Home >> Encyclopedia-of-architecture-1852 >> Onument Of Lysicrates to Or Urbino 1trbin >> Osque

Osque

mosque, mosques, galleries and covered

OSQUE, (from the Arabic, JTaschiad, or Aredsched, and intermediately the Spanish and Portuguese Jfezquita and Masqueta,) a Mohammedan place of worship. the distinctive marks of which are generally cupolas and minarets. Inter nally they exhibit nothing remarkable as to plan or mudation, forming merely a large hall or apartment, without any seats or other fittings-up, and with no other decoration than that of pavements and carpets. or arabesques and mosaics On the walls. in regard to these latter, some of the mosques at Cairo are highly embellished. Although more famed than any other, the mosque at Santa Sophia at Constantinople exhibits nothing of Mohammedan or Arabian architecture, but was originally built as a church, and is in the Byzantine sty le.

All mosques are square buildings, generally constructed of stone. Before the chief gate there is a square court paved with white marble ; and low galleries round it, whose roof is supported by marble pillars. In these galleries the Turks wash themselves before they go into the mosque. In each mosque there is a great number of lamps; and between these hang many crystal rings, ostriches eggs, and other curiosities, which, when the lamps are lighted. make a line show. As it

is not lawful to enter the mosque with stockings on, the pave ments are covered with pieces of stuff sewed together, each being w ide enough to hold a row of men kneeling, sitting, or prostrate. The women are not allowed to enter the mosque, but stay in the porches without. About every mosque there are six high towers, called minarets, each of which has three little open galleries, one above another : these towers, as well as the mosques, are covered with lead, and adorned with gild ing and other ornaments, and from thence, instead of a bell, the people are called to prayers by certain officers appointed for that purpose. Most of the mosques have a kind of hos pital belonging to them, in which travellers of what religion soever. are entertained three days. Each mosque has also a place called torte, which is the burying place of its founders; within hich is a tomb six or seven feet long, covered with green velvet or satin ; at the ends of which are two tapers, and round it several seats for those who read the koran and pray for the souls of the deceased. See MOORISH ARCHITECTURE.