The appearance of this mosque responds to the most traditional canons of Arabic religious architecture. It could be a work done practically in any of the last ten or twelve centuries. And yet, it is a contemporary work that began in 1998 and was completed in 2007.
To understand it, you have to take into account its location, in the city of Abu Dhabi, in the very rich United Arab Emirates. Therefore it is a religious temple, but also a demonstration of the economic power of that territory. In fact, the work was promoted by Zayed ibn Sultan Al Nahayan, the president of the Emirates at the time and after whom it is named.
Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi
Although, this site is also known as the Grand Mosque of Abu Dhabi, since we are talking about the largest mosque in the country and the third largest in the world. In total, the Great Mosque occupies an area of more than 20,000 square meters and all of it is made with the highest quality materials, since there was no budget limit in its construction.
The appearance of the whole complex is as if the whole thing has been built in immaculate white marble. However, nearly thirty types of limestone were used. And in addition, contemporary materials were used for its 82 domes, since the larger ones wereThey were made from prefabricated concrete pieces, while the smaller ones were built on site modeled with fiberglass.
In reality, despite its traditional appearance, it is a construction in which technology intervened. In fact, the entire complex is supported by thousands of pillars of maple submerged up to 27 meters in the subsoil.
The truth is that any information given about the Sheikh Zayed Mosque is amazing. For example, the 107 meters high of its four minarets, its 17,000 square meter patio or the more than 1,000 columns scattered throughout the work.
All this in terms of its architectural forms, but its marble coatings inlaid with materials such as amber or lapis lazuli are also impressive. Not to mention elements of other types of elements such as the seven mammoth lamps that illuminate the prayer room.
These are lamps made with the coveted Swarovski crystal, and to get an idea of their value, you have to imagine what the largest of these lamps that reaches a weight of 9,000 kilos.
However, the great carpet in this prayer room is even heavier. It is the largest Persian rug ever made in one piece. The result is a carpet of 47 tons and a surface area of more than 5,600 square meters, along which there are some 2,000 million knots.
In short, the Sheikh Zayed Mosque can be considered contemporary or traditional architecture. What it isIt is true that it is a pharaonic work, typical of a global economic system and a specific local political one. Only in those situations can phenomena like the United Arab Emirates and this Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi occur.