MINARETS AND ZIGGURATS

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The Samarra minaret, built in the year 848, was very similar to some ancient Babylonian ziggurats, except it was only about half as tall (52 meters), so there was less weight squeezing the sun-dried bricks. Therefore, it could rise at about a 65 degree angle instead of a 45 degree angle without slumping and collapsing.
It was almost as tall as the 55 meter height of the dome of the Hagia Sophia, built by Christians over 300 years earlier in 537, but the minaret did not have interior space.

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samara_spiralovity_minaret_rijen1973

minaret of the Great Samarra Mosque, built in the year 848 in what is today Iraq.

The ziggurats of the ancient Babylonians were as much as 91 meters tall, consisting of tiers, each tier smaller than the tier below. They rose at about a 45 degree angle. The inner core was made of sun-dried brick, clad with an exterior of kiln-baked brick. The shape was usually rectangular but sometimes circular. An exterior stairway, often attached to the wall, led to a flat area at the top.

The Samarra minaret, built in the year 848, was very similar to the ancient Babylonian ziggurats, except it was only about half as tall (52 meters), so there was less weight squeezing the sun-dried bricks. Therefore, it could rise at about a 65 degree angle instead of a 45 degree angle without slumping and collapsing.
It was almost as tall as the 55 meter height of the dome of the Hagia Sophia, built by Christians over 300 years earlier in 537.

The Qutab Minar minaret built in India in 1193 was 73 meters tall, taller than the dome of the Hagia Sophia built almost 700 years earlier, but not as tall as an ancient 101 meter tall Babylonian ziggurat,

Both the core and exterior cladding of the Qutab Minar minaret were probably made of kiln-fired brick, allowing it to rise at a much steeper angle without slumping or collapsing.
The Qutab Minar minaret was not as tall as the Chartres cathedral in France (completed several decades earlier in 1160), which was built of stone and had a hollow interior supported by columns and arches.

During the Islamic Golden Age, the tallest building built by Romans or Christians was always taller than the tallest building built by Muslims.

See the tallest building list in the Shibam post in the category buildings.

Image by IgorF, via Wikimedia Commons.
image credit https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Samara_spiralovity_minaret_rijen1973.jpg#mw-jump-to-license

 

Tower_of_Babel_3.png

artist’s conception of Tower of Babel

Image by unknown artist, via WPClipart.

Image credit https://www.wpclipart.com/world_history/lore/Tower_of_Babel_3.png.html 

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