Mosque Name: Jami’ Hama al-Kabir

Country: Syria

City: Hama

Year of construction (AH): 15 AH

Year of construction (AD): 637 AD

GPS: 35° 8’3.87"N 36°44’55.63"E

ArchNet: http://archnet.org/sites/3497

Original Qibla: Petra

Rebuilt facing Mecca: Never

Description:

Located in Bab al-Qubli Quarter west of the citadel, Jami’ al-Kabir, the Great Mosque, was build on the site of a Roman Temple built ca. 250 AD. The temple was converted into a Byzantine Church approximately 100 years later, and then to a mosque in 636-637 AD/14-15 AH. In the photo above you can clearly see that the mosque is oriented towards Petra rather than Mecca.

The prayer hall has five domes in the shape of a cross, and originally had five entrances. Two are now converted to windows. The courtyard is enclosed by a vaulted portico and contains an elevated treasury like the one in the courtyard of the Umayyad Mosque in Damascus (709-15/90-96 AH). There are two minarets. A square minaret is adjacent to the prayer hall and dates back to the early decades of the twelfth century, though sources vary on the exact date of construction. The other, near the north doorway, is octagonal in shape and was built by ca. 1427 by the Mamluks. The western portico opens onto a mausoleum containing the tombs of 13th century Ayyubid Caliphs.

The mosque was destroyed in bombardments to suppress a 1982 uprising in Hama. The Syrian Antiquities Department rebuilt the mosque according to the original Umayyad design. Below: the courtyard in 1940 before the modern reconstruction.

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