|Great Mosque of Sousse |
View of the domed kiosk from the sahn
The Great Mosque of Sousse is a historical mosque in the coastal city of Sousse, Tunisia. The construction dates back to 851 during the rule of Aghlabid Dynasty, a vassal of the Abbasid Caliphate, and it was commissioned by amir Abu al-'Abbas Muhammad al-Aghlabi. The mosque was renovated and improved several times during the 10th and 17th centuries. It is adjacent to the ribat, which influenced the mosque's fortified appearance with a wall with balconies and barges overlooking the beach where it could attack raiders from behind. It is a part of UNESCO World Heritage Site Medina of Sousse.
The mosque consists of a prayer hall and a sahn. The prayer hall is quadrilateral shaped and adorns two domes in the middle and a mihrab in the center wall. Dome of the mosque is one of the few domes to be built in front of the mihrab during the Umayyad and Abbasid periods, the others being Al-Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem (705) and the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (715). The mihrab dates back to the Zirid period, judging by the style of its decorations and Kufic inscriptions. There's also a Kufic inscription above the facade mentioning the name of Mudam, a freed slave of the amir, who supervised the construction and acted as a master-builder. The mosque has no minaret thus adhan was conducted from the domed kiosk on the northeast corner, accessible from the sahn.