3 Mart 2012 Cumartesi

Southern Enclosure of Kilwa Great Mosque

 Southern Enclosure of Kilwa Great Mosque
Doors and windows of the west façade of the south extension. 
According to the Kilwa Chronicle, after the death of ibn Sulaiman in 1333 the mosque fell into ruin. Not until the early fifteenth century, under the reign of Sultan Sulaiman ibn Muhammad, was the mosque reconstructed and the southern fully court enclosed. Sometime between 1421 and 1442, the southern hall was roofed with barrel vaults with domes placed atop alternate bays. This extension made the Great Mosque at Kilwa the largest covered mosque on the east coast of Africa.

  Dressed coral arch within the south hall. Note groined squinches to the left and right.
The southern enclosure utilized the pre-extant enclosure walls to the north, south and east and created a new 20 meters long western wall which squared off the space. The enclosure was then divided into 30 bays, six aisles long and five aisles wide from east to west. The bays lining the perimeter of the enclosure as well as the bays in the central north-south aisle are surmounted by domes, the most northern and southern of which were shallower than the rest. The two domes serving as entrance bays along the eastern side are internally fluted. The more southern of these fluted domes enters from the great dome. The remaining eight bays, which flank the central axis, are barrel vaulted. Due to the slightly irregular angles of the southern court a few of the bays are shortened by 20 centimeters.
  East façade of South hall with projecting wing to the left.
As with the other vaults from Kilwa, the Great Mosque's vaults and domes are constructed out of lime coral concrete. These domes are about 20 to 30 centimeters thick and shaped into hemispheres supported by groined squinches between which run pointed arches. These arches are supported by two-tiered columns which are octagonal at their base and become squared half way up. The octagonal segments of the columns have rectangular coral panels on the alternating faces. Along the walls the arches are supported by engaged columns or corbelled brackets. The capitals of the columns were made from single coral blocks and carved with concave carved angle brackets. On the western face of the enclosure, windows and doors alternate in the bays between the embedded columns.
Interior vaults of south hall looking northeast.
A large room with a corbelled roof was built at the far southwest corner of the southern hall. Two doors lead from the south wall onto a narrow lane separating the Great Mosque from the Great House complex.
Lower, octagonal half of a south hall column. Note the rectangular coral panels on the alternating faces.
A final addition of a second mihrab was added at a much later date. The mihrab for the larger congregation using the south hall is located at the northernmost end of the central axis and juts into the northern prayer hall.
  Small vaulted room to the east of the south hall. 

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