The development of Islamic architecture can be divided into seven periods of unequal length and varying importance. Most of these periods can be subdivided into regions:
· The eastern Islamic lands usually comprising Iran, Afghanistan and western Central Asia.
- The central Islamic lands usually comprising Arabia, Iraq, greater Syria and Egypt; Anatolia and the Balkans.
- The far Eastern lands, including South-east Asia and
- The western Islamic lands, usually comprising Spain and North Africa (Tunisia, Algeria and Morocco).
The extensive Islamic architecture of the Indian subcontinent is of course, the most popular region of them all. These regions are usually treated from east to west, because, apart from the formative period when Mediterranean architectural traditions played a decisive role, most of the architectural innovations that came to characterize Islamic architecture were produced or developed in the eastern Islamic lands.
The unusual importance of applied decoration in Islamic architecture merits a separate discussion. Contrary to the stereotyped picture of a desert civilization based in oases, Islamic architecture was the product of a highly urbanized society, and the urban development of its cities, the largest and most important in the medieval world, has long been the subject of study. Housing in the Islamic lands represents a conjunction of regional, local and pan-Islamic trends.
By: Siddiqua Shahnawaz
- 1) The Dictionary of Art
- 2) The Mosque