Last update:
4 November 2009
16 Thu AlQe'da 1430

Aattar Mosque

Tripoli > History > Monuments > Mosques > Aattar Mosque

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Brief Notes
  • Location: Hadeed district (Halfway between the Mallahah and Tarbi’ah districts)
  • Surface area: 450 m2
  • Commissioned by: Badr al-Din al-Aattar (one of the wealthy men in Tripoli and a perfumer by name as well as by profession)
  • Architect: Abou Bakr ben alBousays alBaalbaki
  • Date of construction: 720 H/1320 CE
  • Historical period: Mameluke
  • Proprietor: Islamic Awqaf Directorate of Tripoli

Characteristics

Ibn Aybeck Dawadary, the historian, mentioned the Aattar mosque in his book in the chapter describing the events of the year 735 H/ CE 1334. That chapters lists all constructions made during the period of Sultan Nasser Mohammed Ben Qalawoon. There he said: "The new thing in Tripoli too is a mosque built by prince Shehabeddeen Qartay (May God have mercy upon him), when he was a Vice Sultan in Tripoli. Another mosque was built by Badereddeen Bin Aattar (May God have mercy upon him) in Tripoli too".

The architect of the mosque (alBaalbaki) left his signature above the western portal. The mosque was renovated and enlarged in year 751 H/1316 CE. The architect in this case was Mohammed ben Ibrahim alMuhandes. The mosque has a third portal at the northern side on top of which stands the minaret. Above this portal are splendid marble decorations, geometrical structures, and beautiful colors.


Superstructure

Entrance Hall: Cross vault ending in a rostte.

Ablution Room: Simple cross-vault.

Prayer Hall (central area between the main and the side entrance): Central high dome.

Prayer Hall: Simple long vault.


Architectural Features & Decorative Details

Main Portal (eastern side): Higher than the mosque proper; framed by two rows of stone moldings; built of alternate courses of black and light colored well-cut ablaq joggling; above door fleur-de-lys joggling and a geometric motif in a square plaque of polychrome marble with stone frame; rich and very well built muqarnas under the half dome of the portal.

Western Side Portal: Fish scale motif above door.

Minaret: A square tower of sandstone; two rows of horizontal molding divide it into three parts; star shaped windows occur at irregular intervals. It is the tallest and largest minaret in Mameluke Tripoli.

Interior

As in most Mamluk buildings of Tripoli, the interior stone was not dressed smooth, since it was originally plastered and white-washed. Practically, this made the most of window lighting; architecturally, it showed the influence on the Mamluks of their Fatimid predecessors, whose roots lay in North Africa, where such interior styles remain common to this day.

Minbar (or Pulpit): Built in marble structure; richly decorated with fish scale motifs and floral motifs. It dates back to 1350 CE and was designed by Abou Bakr Ibn alBosays.

Exterior

Signs and Inscriptions: There is one above the door of the main Protal, in the bay of the main portal on the right wall, and on a muqarnas decoration above the lintel of western side door.


Neigbourhood of the Mosque

Aattar Mosque is situated near Jaweesh Khan and the Egyptian Khan.


Additional Notes

In 751 H/ CE 1350, the building of the eastern gate and the marble pulpit of Aattar mosque was brought to completion two years after the death of its owner Badreddeen Aattar.

Photo Album
Aattar Mosque: Interior

Aattar Mosque: Interior

The central dome of the Attar Mosque

A chandelier hangs from a dome that rises to complete the rectangular vaulting.


Aattar Mosque

Aattar Mosque: Decorations

Aattar Mosque Aattar Mosque: The Minbar

Aattar Mosque: The main portal

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