this time there was a rapid growth in trade and an associated growth in towns. Germany and the Lowlands had large flourishing towns that grew in comparative peace, in trade and competition with other, or united for mutual weal.
Civic building was of importance to these towns as a sign of wealth. England and France remained largely feudal and produced grand domestic architecture for their kings and bishops, the Catholic Church prevailed across Europe at this time, influencing not only faith but wealth and power. Bishops were appointed by the lords and they often ruled as virtual princes over large estates. The early Medieval periods had seen a growth in monasticism, with several different orders being prevalent. Foremost were the Benedictines whose great abbey churches vastly outnumbered any others in France, a part of their influence was that towns developed around them and they became centers of culture and commerce
Chartres Cathedral, known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of Chartres, is a Gothic Catholic cathedral of the Latin Church located in Chartres, about 80 kilometres southwest of Paris. The current cathedral, mostly constructed between 1194 and 1220, is the last of at least five which have occupied the site since the town became a bishopric in the 4th century. It is designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, which calls it the point of French Gothic art. The cathedral has been well preserved, the majority of the original stained glass windows survive intact, while the architecture has seen only minor changes since the early 13th century. Equally notable are the three great façades, each adorned with hundreds of sculpted figures illustrating key theological themes and narratives, in the Middle Ages, the cathedral functioned as a kind of marketplace, with different commercial activities centred on the different portals, particularly during the regular fairs. Textiles were sold around the transept, while meat, vegetable.
Money-changers had their benches, or banques, near the west portals, wine sellers plied their trade in the nave, although occasional 13th-century ordinances survive which record their being temporarily banished to the crypt to minimise disturbances. Workers of various professions gathered in particular locations around the cathedral awaiting offers of work. In 1258, after a series of bloody riots instigated by the counts officials, even before the Gothic cathedral was built, Chartres was a place of pilgrimage, albeit on a much smaller scale. The widespread belief that the cathedral was the site of a pre-Christian druidical sect who worshipped a Virgin who will give birth is purely a late-medieval invention. This is one view, however scholars have written about the Cult of the Virgin Mary. Before the Christian church was built, the used to be dedicated to a fertility goddess. When the Catholic church took over the site, they made a nod to the cult by depicting the life of Mary on the tympana.
However, the Church reminded the women that, as women and they did this by placing Mary in the far right tympanum, holding the baby Christ on her lap. By doing this, they reminded the women that they existed only to serve Christ, just as, in biblical stories, around 876 the cathedral acquired the Sancta Camisa, believed to be the tunic worn by the Blessed Virgin Mary at the time of Christs birth. According to legend, the relic was given to the cathedral by Charlemagne who received it as a gift from Emperor Constantine VI during a crusade to Jerusalem. This legend, was pure fiction – probably invented in the 11th century to authenticate some relics at the Abbey of St Denis. In fact, the relic was a gift to the cathedral from Charles the Bald, by the end of the 12th century, the church had become one of the most important popular pilgrimage destinations in Europe
A bay window is a window space projecting outward from the main walls of a building and forming a bay in a room. Bay window is a term for all protruding window constructions. The most common inside angles are 90,135 and 150 degrees, a bay window with a flat front and angled sides is called canted. A bay window supported by a corbel, bracket or similar is called an oriel window, most medieval bay windows and up to the baroque era are oriel windows. They frequently appear as a highly ornamented addition to the rather than an organic part of it. Particularly during the Gothic period they frequently contain small house chapels, with the oriel window containing an altar, especially in Nuremberg these are even called Chörlein with the most famous example being the one from the parsonage of St. Sebaldus Church. Oriental oriel windows such as the Arab Mashrabiya are frequently made of wood, because there is a close similarity to the use of a balcony, it is difficult to define if they are indeed oriel windows or a special type of balcony.
Bay windows became a popular feature of residential Victorian architecture in the British Isles from about the 1870s. They can be found in terraced houses and detached houses as well as in blocks of flats, based on British models, their use spread to other English speaking countries like the USA, Canada and Australia. Bretèche Bay window caboose Oriel window Bow window Gagnon, gaining bonus space and light with bay windows
Batangas, officially known as the Province of Batangas is a province in the Philippines located in the Calabarzon region in Luzon. Its capital is the city of Batangas and is bordered by the provinces of Cavite and Laguna to the north, across the Verde Island Passages to the south is the island of Mindoro and to the west lies the South China Sea. Poetically, Batangas is often referred to by its ancient name Kumintáng, Batangas is one of the most popular tourist destinations near Metro Manila. It is home to the well-known Taal Volcano, one of the Decade Volcanoes, and Taal Heritage town, Batangas City has the second largest international seaport in the Philippines after Metro Manila. The first recorded name of the province was Kumintáng, whose center was the present-day municipality of Balayan. Balayan was considered the most progressive town of the region, an eruption of Taal Volcano destroyed a significant portion of the town, causing residents to transfer to Bonbon, the name eventually encompassing the bounds of the modern province.
The term Batangan means a raft which the people used so that they could fish in the nearby Taal Lake. It meant the numerous logs found in the Calumpang River, long before the arrival of the Spaniards in the Philippines, large centers of population already thrived in Batangas. Native settlements lined the Pansipit River, a major waterway, the province had been trading with the Chinese since Yuan Dynasty until the first phase of Ming Dynasty in the 13th and 15th century. Inhabitants of the province were trading with Japan and India, the Philippines ancestors were Buddhists and Hindus, but far from India and intermixed with animistic beliefs. Archaeological findings show that before the settlement of the Spaniards in the country and this was shown by certain jewelry, made from a chambered nautilus shell, where tiny holes were created by a drill-like tool. The prehistoric Batangueños were influenced by India as shown in the origin of most languages from Sanskrit, a Buddhist image was reproduced in mould on a clay medallion in bas-relief from the municipality of Calatagan.
According to experts, the image in the pot strongly resembles the portrayal of Buddha in Siam, India. The pot shows Buddha Amithaba in the tribhanga pose inside an oval nimbus, scholars noted that there is a strong Mahayanic orientation in the image, since the Boddhisattva Avalokitesvara was depicted. One of the archaeological finds was in January 1941, where two crude stone figures were found in Palapat in the municipality of Calatagan. They were donated to the National Museum, one of them was destroyed during World War II. Eighteen years later, a grave was excavated in nearby Punta Buaya, pieces of brain coral were carved behind the heads of the 12 remains that were found. The remains were accompanied by furniture that could be traced as early as the 14th century
Islamic architecture encompasses a wide range of both secular and religious styles from the foundation of Islam to the present day. What today is known as Islamic architecture was influenced by Persian, Byzantine, further east, it was influenced by Chinese and Indian architecture as Islam spread to Southeast Asia. The principal Islamic architectural types are, the Mosque, the Tomb, the Palace, from these four types, the vocabulary of Islamic architecture is derived and used for other buildings such as public baths and domestic architecture. Symbolic views of scholars on Islamic architecture have consistently been criticized by historians for lacking historical evidence. The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is one of the most important buildings in all of Islamic architecture and it is patterned after the nearby Church of the Holy Sepulchre and Byzantine Christian artists were employed to create its elaborate mosaics against a golden background. The great epigraphic vine frieze was adapted from the pre-Islamic Syrian style, the Dome of the Rock featured interior vaulted spaces, a circular dome, and the use of stylized repeating decorative arabesque patterns.
Desert palaces in Jordan and Syria served the caliphs as living quarters, reception halls, and baths, the horseshoe arch became a popular feature in Islamic structures. After the Moorish invasion of Spain in 711 AD the form was taken by the Umayyads who accentuated the curvature of the horseshoe. The Great Mosque of Damascus, built on the site of the basilica of John the Baptist after the Islamic invasion of Damascus, certain modifications were implemented, including expanding the structure along the transversal axis which better fit with the Islamic style of prayer. The Abbasid dynasty witnessed the movement of the capital from Damascus to Baghdad, the shift to Baghdad influenced politics and art. The Great Mosque of Samarra, once the largest in the world, was built for the new capital, other major mosques built in the Abbasid Dynasty include the Mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, Abu Dalaf in Iraq, the great mosque in Tunis. Abbasid architecture in Iraq as exemplified in the Fortress of Al-Ukhaidir demonstrated the despotic, the Great Mosque of Kairouan is considered the ancestor of all the mosques in the western Islamic world.
Its original marble columns and sculptures were of Roman workmanship brought in from Carthage and it is one of the best preserved and most significant examples of early great mosques, founded in 670 AD and dating in its present form largely from the Aghlabid period. The Great Mosque of Kairouan is constituted of a square minaret, a large courtyard surrounded by porticos. The Great Mosque of Samarra in Iraq, completed in 847 AD, the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul influenced Islamic architecture. When the Ottomans captured the city from the Byzantines, they converted the basilica to a mosque, the Hagia Sophia served as a model for many Ottoman mosques such as the Shehzade Mosque, the Suleiman Mosque, and the Rüstem Pasha Mosque. Domes are a structural feature of Islamic architecture. Domes remain in use, being a significant feature of many mosques, the distinctive pointed domes of Islamic architecture, originating with the Byzantines and Persians, have remained a distinguishing feature of mosques into the 21st century