Monday, November 17, 2008

at 1:13 PM Posted by chaker

Just to the north of Bir Barouta is this small mosque which is one of the oldest buildings in Kairouan.
This mosque is noted for its three doors, a rather uncommon facade for a small mosque integrated in the street structure. Unfortunately, the entire inner structure is off-limits for non-Muslims, and the doors are closed for even a small peek inside.
The mosque dates back to the 9th century, a period from which there is little else in Kairouan. It was founded by Kairoun al-Maafri, a holy man of Cordoba.
Note the rich inscriptions above the doors, the top two bands are actually the oldest. Between the two top bands, is a band of floral decorations.

The interior is closed to non-Muslims, but the main feature anyway is the elaborate façade with its strong Andalusian influences. The mosque's three arched doorways are topped by intricate friezes of Kufic script, two of which name the mosque's founder, interspersed with floral reliefs and crowned with a carved cornice.