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Islamic Architecture

Architecture of the Veil
- Placed more importance
on the interior of a building
than its exterior
Though often associated with
the Islamic mosque Muslims' place of worship,
this approach to architecture is also apparent in
other edifices, from palaces and public
buildings to tombs and forts. Whether religious or
secular, however, the splendid style is defined
by several common characteristics.
- An area which is both within
the walls of the building and
open to the sky, providing a
private, yet outdoor, space
- A minaret is a spire or tower-like structure
featuring small windows and an enclosed
staircase. It is one of the oldest elements
of Islamic architecture, and is found next
to most mosques.
- It is the Islamic call to worship
is the person appointed at a mosque to
lead and recite the call to prayer for
every event of prayer and worship in the
is a rectangular hall or space, usually
vaulted, walled on three sides, with
one end entirely open.
- is a form of ornamented vaulting in Islamic
architecture, It is used for domes, and
especially half-domes in
entrances, iwans and apses.

- Sometimes called as honeycomb vault or

stalactites vault
Like many pioneering architectural
movements—including Byzantine and Italian
Renaissance building traditions—Islamic
architects also incorporate domes into their
The Dome of the Rock, a 7th-century shrine in
Jerusalem, is the first Islamic building to feature this
architectural element. Inspired by Byzantine plans,
the octagonal edifice is topped with a wooden
dome, which was plated in gold during the 16th
century. Unlike most Islamic domes which rest
on pendentives the dome sits on a drum supported
by 16 piers and columns.
Pendentives are tapered structures that allow a
circular base for a round or elliptical dome to be
placed on a square or rectangular room. In Islamic
architecture, pendentives are often decorated
with tiles or muqarnas, a type of sculptural
is a semicircular niche in the wall of a
mosque that indicates the qibla

The Qibla is the direction that should be
faced when a Muslim prays during Ṣalāt. It is
fixed as the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca
Another fixture of Islamic architecture is
the arch. Evident in both entrances and
interiors, Islamic arches are categorized into
four main styles:
Pointed Arch
features a rounded design with a
tapered apex.
Ogee Arch
is similar to the pointed arch. However,
its point is composed of two s-shaped
lines, culminating in a more sinuous
Horseshoe Arch
this type of structure is defined by the
dramatic widening and narrowing of its
Multi-foil Arch
This arch features multiple foils, or
“leaves,” resulting in a scalloped shape.
Decorative Detail
A final element of Islamic architecture is an
attention to ornamental detail. Often reserved for
interiors, this lavish approach to decoration
includes jewel-like tiles arranged into geometric
mosaics, patterned brickwork and kaleidoscopic
stones, and exquisite calligraphic adornments.