Discovering the Beauty of Architecture: 5 Beautiful Pieces of Islamic Architecture Around the World

1. The Alhambra, Granada, Spain

The Alhambra is a palace built by a princes belonging to the Muslim Nasrid dynasty in the 14th century. Through time, some parts of the palace have been demolished. Today, there are three remaining parts: a fortress (al-Qasbah) on the west end of the hill, a princes-like residence to the east, and a group of pavilions and gardens known as the Generalife. You can identify the courtyards and spaces of the Alhambra easily, they are beautifully decorated with colored tiles, geometric forms, carved wood, and impressive calligraphy.

Top 10 Arabic Architecture-Alhambra-Photo by Romain Matteï© Romain Matteï

2. The Citadel of Aleppo, Syria

One of the most impressive works of architecture in the Middle East is is the citadel that stands on the top of a hill in the middle of the Syrian city of Aleppo. This example of Islamic military architecture is very impressive. Some of the fortifications found on the site by archeologists date back to the Roman times and earlier.

On the inside you can find residences, store supplies, wells, mosques, and defensive installations, everything that was needed to hold out in times of war or a siege. The huge entrance block, built around 1213 is the most-imposing part of the building complex. There are two towering gates: called the Gate of the Serpents and the Gate of the Lions.

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3. Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse, Kashan, Iran

Sultan Amir Ahmad Bathhouse is a very unique example of Persian architecture and decoration. It was built in the 16th century and is today, a very known and popular tourist attraction. It is located in a historical area in Kashan. You can get access to many valuable attractionsfrom that location. The rooftop makes the structure of the bathhouse quite particular, as it is a charming and artistic part. It is a popular destination for many photographers at different times of the year as it offers a lot of breathtaking colors and angles. The bathhouse is registered as a national heritage site.

Top 10 Arabic Architecture-Bathhouse-Photo by Ali KoRdZaDeh3©Ali Kordzadeh

4. The dome of the Rock, Jerusalem, Palestine

The oldest extant Islamic monument of these times is the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem. It is not only the oldest but also the best-known. The dome was built in 691–692, that is about 55 years after the Arab conquered Jerusalem. The structure consists of a luxurious wooden dome placed on top of an octagonal base. The site is very sacred to both Islam and Judaism.

5. Sulayman Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

One of the most prominent features of the Istanbul skyline is the towering dome  of the Suleymaniye Mosque complex. The Mosque is built by the Ottoman emperor Suleyman the Magnificent between 1550 and 1557. It is the largest and most impressive of the mosque complexes in Istanbul. The complex was designed by the Ottoman master architect Sinan and is considered one of his masterpieces. Around the mosque itself you can find a hospital, several religious schools, a row of shops, a mausoleum, and a bath.

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