Unlike works of architecture conceived as a complete whole, the Great Mosque of Monastir shows how modular design enables multiple expansions and adaptation over time.
The Great Mosque of Monastir is a historic mosque located in Monastir, Tunisia. The mosque, which overlooks the sea and is close to the Ribat of Monastir, is distinguished by its high stone exterior facades, frames around the windows and doors, and arches that run along the Mihrab.
History & Architecture
The current mosque has a prayer room and a minaret but no internal courtyard. It has expanded and changed over time. After four distinct stages of construction, this is how it looks nowadays. An arched vault and semicircular arches supported by cruciform pillars were built in the hall in the 9th century during the first phase of construction.
During the 11th century, the room’s south-east expansion included the addition of columns with arched vaults atop them. Development of the mihrab began during this time period. The mihrab is a semi-cylindrical niche with a rib-shaped vault decorated in Zirid style. Floral moldings are used to decorate it, along with Kufic inscriptions.
The construction of a square-based minaret and the addition of two naves to the north-western part of the mosque continued under the Hafsid dynasty. A hallway along one of the mosque’s exterior facades was added in the 18th century, bringing the structure to completion. In medieval Ifriqiyan architecture, it is unusual to see a dome atop the mihrab, but this is true of the Mosque of Monastir.
Visiting the Great Mosque of Monastir
This Great Mosque of Monastir is one of the most interesting and greatest monuments in that region. A real fantastic place to visit and so much history surrounding this Mosque.
Know Before You Go
The Mosque of Monastir is located in the heart of the city of Monastir. Please dress appropriately when visiting as it is still an active place of worship. Non-Muslims are not allowed in the prayer room, but the door is left open if you’d like to look inside.
- Address: Monastir, Tunisia
- Transport: Taxis can take you directly to the mosque
- Schedule: Always open
- Entrance Fee/Ticket Price: N/A.
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