Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Islam and Byzantine Archtecture

     Byzantine and Muslim architecture have characteristics that almost resemble each other. Two buildings that show the resemblance are the Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock. The Hagia Sophia was a Byzantine church built in Constantinople in 537. The Dome of the Rock is a Muslim Mosque built after the death of Muhammad built in 691. These two empires have very similar architecture because of the short distance between them and the spreading of ideas.

    According to the article written by Britannica, the Hagia Sophia is a rectangular building with a main central dome. The writers say that four main arches support the Hagia Sophia and five main entrances open into the auditorium. The main auditorium is made of marble and is surrounded by windows on all sides creating which the authors say create an “impression that the canopy floats on air.” Another characteristic is the mosaics that cover the walls. Many outer arches cover the outside of the church for decoration. The article says they were a point of reference for other mosaics of the eighth and ninth centuries. The article also states that the Hagia Sophia was built in six years which is a short amount of time for the technology available back then.  The Dome of the Rock shows very similar aspects of architecture.

   An article written by ArchNet says the Dome of the Rock, or Mosque of Omar, is an octagonal building with a dome attached to the top. There are four pillars that support the main arcade of the structure with five arches that serve as entrances. The article says decorations such as colored glass are used to let light in. The article also talks about the decorations such as mosaics and marble walls and pillars. The article even states how the building is, a Muslim alternative to the Church.” The Dome of the Rock contains many small arches, which resembles Byzantine architecture, especially the Hagia Sophia. The shape and decorations of the Hagia Sophia and the Dome of the Rock are very alike, showing the resemblance of Islamic and Byzantine architecture.

Architecture Outline
  • Shape
    • Byzantine Building structure is geometrical
      • Rectangular with Large Dome
    • Islamic architecture is also geometrical
      • Octagonal with Large Dome
  • Structure Support
    • Hagia Sophia is supported by the number of sides to the building
      • Four main arches
    • Dome of the Rock is supported by a pillar for two walls
      • Four pillars support main arcade
  • Openings or entrances to the buildings
    • Hagia Sophia has 
      • Five main entances
    • Dome of the Rock
      • Five open arches
  • Decorations that provide own views of culture
    • Colored Glass on the domes of the building
      • Provide light and illusions
    • Material used as building blocks
      • Marble
      • Gold Domes
      • Religious Mosaics scatter the buildings
        • Islamic learn from Byzantine
      • Small Arches
        • Scattered around both buildings
  • Date the Building were Built
    • Hagia Sophia
      • 537 by Justinian
    • Dome of the Rock
      • 691 by Abd Al- Malik
      • Take ideas from Byzantine
  • Distance between Istanbul and Jerusalem
    • Separated by around 750 miles
    • Easy spread of ideas because of short distance
The architecture style used by the Muslims and Byzantines have very many alike aspects. The reason they may be so alike is due to the short amount of distance between them and cultural diffusion.

Works Cited

"Hagia Sophia (church, Istanbul, Turkey)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Ed. Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica. Encyclopedia Britannica, 2013. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/251562/Hagia-Sophia>.

"Dome of the Rock." Dome of the Rock. Idaho University, n.d. Web. 10 Dec. 2013. <http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/arch499/nonwest/jerusalem/dome.htm>.

"Dome of the Rock." Dome of the Rock. ArchNet, n.d. Web. 16 Dec. 2013 <http://archnet.org/library/dictionary/entry.jsp?entry_id=DIA0097>.

"Hagia Sophia." Hagia Sophia. N.p., 2013. Web. 16 Dec. 2013. <http://www.hagiasophia.com/listingview.php?listingID=20>.

"Jerusalem to Istanbul Distance - Flight times and Distance from Jerusalem to Istanbul."Happy Zebra Travel Tools. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Dec. 2013. <http://www.happyzebra.com/distance-calculator/Jerusalem-to-Istanbul.php>.

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