Annemarie Schimmel Kolleg





The Mosques of Palestine from the Early Sixteenth Century to Eighteenth: Architectural Development and Spatial Distribution

In 1927, Dr. Taufik Canaan, a medical physician who lived in Jerusalem, wrote:

"The primitive (sic) features of Palestine are disappearing so quickly that before long most [of] them will be forgotten. Thus it has become duty of every student of Palestine and the Near East of Archaeology and the Bible to lose no time in collecting as fully and accurately as possible all available material concerning the folklore, costumes, superstitions current in the Holy Land."

This urgency felt by Canaan, evidently still exists today.
The aim of this project is to survey, map and study the architectural development and spatial distribution of rural and urban mosques from the Mamluk period (1517A.D./922A.H.) to the conquest of Palestine (638A.D./16 AH) .
The study will examine sources of inspiration and influence for the architectural plan, building methods and decorations; as well as the affinity between the location of mosques and past traditions related to the Old and the New Testament. The use of preliminary sources in various languages, archaeological data, travelers' and pilgrims' itineraries and epigraphy will give a systematic and in-depth picture of the development of mosques in a region which played an important role in the birth and shaping of Muslim Architecture.


Quote: Canaan, T., Muhammedan Saints and Sanctuaries in Palestine, Jerusalem, 1927, p. V