Islamic buildings all over the world are greatly associated with beauty, this ranges all the way from the paintings on the walls, the patterns used down to the whole structure in general. Structures that are in one way or another attached to the Islam religion can easily be recognized, this is because of their ability to stand out from the rest of the buildings. These building have one characteristic that stands out in a major way, Islamic architecture. Islamic architecture is constituted of a wide array of styles that fall under both the religious and the secular rifts. Islamic buildings include a wide variety ranging from the mosques where prayers are held, the tombs where loved ones are laid to rest, the palace where the royal family stays, public baths as well as fountains can be also be included.
One of the distinct feature in Islamic architecture is the arch. It is often referred to as an emblematic arch. Quite a number of arches can be associated with Islamic architecture the horseshoe, pointed, multi-foil and the ogee aches. Horseshoe arches are most distinct and can be traced all the way back to the fourth century in Syria during the pre-Islamic period where Mar Yaqub was being baptized. Symbolically the arch had its own meaning amongst the people where it stood as a sign of protection against the eye of the evil one. This belief still holds meaning till now.
Parts of Spain and the northern part of Africa can be greatly associated with the development of the horseshoe arch characteristics. The Visigoth people had the horseshoe arch used as one of their most important architectural item. The version that was used by the Visigoth people was incorporated by the Umayyads, (Archnet.Org: Arches) and with time they made some adjustments. They painted it in different colors which increased the effect on the curve that was on the arch. A good example of where the horseshoe arch can vividly be seen is the Great Mosque of Cordoba.
It is from this point that the arch then spread tom parts of Caliphate and was with time used by a several groups as a form of Islamic architecture (Archnet.Org: Arches). The Mudejar style, began to take root in the 12th century spreading all the way to the 17th century this played a big role in the continuity of the of what was started by the Visigoths in the 10 centuries ago.
The pointed arches are also a very important aspect of the arches that represent Islamic architecture. The pointed arch has a distinct bend that has a slight point. One of the first pointed arches can be traced back to the 836 where a number of buildings are characterized by the pointed arch all the buildings in question belonged to one Abbasid. The mosque in Egypt, the Tulun mosque was the first mosque that made use of the pointed arch in a systematic way that reveled its beauty and importance.
It is now evident that there is no other culture in the world that has used and incorporated the use of the arch better than the Muslims. The Islamic arch has been was said that it never sleeps, this is because of the beauty that is seen from the decorations and the well placed structures. All the way from its discovery, the arch in Islamic architecture can be said without any doubt to be of great importance. It is characterized by beauty, style, symbolic meanings and above all through the arches Islamic buildings have a structure that cannot be shaken.
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