Islamic architecture

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Islamic architecture refers to architectural styles and features of buildings within Islamic culture. They include religious buildings such as mosques and shrines, plus non-religious building like palaces, madrassas and drinking fountains.

Elements of Islamic architecture[edit]

Minaret Kocatepe
Taj Mahal's Iwan

Caravanserais were resting places for travelers and a safe place for caravans to hide from bandits. They were used throughout the Islamic world and along the Silk Road in particular.


The first time domes were used in Islamic architecture was in the Dome of the Rock in 691. It is usually constructed on roofs of mosques.


The houz is a pool in traditional Persian architecture and can be used for ablution.


The iwan is an architectural element consisting of a large porch under an arch, a room or space rectangular, generally domed , closed by walls on three of its sides, the other being completely open.


A khanqah is place of worship for Sufis.


The mihrab is built into a wall and points to the direction of the qibla.


A minaret is a tower placed next to a Mosque which a muezzin calls to prayer. There are 2 main types of Minarets, one round-bore Minaret(Used in Middle East) and the other tetrahedral Minaret(Used in North Africa).


A mosque is a place of worship for Muslims. Sometimes a mosque is reffered by its Arabic name masjid. It usually has a dome on the roof and is surrounded with towers or minarets.


A sahn is a walled courtyard in Islamic architecture. It is surrounded by riwaqs on all sides and sometimes contains a howz.