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The Alhamra at Granada

James Cavanah Murphy spent the last 12 years of his life preparing notes and drawings for a publication on this Moorish architecture. The resulting book, The Arabian Antiquities of Spain, was only partially…

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Safavid Palaces

Most of the palaces, pavilions, and villas built in the Safavid period have not survived. Many were destroyed, especially during the Afghan conquest of Isfahan in 1722. Others were neglected and left to…

New Coins

Coins of Abd al-Malik

These two dinar coins sum up one of the greatest political and religious upheavals ever – the permanent transformation of the Middle East in the years following the death of the Prophet Muhammad….

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Wazir Khan Mosque Lahore

The Wazir Khan Mosque  in Lahore, Pakistan, is famous for its extensive tile work and frescos. It was built in seven years starting around 1634–1635 AD during the reign of the Mughal Emperor…

The Suleymaniye Mosque - Walking Tour

The Suleymaniye Mosque – A Virtual Walking Tour

 This virtual tour is comprised of various spherical panoramic photographs that place you inside the image, as if you were standing in the place where the photo was made. Use your mouse to…

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Fragments of a 9th Century Quran

al-Qurʼān (ajzāʼ) Fragments of an Abbasid Qurʼān, probably written in the third century A.H / ninth century C.E., containing verses from the suras: al-Dhārīyāt (سورة الذاريات),al-Ṭūr (سورة الطور), al-Najm (سورة النجم), al-Qamar (سورة القمر), and al-Raḥmān (سورة…

The House of Wisdom Baghdad

From Cuneiform to Topkapi

In the Islamic world, where reading and literacy have always been highly prized for the access they provide to the word of God and the world of knowledge, books were objects of both…

Al-Azhar mosque, main courtyard, 10th-18th centuries.

Architecture of the Fatimid

The long period of Fatimid rule, lasting almost three centuries, and the dynasty’s political and ideological principles brought with them a major architectural revival. Clear evidence of change is provided by the monuments…

Ramparts of the Aleppo Citadel

Aleppo – Architecture and History

“The city is as old as eternity, but still young, and it has never ceased to exist. Its days and nights have been long; it has survived its rulers and commoners. These are…

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The Alhambra – A Virtual Walking Tour

To understand the Alhambra you need to look at its history, location and surroundings. It is situated on the hill of Sabika, overlooking the city of Granada. Alhambra means, literately, “The Red” and…

Nasrid plasterwork: symbolism, materials & techniques

This article provides an introduction to traditional materials and techniques used in Nasrid plasterwork as well as explaining their style and symbolism.

Owen Jones and Jules Goury, arched window from the volume Plans, elevations, sections & details of The Alhambra, published 1837.

Illustrations of Islamic Architecture

The Alhambra Granada, Spain Built chiefly in the 13th and 14th centuries The Alhambra (from the Arabic, Al Hamra, meaning The Red) is an ancient mosque, palace and fortress complex built by the…

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