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Interior view of the hypostyle prayer hall in the Mosque of Uqba (Great Mosque of Kairouan)

The Great Mosque of Kairouan (جامع القيروان الأكبر{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), also known as the Mosque of Uqba (Tunisian Arabic: جامع عقبة بن نافع‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan.

Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD (the year 50 according to the Islamic calendar) at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque is spread over a surface area of 9,000 square metres and it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb.<ref>Great Mosque of Kairouan (discoverislamicart.org)</ref> The Great Mosque of Kairouan is one of the most impressive and largest Islamic monuments in North Africa,<ref>|| Géotunis 2009 :: Kairouan ||</ref> its perimeter is almost equal to 405 metres (1,328 feet). This vast space contains a hypostyle prayer hall, a huge marble-paved courtyard and a massive square minaret. In addition to its spiritual prestige,<ref>Great Mosque of Kairouan - Kairouan, Tunisia</ref> the Mosque of Uqba is one of the masterpieces of both architecture and Islamic art.<ref>Kairouan - UNESCO World Heritage Centre</ref><ref>Kairouan 499</ref><ref>The Great Mosque (kairouan-cci2009.nat.tn)</ref>

Under the Aghlabids (9th century), huge works gave the mosque its present aspect.<ref> M’hamed Hassine Fantar, De Carthage à Kairouan: 2000 ans d’art et d’histoire en Tunisie, éd. Agence française d’action artistique, Paris, 1982, p. 23</ref> The fame of the Mosque of Uqba and of the other holy sites at Kairouan helped the city to develop and repopulate increasingly. The university, consisting of scholars who taught in the mosque, was a centre of education both in Islamic thought and in the secular sciences.<ref>Wilfrid Knapp and Nevill Barbour, North West Africa : a political and economic survey, Editions Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977, page 404</ref> Its role can be compared to that of the University of Paris in the Middle Ages.<ref>Henri Saladin, Tunis et Kairouan, Editions Henri Laurens, Paris, 1908, page 118</ref> With the decline of the city of Kairouan from the mid 11th century, the centre of intellectual thought moved to the University of Ez-Zitouna in Tunis.<ref>Mahmud Abd al-Mawla, L’université zaytounienne et la société tunisienne, éditions Maison Tiers-Monde, Tunis, 1984, page 33</ref>


Great Mosque of Kairouan sections
Intro   Location and general aspect    History    Architecture and decoration    Artworks    Role in Muslim civilization   See also  References   Further reading    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Location and general aspect
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{{#invoke:Infobox|infobox}}

Interior view of the hypostyle prayer hall in the Mosque of Uqba (Great Mosque of Kairouan)

The Great Mosque of Kairouan (جامع القيروان الأكبر{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), also known as the Mosque of Uqba (Tunisian Arabic: جامع عقبة بن نافع‎{{#invoke:Category handler|main}}), is one of the most important mosques in Tunisia, situated in the UNESCO World Heritage town of Kairouan.

Established by the Arab general Uqba ibn Nafi in 670 AD (the year 50 according to the Islamic calendar) at the founding of the city of Kairouan, the mosque is spread over a surface area of 9,000 square metres and it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, as well as a model for all later mosques in the Maghreb.<ref>Great Mosque of Kairouan (discoverislamicart.org)</ref> The Great Mosque of Kairouan is one of the most impressive and largest Islamic monuments in North Africa,<ref>|| Géotunis 2009 :: Kairouan ||</ref> its perimeter is almost equal to 405 metres (1,328 feet). This vast space contains a hypostyle prayer hall, a huge marble-paved courtyard and a massive square minaret. In addition to its spiritual prestige,<ref>Great Mosque of Kairouan - Kairouan, Tunisia</ref> the Mosque of Uqba is one of the masterpieces of both architecture and Islamic art.<ref>Kairouan - UNESCO World Heritage Centre</ref><ref>Kairouan 499</ref><ref>The Great Mosque (kairouan-cci2009.nat.tn)</ref>

Under the Aghlabids (9th century), huge works gave the mosque its present aspect.<ref> M’hamed Hassine Fantar, De Carthage à Kairouan: 2000 ans d’art et d’histoire en Tunisie, éd. Agence française d’action artistique, Paris, 1982, p. 23</ref> The fame of the Mosque of Uqba and of the other holy sites at Kairouan helped the city to develop and repopulate increasingly. The university, consisting of scholars who taught in the mosque, was a centre of education both in Islamic thought and in the secular sciences.<ref>Wilfrid Knapp and Nevill Barbour, North West Africa : a political and economic survey, Editions Oxford University Press, Oxford, 1977, page 404</ref> Its role can be compared to that of the University of Paris in the Middle Ages.<ref>Henri Saladin, Tunis et Kairouan, Editions Henri Laurens, Paris, 1908, page 118</ref> With the decline of the city of Kairouan from the mid 11th century, the centre of intellectual thought moved to the University of Ez-Zitouna in Tunis.<ref>Mahmud Abd al-Mawla, L’université zaytounienne et la société tunisienne, éditions Maison Tiers-Monde, Tunis, 1984, page 33</ref>


Great Mosque of Kairouan sections
Intro   Location and general aspect    History    Architecture and decoration    Artworks    Role in Muslim civilization   See also  References   Further reading    External links   

PREVIOUS: IntroNEXT: Location and general aspect
<<>>