Mosque Name: Bazaar Qaisariya

Country: Iraq

City: Erbil

Year of construction (AH): unknown

Year of construction (AD): 8th century

GPS: 36°11’26.10"N 44° 0’36.34"E

Original Qibla: Between

Rebuilt facing Mecca: 1719 AD


The old city of Erbil is built on a large flat hill. The whole area is was walled, with only two or three entrances, depending on when in history one considers the architecture. This hilltop is called the Old City, but modern Erbil has spread out much farther. In the old city there was a section known as Suk Qaisariya, or the Castle Bazaar. There are many fascinating aspects to this bazaar, but notable to our study is that many of the oldest buldings are oriented towards a Between position. The Muslims entered Erbil in 642 AD and established the Atakakian principality there. In Abbasid times the city was a center for Islamic social and cultural worlds, as well as a place where leading scientists and men of letters maid their home. The main mosque on this cidadel used to be known as Masjid al-Kaff but today is jsut known as the Grand Mosque. Its Mihrab Qibla has an inscription stating that it was completely renovated in 1719 - 1720 A.D. under the supervision of Abo Bakr Ben Mulla Omar.

The Bazaar however, dates back earlier, even though it has been rebuilt many times. It is interesting to note that when walking south down this narrow street, you are walking directly towards the Between position. Perhaps much earlier there was a mosque in this section of the city facing in this direction. But everything seems to have been rebuilt over since then.

Erbil Bazzar. Copyright DAI/TU Berlin Negativ Nr. / Inventar Nr. EQW_DK 2013_FZ202962

Erbil Bazzar. Copyright DAI/TU Berlin Negativ Nr. / Inventar Nr. EQW_DK 2013_FZ202962

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