Mosque Name: Resafa Great Mosque
Year of construction (AH): 106 AH
Year of construction 725 CE
GPS: 35.628606 38.759662
Gibson Classification: Mecca
Rebuilt facing Mecca:
Resafa is situated 25 km from the Euphrates at the edge of the “Syrian Desert” in northern Syria. It began as a large Roman fort on the Roman Limes or walls across Syria. As it became the place of the martyrdom of Saint Sergios it grew into one of the most important places of Christian pilgrimage in the Eastern Mediterranean region during the 5th and 6th centuries. Under Islamic rule it became the residence of caliph Hisham b. Abd al-Malik (reign. 724-743 AD.) and continued to be of central importance in the Islamic period. The veneration of S. Sergius as well as the settlement lived on until the city was abandoned after the Mongolian invasion in the middle of the 13th century.
The city suffered several major earthquakes, which now helps date various buildings. The Great Mosque was begun in the second quarter of the 8th century (Chronique Archeologique en Syria Vol 42010 Page 299) being commissioned by Hisham b. Abd al-Malik whose reign started in 724.
The important thing about this mosque is that it is the very earliest Mecca facing mosque we have been able to find anywhere. It is notable that it is the first Mosque that Caliph Hisham built, located near his palace, making this a significant statement.
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