Top Ten Essential Architecture top ten islamic buildings  
 
  For a more complete list, see islamic architecture  
1 The Taj Mahal in Agra  

architect

 

location

Agra

date

1640s

style

Islamic Mughal

construction

white marble

type

Mosque

The Tāj Mahal (Hindi: ताज महल) is a mausoleum located in Agra, India. The Mughal Emperor Shāh Jahān commissioned it as a mausoleum for his favourite wife, Mumtaz Mahal. Construction began in 1632 and was completed in 1648. Some dispute surrounds the question of who designed the Taj; it is clear a team of designers and craftsmen were responsible for the design, with Ustad Isa considered the most likely candidate as the principal designer.

The Taj Mahal (sometimes called "the Taj") is generally considered the finest example of Mughal architecture, a style that combines elements of Persian, Indian and Islamic architecture. While the white domed marble mausoleum is the most familiar part of the monument, the Taj Mahal is actually an integrated complex of structures. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1983 when it was described as a "universally admired masterpieces of the world's heritage".[
 
     
2 The Dome of the Rock, Jerusalem  

architect

Abd al-Malik

location

Jerusalem

date

692-95

style

Islamic

construction

stone, ceramic tile. Mr A.C. Cresswell in his book Origin of the plan of the Dome of the Rock writes that those who built the mosque made use of the measurements of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. The diameter of the dome of the mosque is 20m by 20cm and its height 20m by 48cm, while the diameter of the dome of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre is 20m by 90cm and its’ height 21m by 5cm.

type

Mosque

The Dome of the Rock (Arabic:, translit.: Qubbat As-Sakhrah, translit.: Kipat Hasela, Turkish: Kubbetüs Sahra) is a notable Islamic shrine for pilgrimage in what Muslims call masjid al-Aqsa or the Noble Sanctuary (al-Haram al-Qudsi al-Sharif) — which Jews and Christians call Har ha-Bayit  or the Temple Mount — it remains one of the best known landmarks of Jerusalem. It was built between 687 and 691 by the 9th Caliph, Abd al-Malik. It is often mistakingly referred to as Mosque of Umar, the actual mosque of Caliph Umar ibn al-Khattab residing next to the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

 
     
3 The Hagia Sofia in Istanbul  

architect

Isidore of Miletus and Anthemius of Tralles

location

Istanbul

date

537. The dome was ruined by the great earthquake of 989, rebuilt by the Armenian architect Tirdat.

style

Islamic Ottoman Turkish  Byzantine

construction

covered by a central dome with a diameter of 31 meters (102 feet) and 56 meters high, slightly smaller than the Pantheon's

type

Mosque

Hagia Sophia, (the Church of) Holy Wisdom, now known as the Ayasofya Museum, is a former Eastern Orthodox church converted to a mosque in 1453 by the Turks, and converted into a museum in 1935. It is located in Istanbul, Turkey. It is traditionally considered one of the great buildings in history. Its conquest by the Ottomans at the fall of Constantinople is considered one of the great tragedies of Christianity by the Greek Orthodox faithful.
The name comes from the Greek name Ἁγία Σοφία, a contraction of Ναός τῆς Ἁγίας τοῦ Θεοῦ Σοφίας, meaning "Church of the Holy Wisdom of God". It is also known as Sancta Sophia in Latin and Ayasofya in Turkish. Although it is sometimes called "Saint Sophia" in English, it is not named after a saint named Sophia — the Greek word sofia means "wisdom."
 
     
4 The Isfahan, Maydan-i-Shah Mosque in Isfahan, Iran  

architect

 

location

Isfahan

date

1611-1639

style

Persian

construction

stone, ceramic tile.

type

Mosque and public Outdoor space

The maidan, or public plaza, is an eight hectare space constructed under Shah Abbas I between 1590 and 1595 for state ceremonies and sport. A two storied, arcaded perimeter of stores was added by 1602 in an effort to introduce commerce to the area, luring merchants from the old city to the north.
 
     
5 The interior view of the Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain  

architect

 

location

Cordoba

date

870-975

style

Moorish

construction

stone

type

Church Mosque

The Mezquita (Spanish for "mosque", from the Arabic مسجد "Masjid") is a Roman Catholic cathedral in Córdoba, Spain. It was originally built to be a warehouse/temple/lighthouse. It later became the second-largest mosque in the world.

The construction of the Mezquita started in approximately sixth century A.D. as a Christian Visigothic church. Later, the Mezquita (originally the Aljama Mosque) was reworked for over two centuries to refashion it as a mosque, starting in 784 A.D. under the supervision of the first Muslim Emir Abd ar-Rahman I, who used it as an adjunct to his palace and named it to honor his wife. The land was bought by the Emir from the previous owners. It is believed that the site included the Visigothic cathedral of St. Vincent. When the forces of Tariq ibn-Ziyad first occupied Córdoba in 711, the Christian cathedral was suppressed.

Several explanations have been proposed to explain the mosque's unorthodox orientation. Some have suggested the mihrab faces south because the foundations of the mosque are borrowed from the old Roman and Visigoth constructions. Others contend that Abd ar-Rahman oriented the mihrab southward as if he were still in the Ummayyad capital of Damascus and not in exile.
 
     
6 The Great (or al-Mutawakkil) Mosque of Samarra in Iraq (847 AD)  

architect

Client Al-Mutawakkil

location

Samarra

date

847-61

style

Islamic Abbasid

construction

brick

type

Mosque

Al-Mutawakkil commissioned the construction of the Great Mosque of Samarra upon his succession to the Abbasid caliphate in the mid-ninth century. While the outer wall still stands, little remains of the interior of the mosque today.
 
     
7 Registan Square, in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.  

architect

various

location

Samarkand

date

The ensemble consists of three Madrassah: Ulugbek Madrassah (15th century), Sher – Dor Madrassah (17th century) and Tilla-Kari Madrassah (gold covered)(17th century).

style

Islamic Timurid

construction

variety of stone and brick

type

Mosque

During centuries Registan Square was the center of Samarkand. The word Registan means “sand place”. There was a river running there many ages ago, before building the first Madrassah on the square. Years passed, the river dried out and left lots of sank there, that was the first place where the first Madrassah was built in the beginning of the 15th century and named Registan square. As the Madrassah was first built, all the holidays, parades, festivals and Sunday bazaars took place.
 
     
8 Sultan Ahmed Mosque (the Blue Mosque) in Istanbul, Turkey.  

architect

 

location

Istanbul

date

1609-16

style

Islamic Ottoman Turkish (considered to be the last great mosque of the classical period)

construction

brick and stone

type

Mosque

The Sultan Ahmed Mosque (Turkish: Sultanahmet Camii) is a historical mosque in Istanbul, the largest city in Turkey and was the capital of the Ottoman Empire (from 1453 to 1923). The mosque is one of several mosques known as the Blue Mosque for the blue tiles adorning the walls of its interior. It was built between 1609 and 1616, during the rule of Ahmed I. Like many other mosques, it also comprises a tomb of the founder, a madrasah and a hospice. The Sultan Ahmed Mosque has become one of the greatest tourist attractions of Istanbul.

 
     
9 Selimiye Mosque (Minar Sinan), built by Sinan in 1575. Edirne, Turkey.  

architect

 

location

Edirne

date

ca. 1575

style

Islamic Ottoman Turkish

construction

brick and stone

type

Mosque

The Selimiye Mosque (Turkish: Selimiye Camii) is a mosque in the city of Edirne, Turkey. The mosque was commissioned by Sultan Selim II and was built by architect Mimar Sinan between 1568 and 1574. It was considered by Sinan to be his masterpiece and is one of the highest achievements of Islamic architecture.
 
     
10 The Great Mosque of Djenné in Mali (Timbuktu, Mali)  

architect

unknown

location

Mali, West Africa
Timbuktu is populated by Songhay, Tuareg, Fulani, and Moorish people, and is about 15 km north of the River Niger. It is also at the intersection of an east–west and a north–south Trans-Saharan trade across the Sahara to Araouane. It was important historically (and still is today) as an entrepot for rock-salt from Taoudenni.
Its geographical setting made it a natural meeting point for nearby African populations and nomadic Berber and Arab peoples from the north. Its long history as a trading outpost that linked west Africa with Berber, Arab, and Jewish traders throughout north Africa, and thereby indirectly with traders from Europe, has given it a fabled status, and in the West it was for long a metaphor for exotic, distant lands: "from here to Timbuktu."

date

15th and 16th centuries

style

Afro-Islamic

construction

mud, wood

type

Town, Mosque