"Means merely after the Arabian manner; and, so far as etymology is concerned, might therefore be general in its application. In practice, however, it is used to characterise a peculiar kind of fantastic decoration commonly employed in conjunction with architecture, and which the Spanish Moors are supposed to have introduced into modern Europe." — Chambers' Encyclopedia, 1875

Arabesque

"Means merely after the Arabian manner; and, so far as etymology is concerned, might therefore be general…

A building which looks vaguely Middle Eastern.

Building

A building which looks vaguely Middle Eastern.

This Arabian circular panel is a flat ornament found in a Mosque.

Arabian Circular Panel

This Arabian circular panel is a flat ornament found in a Mosque.

This Arabian circular panel is a flat ornament that was found in a Mosque.

Arabian Circular Panel

This Arabian circular panel is a flat ornament that was found in a Mosque.

Monuments in Constantinople by Greeks, Romans, and Turks.

Constantinople

Monuments in Constantinople by Greeks, Romans, and Turks.

The Mosque of Cordoba was a former mosque and today is a Roman Catholic Cathedral located in the Andalusian city of Cordoba, Spain. It was built into a mosque by the Umayyad Dynasty. The structure is most notable for its interior large arches, and over 1,000 columns that are made out of jasper, onyx, marble and granite.

Mosque of Cordoba

The Mosque of Cordoba was a former mosque and today is a Roman Catholic Cathedral located in the Andalusian…

The mosque of Cordova.

The Mosque of Cordova

The mosque of Cordova.

The Grand Mosque in the city of Delhi.

Grand Mosque

The Grand Mosque in the city of Delhi.

"Dome-System of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. The Byzantine style of this first period reached its highest example and splendor in the church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. After this church, which was originally built by Constantine, had been burnt to the ground, it was rebuilt, with the utmost care, and at great expense, by Justinian. On each of he open sides of the dome-covered square there abuts a semicircle with semi-domes of somewhat inferior height to the main dome." This diagram shows how the semi-domes are penetrated on each side by three smaller vaults.

Dome System of Hagia Sophia

"Dome-System of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. The Byzantine style of this first period…

"Exterior of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. Although the impression conveyed by this church is not so pure and simple as that which the basilicas produce, still its outlines are magnificent and imposing. The exterior displayed a novel divergency from the normal standard. Whist hitherto the antique form of the roof had been preserved, it was now replaced by a totally different one: inasmuch as the vaulting, at least of the domes, was visible from the outside without any screen, or the only covering it had was one of polished metal."

Exterior of Hagia Sophia

"Exterior of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. Although the impression conveyed by this church…

"Interior of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. Besides the Narthex, there was a second vestibule: both extended the whole breadth of the building. In front of it was an entrance court surrounded by a colonnade, which was entered through an arch resting on four pillars."

Interior of Hagia Sophia

"Interior of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. Besides the Narthex, there was a second vestibule:…

Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral ever built in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between A.D. 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site.

Plan of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous…

Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous in particular for its massive dome, it is considered the epitome of Byzantine architecture. It was the largest cathedral ever built in the world for nearly a thousand years, until the completion of the Seville Cathedral in 1520. The current building was originally constructed as a church between A.D. 532 and 537 on the orders of the Byzantine Emperor Justinian, and was in fact the third Church of the Holy Wisdom to occupy the site.

Section of Hagia Sophia

Hagia Sophia is a former patriarchal basilica, later a mosque, now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. Famous…

"Section of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. The Byzantine style of this first period reached its highest example and splendor in the church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. After this church, which was originally built by Constantine, had been burnt to the ground, it was rebuilt, with the utmost care, and at great expense, by Justinian. On each of he open sides of the dome-covered square there abuts a semicircle with semi-domes of somewhat inferior height to the main dome."

Section of Hagia Sophia

"Section of the Church of Sta. Sophia at Constantinople. The Byzantine style of this first period reached…

Hebron, one of the oldest cities in Palestine.  Pictured is the mosque and part of the town.

Hebron

Hebron, one of the oldest cities in Palestine. Pictured is the mosque and part of the town.

"Exterior view of Kaid Bey Mosque, Cairo." — Encyclopedia Britanica, 1893

Kaid Bey Mosque

"Exterior view of Kaid Bey Mosque, Cairo." — Encyclopedia Britanica, 1893

"Interior view of Kaid Bey Mosque, Cairo." — Encyclopedia Britanica, 1893

Kaid Bey Mosque

"Interior view of Kaid Bey Mosque, Cairo." — Encyclopedia Britanica, 1893

"Interior of Kait Bey Mosque." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Kait Bey Mosque

"Interior of Kait Bey Mosque." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

"Mecca—the Great Mosque." —The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1903

Mosque

"Mecca—the Great Mosque." —The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1903

"Court of the Mosque of Tulun, Cairo." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

Mosque of Tulun

"Court of the Mosque of Tulun, Cairo." — The Encyclopedia Britannica, 1910

The muezzin leading the Islamic call to prayer.

Muezzin

The muezzin leading the Islamic call to prayer.

The ruins of the ancient mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.

Ruins of the Mosque at Samarkand

The ruins of the ancient mosque in Samarkand, Uzbekistan.