Comparing Islamic and Arabic Architecture Essay

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Comparing Islamic and Arabic Architecture
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The Hagia Sophia church and the Suleymaniye mosque are separated by a thousand years but are tied together eternally. One representing the achievement of the Christian-Byzantine empire and the other representing the ability of the Islamic-Ottoman empire and its architect Sinan. Two empires that had very little in common other than their architecture and region. In earlier history the Dome of the Rock represented the Islamic empire's attempt to rival the newly defeated Byzantine empire and its architectural achievements such as the Holy Sepulchre. As history often repeats itself, with similar political motives the Suleymaniye mosque became the Ottoman's answer to the
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SIMILARITIES

Because Sinan worked on the Hagia Sophia he became intimately familiar with its form and structure so its not surprising that it had an influence on much of his work. Of all his buildings,conceptually the Suleymaniye is probably the most similar to the Hagia Sophia with the basic concept of the central domed space made larger with attached semidomed spaces which in turn have smaller spaces attached topped by smaller domes. Because the dome of the Hagia Sophia was considered to be a great feat for the Christians Sinan designed the dome of the Suleymaniye to send the message that not only were Muslims just as capable but, with an even larger and higher dome, that they were superior.

More similarities can be drawn with the forms and structures of the two buildings. In addition to the dome and semidomes, the main arches, piers, buttresses, and galleries were adopted by the Suleymaniye. These were all part of the basic structural system in both buildings of a dome on four supports. Sinan also used pendentives as the structural system under the main dome and squinches as a transitional element between semidomes and the rest of the structure. Additionally Sinan used similar wide arches in the Suleymaniye although they were not needed structurally and were probably used for their formal appearance. The piers of the Suleymaniye are also similar with their projections used to support the bracing arches. These are the basic formal and
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