Last update:
7 November 2009
19 Thu AlQe'da 1430

Towashiyyah Mosque

Formerly:Towashiyyah Madrassa

Tripoli > History > Monuments > Mosques > Towashiyyah Mosque

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Contact Us

Please send your comments, suggestions, or contributions to: Dr. Ghazi Omar Tadmouri.

Brief Notes
  • Location: Sayyagheen Bazaar (Rommaneh district)
  • Surface area: 150 m2
  • Commissioned by: Unknown
  • Date of construction: 8th century H/14th century CE
  • Historical period: Mameluke
  • Characteristics: The Towashiyyah Mosque was, originally, a school. It has a splendid portal with lots of radiation, decoration, and an Andalusian window. On top of the mihrab (sanctuary) there is a cushioned arch. Near the mosque there is a tomb. In 1999 CE, some rooms for studies (a school) were discovered and a pulpit was installed. It is one of the city's later Mameluke buildings, and one of the only ones to maintain the original smooth, white interior finish.
  • Proprietor: Islamic Awqaf Directorate of Tripoli

Superstructure

Prayer Hall: Area covered by two cross vaults with the widening concave lines meeting in a central concave rosette.

Tomb Chamber: Covered by a high ribbed dome on its exterior and interior with an alternation of wide and narrow sharp-edged ribs giving the whole a star-shaped effect; rests on an octagonal zone with alternating open and blank spaces resting on four corner pendentives.

Storage Area: Simple cross vaulting.


Architectural Features and Decorative Details

Exterior

A striking feature is the resemblance of the gate of the Tuwayshiyah Madrasah to that of the Tankuziyyah Madrasah in Jerusalem. This similarity leads to the assumption that it was the same architect who probably constructed both gates.

Elevation: Built of local sandstone with four courses of black stone for decoration; framed by a band of fish scale motif over gate and around top and side walls; on street line it runs at height of mastabah.

Portal: Centrally placed; rises above the rest of the facade; decorative oculus above rectangular door surmounted by three courses of muqarnas with a shell motif on twisted colonettes at its corners; topped by a festooned half-dome containing a radiating zigzag motif of carved stone.

Window: Unadorned window at right of portal; at left of portal two simple windows at lower level and a central double window at upper level elaborately decorated with its concave fluted shell and twisted columns.

Interior

Mihrab: Plain with cushion voussoirs.


Signs and Inscriptions

Towashiyyah Madrassa reveals no founding inscription; only inscriptions found on the tomb, badly damaged and out of order. They were deciphered by Prof. Omar Tadmouri (in his book Tarikh wa Athar; look references).


Neigbourhood of the Madrassa

Next to the school Prince Qartay constructed a quarter that includes several houses and shops, two bakeries, and a large house for him.  He also designed two narrow streets that start from the main market of the city, known as Tawaki market (Aattareen nowadays), leading to the two eastern gates of the Mansouri great mosque. The Prince was an excellent horse man and interested in collecting weapons, that is why he built a basement with a secret door underneath his school, where he gathered kinds of arms.

Photo Album



Restoration of the Tuwashiyah Madrasa
At the Tuwashi Madrasa, plasterers take a break from refinishing the interior walls. Its exterior also has been renovated in recent years.

The madrasa of Amir Tuwashi


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