Iwan in architecture

An iwan (Persian: ایوان‎ eyvān, Arabic: إيوان‎ Iwan, also spelled ivan, Turkish: eyvan) is a rectangular hall or space, usually vaulted, walled on three sides, with one end entirely open. The formal gateway to the iwan is called pishtaq, a Persian term for a portal projecting from the facade of a building, usually decorated with calligraphy bands, glazed tilework, and geometric designs. Since the definition allows for some interpretation, the overall forms and characteristics can vary greatly in terms of scale, material, or decoration. Iwans are most commonly associated with Islamic architecture; however, the form is Iranian in origin and was invented much earlier and fully developed in Mesopotamia around the third century CE, during the Parthian period of Persia.

For the Iranian architecture of the Ivan since its introduction by the Parthians in the 1st century AD, an essential feature. Homes in Khorasan with central halls, which are regarded as forerunners of the Iwane, are found, according to archaeological investigations, from the beginning of the 3rd millennium BC. A square domed hall in conjunction with an Ivan was the characteristic element of the Sassanid palace architecture; the Ivan with its raised front wall ( Pischtak ) became the dominant feature of the outer facade.

As an outstanding central building, Ivan shaped the oriental palaces of the subsequent Islamic period and religious architecture, especially in Iran and southern Central Asia . In the interior of a mosque , the courtyard facing Ivan on the Qibla wall, the direction of prayer. By the beginning of the twelfth century, the characteristic Iranian court mosque according to the Four-Ivan scheme had emerged as the standard, with two Ivan’s facing each other in an axbox. This plan also applies to madrasas , residential buildings and caravanserais .

The root for this term is Old Persian ‘Apadana’ (see Apadana palace at Persepolis) where king Darius I declares in an inscription, “I Darius, …….. had this ‘Apadana’ constructed..” This is a name given to this particular palace in modern literature, although the name simply implies a type of structure—the iwan, not a particular palace. The term in Old Persian stand for “unprotected” (â-pâd-ânâ), since the design allows for the structure to be open to the elements on one side, whence the term. At Persepolis, however, the ‘apadana’ takes the form of a veranda, where instead of a vaulted hall, there is a flat roof held up by columns—but still, open to the elements on only one side. A comparable structure would be found 2000 years later in Isfahan at the Palace of Chehel Sotoun. By the time of the Parthian and the Sasanian dynasties, iwan had emerged as two types of structure: the old columned one, and a newer vaulted structure—both, however, carrying the same native name of apadana/iwan, because both types are “unprotected” (open on one side to the elements).

Iwans were a trademark of the Parthian Empire (247 BC–AD 224) and later the Sassanid architecture of Persia (224 -651), later finding their way throughout the Arab and Islamic architecture which started developing in 7th century AD, after the period of Muhammad (c. 570–632). This development reached its peak during the Seljuki era, when iwans became a fundamental unit in architecture, and later the Mughal architecture. The form is not confined to any particular function, and is found in buildings for either secular or religious uses, and in both public and residential architecture.

Ivan is an alternative form of the name, used in Iran, reflecting the Persian pronunciation.

Many scholars – including Edward Keall, André Godard, Roman Ghirshman, and Mary Boyce – discuss the invention of the iwan in Mesopotamia, the area around today’s Iraq. Although debate remains among scholars as to how the iwan developed, there is a general consensus that the iwan evolved locally, and was thus not imported from another area.[Note 1] Similar structures, known as “pesgams”, were found in many Zoroastrian homes in Yazd, where two or four halls would open onto a central court; however, it is not known whether these spaces were vaulted.

The feature which most distinctly makes the iwan a landmark development in the history of Ancient Near Eastern architecture is the incorporation of a vaulted ceiling. A vault is defined[by whom?] as a ceiling made from arches, known as arcuated, usually constructed with stone, concrete, or bricks.[not in citation given] Earlier buildings would normally be covered in a trabeated manner, with post and lintel beams. However, vaulted ceilings did exist in the ancient world before the invention of the iwan, both within Mesopotamia and outside it. Mesopotamian examples include Susa, where the Elamites vaulted many of their buildings with barrel vaults, and Nineveh, where the Assyrians frequently vaulted their passages for fortification purposes.

Outside Mesopotamia, a number of extant vaulted structures stand, including many examples from Ancient Egypt, Rome, and the Mycenaeans. For example, the Mycenaean Treasury of Atreus, constructed around 1250 BCE, features a large corbelled dome. Egyptian architecture began to use vaulting in its structures after the Third Dynasty, after around 2600 BCE, constructing very early barrel vaults using mud bricks.

As a possible precursor to the development of Ivan Hilanihaus was widely used between Anatolia, Syria, West Iran and Mesopotamia , in which the access to a rectangular hall through a wide portico on one side of a closed courtyard was. The oldest Iron Age Hilanis with pillars supported by wooden columns ( Assyrian bīt ḫilāni , “pillar house”, related to Hittite ḫilammar ) date from the middle of the 2nd millennium BC. (Palace of Yarim-Lim in Alalach , 17th / 16th century BC) The most magnificent known Hilani was the palace in Tell Halaf from the 9th century BC. Chr. The figurative columns of its monumental portal now adorn the entrance to the National Museum in Aleppo . Another Hilani was integrated into an existing building structure at Tell Schech Hamad at the beginning of the 7th century . According to an inscription of King of the leading Neo-Assyrian Empire Sargon II. (R. 721-705 v. Chr.) The type of Hilani-palace of the Hatti-country (meaning the late Hittite settlements in northern Syria) at his capital Dur-Sharrukin a decorated with eight bronze lions in front of the facade. The comparison with the Ivan stems from the fact that the wide space of the Hilani was the oldest type of architecture opened outwards to a courtyard.

Four-Ivan scheme
A similar building plan to the Four-Ivan scheme was discovered during the excavation of Eanna , the sacred district of Uruk , in the V-IVa (4th millennium BC). This included a palace known as Palace E, with a square central courtyard surrounded by buildings on all four sides, including several very narrow rooms oriented towards the courtyard, whose location is reminiscent of Iwane. The structure differs in its structure from temples, which is why it is called a palace, even if it could have been ancillary rooms of a religious complex of buildings.

The Parthian palace of Assur from the 1st to the 3rd century. Chr. Is named as the first typical four-Ivan-conditioning. The Ivan facade could be influenced by the Roman triumphal arch .

Parthian Iwans
Although some scholars have asserted that the iwan form may have developed under the Seleucids, today most scholars agree that the Parthians were the inventors of the iwan.[Note 2] One of the earliest Parthian iwans was found at Seleucia (Seleucia-on-the-Tigris), located on the Tigris River, where the shift from post-and-lintel construction to vaulting occurred around the 1st century CE. Other early iwans have been suggested at Ashur, where two buildings containing iwan-like foundations were found. The first building, located near the ruins of a ziggurat, featured a three-iwan façade. The proximity of the building to a ziggurat suggests that it may have been used for religious preparations or rituals. It could also indicate a palatial building, as it was common for the ziggurat and palace to be situated next to one another in the Ancient Near East. What seems to be a palace courtyard had iwans on each side, which remained a common features well into Islamic times.

The second iwan building is located across a courtyard, and Walter Andrae, a German archaeologist, suggested that it served as an administrative building rather than as a religious center because there is no evidence of inscriptions or wall carvings. Although the absence of inscriptions or carvings does not equate necessarily to a civic function, it was not uncommon for iwans to serve a secular use, as they were frequently incorporated into palaces and community spaces. Other early sites including Parthian iwans include Hatra, the Parthian ruins at Dura Europos, and Uruk.

The northern Mesopotamian capital of a principality, Hatra, was surrounded by two nearly circular, six and eight kilometer long ramparts at its heyday in the early 2nd century. In the center was a rectangular temple district ( Temenos ) of about 100 meters in length, which included a hall with eight Ivan. Closed spaces were missing in Hatra, which is why Ernst Herzfeld in 1914 assumed that in the spacious courtyards tents could have been set up, in which the everyday life took place. In the temple, probably the sun god was Šamaš revered. This is indicated by an inscription in the largest square Ivan, probably a Zoroastrian oneTemple was, and the symbol of the sun god, an eagle with outstretched wings. The sculptures and high reliefs on the Ivan make Hatra the most important place of Parthian art.

Stylistic details of Parthian art can be found later in the Sassanids. The extensive fortress Qal’a-e Dochtar in the Iranian province of Kerman was built by Ardashir I.(reigned 224-239 / 240), the founder of the Sassanid Empire, built before his victorious decisive battle over the Parthians 224. The inner palace of the west-east-facing complex was at the height of the third terrace, from which a long Ivan ran east. A passageway in the back wall of Ivan led to a square-domed hall 14 meters in length. Here traces of ceremonially used furnishings were found. The dome hall was surrounded on the other three sides by adjoining rooms, all of which were inside a circular outer wall, forming a sort of donjon . The royal audiences probably took place in the great Ivan.

Sassanian Iwans
The Sasanian Persians also favored the iwan form, and adopted it into much of their architecture; however, they transformed the function. The Parthian iwan led to other spaces, but its primary function served as a room itself. In contrast, the Sasanian iwan served as a grand entranceway to a larger, more elegant space which was usually domed. Both the Parthian and Sasanian iwans were often elaborately decorated with inscriptions and sculpted reliefs including scenes of hunting, vegetal motifs, abstract, geometric patterns, and animal scenes. The reliefs’ style shows a blend of influences including other Near Eastern cultures, Roman, and Byzantine decorative traditions. For instance, the rock-cut iwan at Taq-i Bustan features Roman style figures, Eastern-inspired vegetal patterns and crenellations, and wide-eyed, stylized Byzantine-esque angels and mosaic interiors.

Among the buildings of the Sassanidischen residence city Bischapur in the today’s province Fars belonged a palace with a square open yard of 22 meters side length, which received a cruciform plan by four Iwane in the Seitenmitten. Roman Ghirshmanwho excavated the site between 1935 and 1941, claimed that the entire structure had been overcoupled, which, however, seems problematic for static reasons. A smaller square building adjoining to the north-east designated Ghirshman as the central hall of a three-Ivan complex, which would have emphasized the Sassanian character of the building. Obviously, the floor mosaics are from ancient times and were laid by Roman craftsmen in their style. The Ivane came later, independently of the mosaics that were covered by another floor. This question is discussed in the context of the more western or eastern influence on the architecture of the Sassanids.

The great of the two from Chosrau II (r. 590-628) Iwane of Taq-e Bostan near the Iranian city of Kermanshah , who was struck from a cliff at 625, is decorated with elaborate figurative reliefs on which coronation ceremonies and two hunting scenes are held see are. The Sassanid king appears as a divine ruler, for whom a throne was probably available in Ivan. The ornamental details and clothing of the figures are an essential point of comparison for the temporal classification of early Christian motifs in the Middle East.

The Iwan of Khosrau
The most famous example of a Persian Sassanid iwan is the Taq-i Kisra (“Iwan of Khosrau”), part of a palace complex in Mada’in which is the only visible remaining structure of the ancient Sasanian capital of Ctesiphon. It is near the modern town of Salman Pak, Iraq, on the Tigris River about twenty-five miles south of Baghdad. Construction began during the reign of Khosrau I after a campaign against the Eastern Romans in 540 AD. The arched iwan hall, open on the facade side, was about 37 meters high 26 meters across and 50 meters long, the largest vault ever constructed at the time. Early photographs and 19th-century drawings show that the remaining part of the hall has reduced since then.

The dating for the Taq-i Kisra has been debated throughout history; however, a variety of documents detailing the arrival of Byzantine sculptors and architects sent by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, suggest that the correct date for the construction is around 540 CE. The 540 CE date suggests that the construction of the Taq-i Kisra, and perhaps Justinian’s “help” was in response to the victory of Sasanian king Khosrau I over Antioch in 540 CE, which is depicted in the mosaics decorating the interior of the Taq-i Kisra. The Taq-i Kisra was finally demolished for the most part by al-Mansur, who reused the bricks to build his own palace complex.

Islamic Iwans
Islamic art and architecture was also heavily influenced inspired by Roman, Byzantine, and Sasanian designs, both due to the presence of extant examples and contact between cultures. For example, the Great Mosque of Damascus was built in the early eighth century CE on the site of a Roman Christian Church, and incorporates a nave-like element with a tall arcade and clerestory. The Sasanian Empire also had a tremendous impact on the development of Islamic architecture; however, there was some overlap between the Sasanians and the Muslims making it difficult at times to determine who was influencing whom.

Islamic art and architecture borrows many Sasanian decorative motifs and architectural forms, including the iwan; however, the adoption of the iwan was not immediate. For example, the implementation of the standard four-iwan plan which has become standard in Islamic mosque design was not introduced until the twelfth century, long after its invention in the first century CE. Iwans were used frequently in Islamic non-religious architecture before the twelfth century, including houses, community spaces, and civic structures such as the bridge of Si-o-Se Pol in Isfahan. Furthermore, Islamic architecture incorporated the Sasanian placement for the iwan by making it a grand entrance to the prayer hall or to a mosque tomb, and often placing it before a domed space.

As well as often using numbers of iwans on the exterior of buildings, as at the Taj Mahal, iwans were often placed on all or several sides of internal spaces and courtyards, a form going back to Parthian times.

One of the first elaborate iwans used in an Islamic religious context can be found at the Al-Aqsa Mosque on the Temple Mount in Jerusalem, which dates from the 12th Century. The history of the evolution of the standard four-iwan plan has been debated by scholars, and some claim that it originated in madrasas, or religious schools designed to educate aristocratic children about Sunnism. However, the four-iwan plan was already in use in palace and temple architecture during both the Parthian and Sasanian periods. The use of iwans would continue to flourish in both mosques and secular spaces starting in the thirteenth century, and would become one of the most iconic features of Islamic architecture, as suggested by the elaborate seventeenth-century iwans in the Great Mosque at Isfahan.

The form and significance of Ivan in the Sassanid palace architecture passed into the palace buildings of the early Islamic period. Kufa in Iraq with a palace ( dār al-imāra, “House of the Emir”) in the center is one of the earliest city foundations of the Umayyad , the place was created in 638 as a military camp. The Four-Ivan Plan first appeared in Islamic times in Kufa, in the Umayyad Palace in the citadel of Amman , in the palace of Abū Muslim (around 720-755) in Merw, and in the victory monument of the Abbasid caliph Hārūn ar-Rashīd named Heraqla (shortly after 900).

Early Islamic palaces in Persian space are almost only handed down in literary sources. The Persian geographer al-Istachri (first half of the 10th century) described the palace of Abū Muslim in Merw, built between 747 and 755. Accordingly, in its center was a domed hall of baked bricks, in which the ruler was staying. From inside there was access to the flat part of the roof. In all four directions the hall opened into an Ivan, and each Ivan had a square courtyard in front of it. The dimensions of the palace missing at al-Istachri were provided by the historian Hamdallah Mustaufi (1281-1344). KAC Creswelldrew from this information the basic plan of a cross-shaped plant with four about 30 meters long and half as wide Ivan. No matter how exaggerated the size specifications may be, the plan refers to the Sassanid palace of Ctesiphon.

Striking is, according to Creswell, the similarity between the palace in Merw and the few years later, between 762/3 and 766/7, built palace of the caliph and murderer Abū Muslim al-Mansur in Baghdad . For the foundation of al-Mansūr’s Round City , the historian at-Tabarī is the source. The city complex consisted of an inner and an outer circular fortification, which were broken by four, in the Achsenkreuzen city gates. There are a number of models for round town complexes, from the Aramaic town of Sam’al (beginning of the 1st millennium BC) to the Parthian Hatra(1st century AD). The city gates were named after the city or province to which the respective arterial road led: the Kufa Gate in the southwest, the Basra Gate in the southeast, the Chorasan Gate in the northeast and the Damascus Gate in the northwest. At the center was the palace; its quadruple size compared to the adjacent mosque illustrates the ruler’s position of power over religion. The four ivans of the palace lay on the street axes, thus crossing into its domed hall. A second audience hall, which is said to have been located above the lower dome, was also covered by a dome, which gave the palace the name Qubbāt al-ḫaḍrā(in the meaning “sky dome”) gave, before this dome collapsed in the year 941 in a storm.

One of the few extant palaces, probably from the early Islamic period, is the open-air ruin south of the town of Sarvestan in the province of Fars . Oleg Grabar followed in 1970, the first time expressed in 1910 by Ernst Herzfeld opinion that it must be a Sassanidischen palace from the 5th century. Oscar Reuthers reconstruction attempt in this understanding appeared in 1938. After more detailed investigations, Lionel Bier (1986) However, on a construction period between 750 and 950 AD, which Grabar considers plausible. The building, with its modest dimensions of 36 × 42 meters compared to urban dwellings, is considered to be an important example of Iranian architectural history, despite its temporal classification. A staircase on the west-facing main facade is divided into three sections by two wall segments with half-columns. The middle steps lead through a broad, but short Ivan in a square hall with almost 13 meters of side length, which is arched by a high dome. Lionel Bier compares its shape and location in the building with the architecture of the Chahar Taq, For the function as a Zoroastrian fire temple, however, missing corresponding fittings. South of the main entrance leads a smaller Ivan in a long, barrel-vaulted corridor, north of the main entrance is reached via the steps of a small dome space. The central domed hall is accessible via another Ivan from the north side. A square courtyard adjoins the dome hall to the east. Oleg Grabar uses the possibility of ritually moving through the doorways across all of the ivans, corridors and courtyard to take into consideration the function of a sacral building and refers to the similarly complex layout of the Tacht-i fire temple Suleiman .

The Sassanid influence on the Islamic buildings is assessed differently. At Mschatta , one of the desert castles in Jordan, Robert Hillenbrand considers the centrality of the courtyard to be the essential element of Iran and otherwise emphasizes the Three Conches in each of the four walls of a square pillared hall in the north of the large courtyard as a Byzantine influence. The four Iwans are either from a central dome hall or from an open courtyard. Both forms are found in the Abbasid city of Samarra (833-892). The five palaces in and around Samarra had a central domed hall with four cruciform outgoing Ivan. Added to this was the roadside dug-out of Caliph al-Mutawakkil (reigned 847-861), which was excavated next to the Abu Dulaf Mosque and consisted of two courtyards with four Ivan’s each.

The cross-shaped ground plan with a courtyard or a domed hall in the center was also common in palace architecture later on. Yasser Tabbaa lists eight palaces, which had a four-Ivan plan between 1170 and 1260: the Qasr al-Banat residence in ar-Raqqa , whose remains date back to the time of the ruler Nur ad-Din in the 12th century; the small domed building of the Adzhami Palace of Aleppo from the beginning of the 13th century; the fortress Qal’at Najm near Manbij in northern Syria; the Ayyubid Palace in Saladinsburg ( Qal’at Salah ed-Din ); the palace ( sarāy ) in the citadel of Bosra; the Ayyubid palace in the citadel of Kerak , the late Ayyubid palace in the district Roda in Cairo, and finally the Artuqid palace in the citadel of Diyarbakir .

In 1922, the English architectural historian KAC Creswell triggered a controversial discussion about the symbolic significance of the Four-Ivan Plan in Islamic architecture. Creswell related the number four in the Madrasas plan of Cairo to the four Sunni law schools ( madhhab ). Against this theory, on the one hand, the Iranian and on the other hand, the secular origin of the design was cited. In detail, it is still about whether the traditional residential house architecture or the monumental palace architecture, which in later times was exemplary for simple residential buildings, stood at the beginning of the development. The latter considers Yasser Tabbaa likely.

The size of a courtyard in an early Islamic palace averaged 62 × 42 meters, the courtyard in an average-sized, medieval palace was only about 7.5 × 7 meters. In the middle is usually a well. The courtyard of the Adschami Palace in Aleppo, 150 meters west of the citadel area, for example, has a 9.9 x 9.1 meters large courtyard. The building will Matbach al-‘Adschamicalled “Kitchen” by the Adschami, an old aristocratic family whose members built numerous public buildings and palaces in the city. The northwestern arch is ornately embellished with drooping clover-shaped stones. In addition to the Four-Ivan Plan and a fountain in the middle of the courtyard, a three-part courtyard façade belongs to a medieval city palace – lateral arches framing Ivan, a portal with muqarnas and a relief ornament on the walls.

In the 9th and 10th centuries, the Early Abbasid architecture decisively influenced the architecture of the steppe cultures of Central Asia and continued to China. In addition to Ivan, niches with muqarnas and frequent passports spread . One of the clearest acquisitions of Abbasid architecture to southern Central Asia is the palace complex Lashgari Bazar in the old city of Bust on the Hilmend River in southwestern Afghanistan. The city, founded in the 7th century, flourished under the Ghaznawids , for whom Bust was the second capital from 977 to 1150. Subsequently, the city was a power center of the Ghuridsuntil its final destruction by the Mongols in 1221. The most important building of today over six to seven kilometers extensive ruins was the palace complex. It was partially built of burned and unfired bricks and was connected to the city by a south-facing, 500-meter-long boulevard lined with shops on the east bank of the Hilmend. The total of about 170 meters long and measuring in the core area 138 × 74.5 meters south palace resembles in its basic plan, its axial orientation to the city and the huge scale from 836 built Abbasid caliphate palace of Samarra. The rectangular courtyard of 63 × 48.8 meters is the first classical four-Ivan plant north of Iran. The larger Nordiwan rises above the other buildings with its façade. After its destruction between 1155 and 1164 by the Ghuriden Ala ad-Din, the palace was rebuilt and extended to other buildings in the west and northeast. The main Ivan in the north led into a square throne room.

An important, strictly symmetrical four-Ivan construction is the 1154-built Nuraddin Hospital ( Maristan Nuri ) in the Old City of Damascus. The path leads from the main portal through a dome room and an ivan in the transverse rectangular courtyard. Opposite the entrance to the east is a large Ivan. The outer corners between these two Ivan and the smaller Ivan on the narrow sides of the courtyard fill corner spaces with a groin vault. There lay the sick, while in Ostiwan the investigations took place. The Maristan Nuri served apart from his role model in the nature of nursing as an architectural model that had arrived 300 years later in Europe. The Ospedale Maggiore in Milanfrom 1456, a large courtyard was built in the style of a four-Ivan complex. It was one of the first and largest 15th century hospitals in Europe.

The Yugoslav type of Syria and Iraq initially reached Anatolia in the Seljuk period , when there were already madrasas as domed buildings. The oldest surviving Anatolian hospital with a medical school is the 1206 on the model of Marisan Nuri built Sifaiye madrassah , also Gevher Nesibe Darüşşifa in Kayseri . It consists of two courtyards and was donated by Sultan Kai Khosrau II (reigned 1237-1246) for his sister Gevher Nesibe. Their Türbeis in one of the courtyards. Of the hospitals existing in several Anatolian cities in the 12th century, none survived. The most important surviving hospital from Seljuk time is the Divriği Mosque and Hospital ( Divriği Ulu Camii ve Darüşşifa ) from 1228/29 in the city of the same name . The hospital, which is attached to the mosque’s five-aisled pillared hall, is a closed domed building with four cross-shaped Ivan around the central hall. The hospitals built in Anatolia in the future are based on the Syrian Hof-Ivan type, but have been enlarged by several vaulted rooms next to each other around the central courtyard. In addition to the Gevher Nesibe Darüşşifa these were the 1217 ofKai Kaus II founded Sivas Darüşifası ( İzzedin Keykavus Darüşşfası ) in Sivas and a hospital in Konya . Slightly smaller, but a similar complex with two floors and Ivan around a courtyard is the Gök Medrese of 1275 in Tokat .

The Great Iwan of Cairo
The Great Iwan (or al-Iwan al-Kabir, Dar al-‘Adl, Iwan of al-Nasir) of Cairo was a public and ceremonial space located in the southern section of the Saladin Citadel where the Mamluk sultan sat enthroned to administer justice, receive ambassadors, and carry out other duties of state. The structure used to be known as Dar al-‘Adl during the reign of Saladin, the Mamluk ruler of the Bahri dynasty Al-Nasir Muhammad rebuilt the monumental structure twice, in 1315 and 1334. The Great Iwan was demolished by Muhammad Ali Pasha in the early 19th century.

The 19th century Description de l’Égypte depicted a square hypostyle structure with five parallel aisles and a dome. The building was open to the exterior on three sides through arcades, and the main façade was articulated with a large central arch flanked by two smaller arches on either side.

Secular Buildings

The Ivan was in its beginnings predominantly a component of secular buildings. By its use on monumental Sassanid palace buildings, it seemed well suited to unfold the same representative effect as the outer entrance of a mosque and as the entrance to the sanctuary or as a sacred space itself. Tārichāne in Damghan is probably the earliest mosque built in Iran. Barbara Finster dates the carefully restored mosque just before the middle of the 8th century. The rectangular courtyard is surrounded by columns arcades ( riwāq), at the prayer hall six columns form seven ships. The central nave is wider and is highlighted by a Pishtak towering far beyond the side arcades. There is no rigid axiality at this early plant, so the central nave in the southwest is not in flight with the entrance portal of the northeast side and the Mihrabnische is off-center to the central nave. The same applies to the Friday Mosque ( Masjed-e Jom’e ) by NainFounded at the beginning of the 9th century and rebuilt several times around 960 for the first time and since then, its original ground plan is difficult to determine. As in Damghan, the Nain mosque has pillared halls around the courtyard on three sides, bounded by an arcade at the entrance. Early Islamic mosques in Iran with uniform pillared halls are named after the origin of this mosque type as “Arabic” or as “Kufa type”. The no longer preserved mosque of Kufa from the year 670 had five evenly arranged rows of columns in front of the Qibla wall and two-row courtyard arcades. The central prayer hall is, according to the Sassanid model, characterized by a slightly wider Ivan, which is slightly raised above the two lateral arches. The simplest form of such a plant, with three center-centered Ivan in a row, is the rock-cut Iwane of Taq-e Bostan.

Among the approximately 20 buildings that have survived from the Islamic period before 1000 in Iran, in addition to Damghan and Nain includes the mosque in Neyriz (Niris) in the province of Fars. In this built around 973 or later Friday Mosque, the central prayer hall was not overcoupled, but covered as 7.5 meters wide and 18.3 meters long Ivan with a barrel vault. Alireza Anisi does not date this unusual Iwan in front of a Qibla wall in the 10th century like Robert Hillenbrand, but in the 12th century. The little-known Masjid-i Malik in Kermangoes according to Anisi in its beginnings to the 10./11. Ivan, who first lay in front of the Qibla wall as in Neyriz, was probably built after an inscription between 1084 and 1098. In the 19th century, it was restored and a domed hall was built, which surrounds the mihrab in the middle of the Qibla wall. Later, a broad central liveword 7.7 meters wide and 14.4 meters long was added to an originally small prayer hall, as well as an arcade row surrounding the entire courtyard. Until the domed hall was added after a Koran inscription in 1869/70, there was, as in Neyriz, a central Qibla-Ivan. Due to the various reconstructions, the mosque today represents a classic four-Ivan plan with a domed hall in the middle of the Qibla wall and an upstream main island.

The Seljuk vizier Nizām al-Mulk (1018-1092) had some important madrasas built, known as Nizāmīya ( al-Madrasa al-Niẓāmīya ), to spread his Shafiite law school ( madhhab ): 1067 in Baghdad, and others in Nishapur and his birthplace Tūs . In Baghdad alone, there are supposed to have been 30 madrasas in the 11th century.

In the period between about 1080 and 1160 falls the construction or extension of the significant Seljuk mosques, where all a domed hall with upstream Ivan in the center. This forms with the three other Ivan in the middle of the arcade rows on each side of the court an armpit cross. The roughly twelve important mosques built during this period characterized the four-Ivan plan, which is now standardized to this day, in Iranian mosques and madrasas, and Ivan, with its sheer size and elaborate design, shapes the aesthetic impression of the entire complex. In Egypt and Syria, mosques with this basic plan are rare, but more frequently it occurs – apart from the secular buildings – at Madrasas.

In the Seljuk mosques in Iran and Central Asia, the southwestern ( Mecca- oriented) Ivan is highlighted by its width, height and the connection to the dome hall and represents with its framing the most impressive facade of the entire system. The other Iwane lose on the other hand, in optical presence. Only the Pischtak as the raised frame of the entrance portal acts in a similar way to the outside. To the Qajari dynasty(1779-1925) these standards remained unchanged for the mosque. Any experiments with other types of mosques were therefore excluded, with conservatism not limited to the architecture of the mosque, but equally determining for the palaces. With the Qajars, the cultural recollection went so far that they borrowed for the first time in over a millennium at the Sassanid rock reliefs of Taq-e Bostanand decorated the facades of palaces with figurative stone reliefs. What was new with the Qajars, however, was that they did not take over the previous practice of restoring mosques in need of repair and gradually altering them with extensions, but also largely removing larger mosques and subsequently rebuilding them. The originality of the architecture of the Kaj is hardly reflected in the religious buildings, but in the architecture of the palace and in the way the facades were decorated with tiles and other decorative elements.

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