I took this on a visit to the interior of Tunisia in 2009. The sheer size of the building and all its repeating geometry was so stunning. As we looked a little closer we could see that the columns were not in fact identical, but this was disguised because the geometry of infinite repeats is what held our eye. Many of the columns were actually robbed from even older Roman and Egyptian sites in North Africa.
Built in 670AD and rebuilt in 724AD, it is one of the oldest places of worship in the Islamic world, and certainly the oldest Islamic site in North Africa. Flourishing between the ninth and eleventh centuries AD, its influence is often compared to the University of Paris in the Middle Ages. It was a huge and vibrant hub of Islamic civilisation with a formidable reputation as a centre of teaching Islamic sciences. Now it is in a quiet forgotten backwater, deep in the dusty arid interior of Tunisia. The tides of history have washed through and passed on, and it is labelled a Unesco World heritage site.
This was posted in response to the wild weekly photo challenge – Geometry
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Such a breathtaking photograph! Wow!
Thank you..I love the feeling of being pulled down into the photo, towards the ever receeding arches at the back 🙂
The size of those columns is amazing. I did not know they were stolen from other sites. Thanks for the link to my post 🙂
You’re welcome. It’s amazing how stone can be recycled so beautifully….some of the pillars were carved specially for the site, but many were sourced from far and wide…they know this by the different types of marble used.
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