The dome's interior is elaborately adorned with mosaic, faience, and marble, much of which was added centuries after it was completed. There are also Qur'anic inscriptions on it. The area within the dome is divided into a number of chambers, called iwans, that open onto small balconies or terraces. These iwans were probably once used for religious ceremonies.
The outer surface of the dome is covered with geometric designs in bright colors: red, yellow, green, and blue. They were most likely intended to attract the attention of onlookers - a tactic still used by some modern-day artists.
The patterns are an example of stuccoing, using fine pieces of stone or clay to create decorative effects. Stucco is often used as an exterior finish on buildings in Arab countries.
The Koutoubia was not the only building designed by Arab architects at the time. Many other mosques, palaces, and public buildings were built throughout the region. But the Koutoubia is unique in that it combines Islamic and Western styles together. It shows that even though Islam was becoming more popular in Europe at the time, people weren't always afraid to mix politics with religion.
As well as being interesting from a historical perspective, the Koutoubia is also beautiful.
The dome is regarded as one of the most essential components in mosque building and Islamic architecture in general. The use of domes in Islamic architecture began in Jerusalem during the Umayyad period in 691 AD (Tarrad and Matrouk 2012). The first dome built in Islam was probably that of Muhammad's home in Medina, constructed around 627 AD. It was a simple wooden structure covered with cloth to protect worshipers from the sun (Hodges 1998).
Domes were used extensively in mosques built under the auspices of the Abbasid caliphs after 750 AD. They are also found in madrassas and other religious buildings. The great majority of domes in Islam are made of clay or mud, but some stone ones do exist. The oldest preserved mosque in Iran has an original clay dome
Clay is the material mostly used for making domes because it is easy to work with and relatively inexpensive. A skilled mason can build a dome using only hand tools. A mud dome needs to be baked in a kiln before use so that it will not get wet inside the building.
Stone is the preferred material for building domes if you have access to this kind of construction material. Stone domes are much more expensive than their clay counterparts but they last longer too.
Although the mosaics are similar in technique to those seen in Byzantine public buildings and churches, the mosaics on the Dome do not depict human or animal forms, instead having Arabic lettering and vegetal patterns intermixed with pictures of things like as diamonds and crowns. The paintings were created around 790 by artists from Syria and Egypt.
The mosaic panels on the interior of the Rock were created between 614 and 683 by artists from Italy and Greece. They show scenes related to Jesus' life: his birth in Bethlehem, his presentation in Jerusalem, the call of Matthew, the ministry of John the Baptist, Jesus' temptation in the desert, his journey to Jerusalem for trial before Caiaphas and Pontius Pilate and his crucifixion under Pilate's reign. At the top of the altar is a round mosaic depicting Christ with arms outstretched in blessing.
After the Arab conquest of 638, most of the Christians of the region were forced to convert to Islam or flee, except for some monks and priests who stayed in the mountains with their followers, protected by local rulers. In 730, the Arabs built a small chapel on top of the Rock called "Dome of the Rock" because it was covered in a golden-brown stone called "diamond" or "onyx". Over time, more stones were added until the entire structure was covered with them.
"Of course, the dome is a cosmic symbol in every religious tradition; and metaphorically, in Islam, the dome represents the vault of heaven in the same manner that the garden prefigures Paradise," James Dickie said in his book "Allah and Eternity: Mosques, Madrasas, and Tombs."
The Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem is a large rock with a flat top area about 30 feet across. It has been called the holiest place in Judaism because it was here that the Prophet Moses received the Ten Commandments from God through a burning bush. The site also contains an ancient temple believed to have been built by King Solomon. In 638 CE Arabs converted the site into a mosque to commemorate the revelation of Allah's name (al-hamdu lillah - "Praise be to Allah") to Muhammad during a night journey.
In conclusion, the dome represents heaven or paradise as well as the rock-solid foundation upon which it is built.
The interior of the dome bears the inscription Ayatul Kursi [2:255], which translates as "Verse of the Throne." The eight supporting pillars pictured above support the whole ceiling construction. The four seasons are represented by four huge supporting pillars around the neck of the dome. Above them are placed the names of Allah, representing His power and dominion over all things.
The dome is actually a shell with eight supporting pillars inside it. The space within the dome is called "Nishapur" which means "eight-sided."
The word "dome" comes from the Greek eidos, which means form or shape. So a dome is a spherical structure with a circular cross section that covers an opening or cavity. They can be made of concrete, brick, clay, or stone and are used for covering buildings and enclosing spaces such as courts and halls. Domes have been built since ancient times by various cultures across the world. There are several different types of domes including flat, barrel, tent, and pyramidal.
As you can see, a dome is a very efficient way to cover a large area while using little material or energy during its construction. This makes domes suitable for space travel where resources are limited. Some modern buildings use domes because of their unique appearance and design flexibility.