3 Mart 2012 Cumartesi

Northern Prayer Hall of Kilwa Great Mosque

 Northern Prayer Hall of Kilwa Great Mosque
The mihrab of the north hall. 
The original prayer hall was built in the eleventh or twelfth century and was subsequently modified in the thirteenth century. It was composed of 16 bays divided by nine pillars holding a flat roof of coral plaster. The original pillars were octagonal columns each carved from a single coral stone and measuring 140 centimeters tall and 40 centimeters square. Coral stone has a lime content that hardens with water and saturates the porous coral to create concrete. This sanctuary measured about 7.8 meters side and 12 meters along the qibla axis. The east and western side wall each had three arched doors that were embellished in the thirteenth century with recessed spandrels.

Wall niche in the northern wall of the southern hall.
With the thirteenth century modifications the columns were replaced with those made of timber and a more elaborate roof support structure, including transverse beams and side pilasters, was installed. According to the Kilwa Chronicle, the beams and columns were installed in wood because stone carving craftsmanship in Kilwa had declined. The coral blocks of the ceiling were also plastered with concrete upon which an interlocking circular pattern was engraved. The original walls of the mosque were lined with a second wall of square cut coral blocks set in a thick mortar.
 View of the rear of the mihrab of the south hall projecting into north hall.
The later mihrab in the northern prayer hall likely dates from the fifteenth century because of its stylistic elements. Its high arch, surrounded by a boldly framed architrave, is rebated by chamfered pilasters. The recessed apse has a fluted semi-dome and multiple string courses. To the east of this mihrab are four dressed blocks of coral stone projecting from the wall in a shelf and probably indicating a minbar.

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