Al-Mutawakkil Grand Mosque

Al-Mutawakkil Grand Mosque
Al-Mutawakkil Grand Mosque

This daunting Muslim faith temple is located in the Iraqi city of Samarra and is also known as the Malwiya Mosque.

Its construction dates back to the 9th century, specifically between the years 848 and 852.

The main characteristic that draws attention is its monumentality, its gigantic scale, and it helps to achieve these enormous proportions that the venue has a zidaya, which is a space that has between the mosque, its sacred ground, and the outside, profane territory.

Great Mosque of al-Mutawakkil

Al-Mutawakkil Grand Mosque

Regarding its construction, the entire complex is articulated based on the axis created by the minaret, the central nave of the temple and the mihrab. Inside the mosque itself there are 25 aisles facing perpendicular to the qibla wall, giving it a ratio where the width of the mosque is greater than its length.

All these naves have a flat roof, supported by pillars with attached columns reused from other previous constructions.

Given its antiquity and the convulsive history of Iraq only the minaret, which is located outside the courtyard, and the walls of the outer enclosure have survived to this day. Some walls built from the use of bricks and where the different towers arranged in their perimeter are striking, some towers that have a basesquare while its development in height is in a semicircular section.

This model of combining different geometric shapes between the base and the development in height, is also followed in the minaret since it rises on a square platform that gives rise to growth of a great spiral, which consists of a ramp without a parapet through which the muezzin would ascend five times a day to call the faithful to pray in the temple. This curious spiral shape can be understood by knowing the traditional architecture of ancient Mesopotamia, where the so-called fire towers also had this spiral development towards the sky.

The al–Mutawakkil Mosque is the largest of the various mosques that were built in Samarra during the time of the abbasi caliphate, but it is not the only one. Since in the same Iraqi city you can also see the Abu Dulaf Mosque, it has similar characteristics to the previous one but of a smaller size, since it has 17 naves, on the contrary you can see certain constructive differences typical of a building of a later date, because it was built more or less a decade later. Perhaps this is due to certain variations such as the central nave being taller than the rest.

But not only religious architecture remains from the Abbasi period in Samarra, because in that city there are the palaces of Jawsaq al Jaqari, the oldest in Samarra and which has a monumental access door to the palace called the People's Gate made of brick.

Alsothe Balkuwara Palace, like the previous one built during the 9th century.

And also in Samarra there is the mausoleum of three Abbasid princes, known as the Dome of al Sulaibiya, although curiously the dome has not reached the present day.

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