Collections | Cities and Urban Spaces | The image of the city [48 Objects, 44 Monuments]

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Ouled el-Hamra Mosque

18th century

Casablanca, Morocco

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 Justification for this item

This mosque represents many important design elements of Islamic architecture: its square-shaped minaret is similar to minarets of the Muslim West; the walls are decorated with green zellij; and the roof tiles have both a decorative and functional role.

Ouled el-Hamra Mosque

18th century

Casablanca, Morocco

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Garden Mosque

The mosque complex comprises a cloister-like colonnade in the east (1779–84) and a main building (1782–86) flanked by two minarets (1786–95) in the west

Schwetzingen, Germany

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 Justification for this item

The interior of the mosque comprises a rich and colourfully decorated round central hall. Various general maxims are inscribed in Arabic and translated into German.

Garden Mosque

The mosque complex comprises a cloister-like colonnade in the east (1779–84) and a main building (1782–86) flanked by two minarets (1786–95) in the west

Schwetzingen, Germany

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House of Mohammed Ali

Construction: between 1750 and 1770; restoration: 2001–2004

Kavala, Greece

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House of Mohammed Ali

Construction: between 1750 and 1770; restoration: 2001–2004

Kavala, Greece

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View of Istanbul: the Valide Sultan Mosque and the port

19th century

National Library of France

Paris, France

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 Justification for this item

The mosque represents the core identity of Islamic architecture, a building dedicated to God. Built under the patronage of a royal woman in the old commercial centre of the city, the site also attracted business and trade activities between Muslim and non-Muslim merchants, representing another important layer in the identity of Istanbul.

View of Istanbul: the Valide Sultan Mosque and the port

19th century

National Library of France

Paris, France

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Fountain

19th century

Lebanese Heritage Museum

`Ayn Najm, Lebanon

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 Justification for this item

Throughout the Arab and Ottoman world, fountains are important design elements in private and public gardens, courtyards, and public squares. This water fountain was used in Ottoman majlis (councils) in Lebanon. The external walls are covered with a marble mosaic of different shapes and sizes and colours to create geometric patterns, which is a very particular design element of the Arab and Ottoman world.

Fountain

19th century

Lebanese Heritage Museum

`Ayn Najm, Lebanon

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Mashrabiyya

19th century

Lebanese Heritage Museum

`Ayn Najm, Lebanon

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 Justification for this item

The mashrabiyya, made from stone, glass or wood and seen throughout the Middle East and Southern Mediterranean countries, represents an important social observation: the separation of public and private space, seen ubiquitously in the architecture of the traditional Arab house.

Mashrabiyya

19th century

Lebanese Heritage Museum

`Ayn Najm, Lebanon

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Chechia maker

19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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 Justification for this item

The image depicts the daily life of an Arab city-dweller to illustrate Arab culture and handicrafts to the reader of Charles Lallemand’s Tunis et ses environs. The “Eastern” style had a huge impact on European arts and crafts.

Chechia maker

19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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Imaret

Construction: 1807–1821; restoration: 2001–2004

Kavala, Greece

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 Justification for this item

The form of the garden is notable as is the relationship between the garden and the murals.

Imaret

Construction: 1807–1821; restoration: 2001–2004

Kavala, Greece

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Café du Marabout in the Souk Ettrouk

Early 19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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 Justification for this item

An aquatint depicting the famous Café du Marabout, a vestige of the many that once furnished Arab and Ottoman cities, and which step-by-step Europeans embraced, turning them into fashionable venues for the elite. Cafés are important social spaces in the Arab and Ottoman world that are mainly frequented by men.

Café du Marabout in the Souk Ettrouk

Early 19th century

Institut Supérieur d’Histoire Contemporaine de la Tunisie

La Manouba, Tunis, Tunisia

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Mihrişah Sultan Fountain

Hegira 1221 / AD 1806

Küçüksu, İstanbul, Turkey

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 Justification for this item

Public fountains are among the most important elements of Arab and Ottoman urban design and play a special role in most European cities as well. This elegant example, which has a mosque-like decoration at the top with a dome and two minarets, is made from marble, a material frequently used in Arab and Ottoman architecture.

Mihrişah Sultan Fountain

Hegira 1221 / AD 1806

Küçüksu, İstanbul, Turkey

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The Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Hegira 13th century / AD 19th century

Sharjah Art Museum / Sharjah Museums Department

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)

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 Justification for this item

A main site of traditional city life that manifests national identity through its form and style.

The Grand Bazaar Istanbul

Hegira 13th century / AD 19th century

Sharjah Art Museum / Sharjah Museums Department

Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)

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The gardens of the Dey's palace

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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The gardens of the Dey's palace

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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Typical North African interior

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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 Justification for this item

The image of the “East”, seen in intimate interiors such as this, was one circulated throughout Europe. It inspired not only European art and fashion, but also the tradition of identifying cultures through architecture, ornament, decoration and costume or fashion.

Typical North African interior

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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The port and pier at Algiers

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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The port and pier at Algiers

1832

Musée Public National des Antiquités

Algiers, Algeria

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Al-Majidiyya Mosque

1841

Beirut, Lebanon

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 Justification for this item

As so-called “great-scale” elements of urban design, mosque domes and minarets are considered two of the most distinct features of Arab and Ottoman cities. However, they are also the most significant as they determine the texture of the city and its skyline: the curved shapes of domes contrasting with the upright, vertical shapes of minarets, which like elegant exclamation marks stand within the complex mass of the mosque complex and the surrounding city.

Steam engine building

1841–1843

Potsdam, Germany

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 Justification for this item

A fascinating structure that elegantly celebrates elements of Arab and Ottoman art and architecture. Situated on a bay of the Havel River it adds a picturesque architectural accent to the Potsdam cultural landscape. Behind the façade, which is designed to look like a mosque, steam technology at the highest level for the era produces 81.4 horsepower to drive the fountains at the Sanssouci Palace.

Steam engine building

1841–1843

Potsdam, Germany

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Turbe and Sabil of Mahmud II

Hegira 1256 / AD 1840

Divanyolu, İstanbul, Turkey

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 Justification for this item

An Arab urban design reference to the 1840s in Istanbul.

Turbe and Sabil of Mahmud II

Hegira 1256 / AD 1840

Divanyolu, İstanbul, Turkey

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