The image of the city
Design influence
When different cultures meet and inevitably influence each other is it not better to see these meetings as “dialogues”?
Arab and Ottoman cities witnessed rapid change in the 19th century and foreign influences were more readily absorbed than they had been in earlier historical periods. The same is true concerning the influences of Islamic art and architecture on European styles. Several European architects, commissioned by Arab and Ottoman patrons, worked in the European tradition, introducing Western-style streets and squares and other urban constructions into the texture of traditional Arab and Ottoman cities. Throughout the Ottoman Empire, the stylistic and decorative features of buildings included details from the European past, in parallel with the various revivalist styles in Europe, as well as the contemporary modern architectural styles that were fashionable in Europe and the Ottoman Empire at the time. Thus, while the design elements, principles and policies of urban planning in Arab and Ottoman lands borrowed from foreign architectural elements, they also conformed to the identity of the community and the social, economic and cultural status its inhabitants.
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The image of the city

The interconnection of design elements
Design influence
The Citadel of Cairo, the Residence of the Pasha

Published 1849

Sharjah Art Museum / Sharjah Museums Department, Sharjah, United Arab Emirates (Sharjah)

David Roberts; Louis Hague


At the heart of the Citadel complex, a manifestation of Ottoman power in an ancient Arab city, there is an Ottoman-style mosque, which – together with the nearby palace – also incorporates modern architectural structures.

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In this Exhibition
About the Exhibition
The image of the city
Urban Planning and the Instruments of Planning
Architecture and Construction