Mosque of Al Mutawakkil
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Architect unknown
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Location Samarra, Iraq   map
Date 847 to 851   timeline
Building Type temple, mosque
 Construction System brick bearing masonry
Climate desert
Context urban
Style early Islamic
Notes 164' high spiral minaret. Samarra is on the Tigris river, about 125km north of Baghdad.




Elevation Drawing

Plan Drawing

Discussion Mosque of Al Mutawakkil Commentary

"Great mosque, Samarra, [was] the caliphate of al-Mutawakkil...This is the largest mosque in the world. Built entirely of brick within a wall flanked with towers, it has a 55 m. high minaret with a spiral ramp that recalls the ziggurats of Mesopotamia."

— Henri Stierlin. Comprende l'Architecture universelle 2. p347.

"The reign of al-Mutawakkil (847 (232 H) - 861 (247 H)) had a great effect on the appearance of the city, for he seems to have been a lover of architecture. In a list of his building projects which appears in several different versions, the new Congregational Mosque and up to 20 palaces are mentioned, totalling between 258 and 294 million dirhams. The new Congregational Mosque, with its spiral minaret, built between 849 (235 H) and 851 (235 H), formed part of an extension of the city to the east, extending into the old hunting park."

— Dr Alastair Northedge and Derek Kennet, The Samarra' Archaeological Survey.

Sources on Mosque of Al Mutawakkil

John D. Hoag. Islamic Architecture. New York: Electra/Rizzoli, 1975. aerial photo of mosque and minaret showing context, f40, p28. color photo of minaret, plate IV, between p28 and p29.

Dennis Sharp, ed. The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Architects and Architecture. New York: Whitney Library of Design, an imprint of Watson-Guptil Publications, 1991. ISBN 0-8230-2539-X. photo, p204.

Henri Stierlin. Comprende l'Architecture Universelle 2. Fribourg, Switzerland: Office du Livre, 1977. discussion p347.

Kevin Matthews. The Great Buildings Collection on CD-ROM. Artifice, 2001. ISBN 0-9667098-4-5.— Available at  Find books about Mosque of Al Mutawakkil


Web Resources
Links on Mosque of Al Mutawakkil

The Samarra' Archaeological SurveyGeneral background information with sketch and aerial photo

Mosque of Al Mutawakkil at ArchiplanetFind, add, and edit info at the all-buildings collaboration

We appreciate your  suggestions  for links about Mosque of Al Mutawakkil.

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