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Mosque Name: Great Mosque of Samarra Sāmarrāʾ

Country: Iraq

City: Samarra

Year of construction (AH): 232 AH

Year of construction (AD): 847 AD

GPS: 34°11’56.26”N 43°52’24.76”E


Gibson Classification: Mecca


Al-Mutawakkil commissioned the construction of the Great Mosque of Samarra upon his succession to the Abbasid caliphate in the mid-ninth century. While the outer wall still stands, little remains of the interior of the mosque today. This sizable rectangular structure measured approximately 38,000 square meters and was encompassed by an outer baked brick wall supported by a total of forty-four semi-circular towers including four corner ones. In its time, it was the world’s largest mosque. This mosque faces Mecca as does every Abbasid Mosque from this time.

The Samarra Mosque faces Mecca

The Samarra Mosque faces Mecca

An old aerial view

An old aerial view


Leisten, Thomas, 2003. Excavation of Samarra, vol. I: Architecture. Final Report of the First Campaign 1910-1912, Baghdader Forschungen 20, Mainz am Rhein: Verlag Philipp von Zabern, 35-55.

Herzfeld, Ernst, 1914. “Mitteilung über die Arbeiten der zweiten Kampagne von Samarra”, Der Islam 1: 196-204.

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