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Great Mosque of Samarra: Wikis


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Great Mosque of Samarra

Minaret at the Great Mosque of Samarra
Location Samarra, Iraq
Nearest city Baghdad, Iraq
Coordinates 34°12′26″N 43°52′48″E / 34.20722°N 43.88°E / 34.20722; 43.88Coordinates: 34°12′26″N 43°52′48″E / 34.20722°N 43.88°E / 34.20722; 43.88
Established 848

The Great Mosque of Samarra is a 9th century mosque which is located in the Iraqi city of Samarra. The mosque was commissioned in 848 and completed in 851 by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil who reigned (in Samarra) from 847 until 861.

The Great Mosque of Samarra was at one time the largest mosque in the world; its minaret, the Malwiya Tower, is a vast spiralling cone (snail shaped) 52 meters high and 33 meters wide with a spiral ramp.[1]

The mosque had 17 aisles, and its walls were panelled with mosaics of dark blue glass. It was part of an extension of Samarra eastwards.

Map of the Samarra Mosque

On April 1, 2005, the top of the Malwiya minaret was damaged by a bomb. Insurgents reportedly attacked the tower because U.S. troops had been using it as a lookout position. The blast removed pieces of brick from the top of the minaret along its spiral ramp.[2]

The art and architecture of the mosque was influential; stucco carvings within the mosque in floral and geometric designs represent early Islamic decoration. Additionally, the mosque of Ibn Tulun in Cairo, Egypt was based on the Samarra mosque in many regards.[3]


Popular culture

In the computer game Civilization IV, the Spiral Minaret is one of the buildable wonders. Also, in the computer game, Age of Empires II: The Age of Kings the wonder for the Saracen civilization is based on the Great Mosque of Samarra.

See also


  1. ^ See Historic Mosques site.
  2. ^ See BBC article concerning damage to the mosque.
  3. ^ Behrens-Abouseif, Doris. "Islamic architecture in Cairo: an introduction." American University in Cairo Press: 2005. 51-57

External links



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