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JALE NEJDET ERZEN

Reading Mosques: Meaning and Architecture in Islam

The expression ‘reading architecture’ should not tects and architectural critics have couched their
seem too odd, as one of the best known exam- analyses of the meanings of buildings in terms
ples of architecture, the church, has often been of “metaphors.” For example, Denis Hollier has
likened to a book, and in entering, for example, demonstrated how George Bataille uses the no-
the little Scrovegni Chapel in Padua, one feels as tion of metaphor to show the political nature of
if one were leafing through the pages of a minia- architecture.2 Hugh Pearman, in his book Con-
ture novel that narrates a story one should not temporary World Architecture, has stressed the
forget. This article applies the notion of reading metaphoric qualities of religious architecture in
architecture to mosques by offering a reading of various cultures.3 Christian Norberg-Schulz, who
this type of architecture that pays particular at- treats the history of architecture as a search for
tention to the symbols and metaphors embodied meaning, has also highlighted the use of symbols
in most mosques. Although users of mosques may in Western architecture, noting that Le Corbus-
not be conscious of these architectural symbols, ier’s use of mechanical metaphors in his archi-
I believe that the buildings they experience have tectural and urban designs and the cosmic impli-
significance and unique aesthetic value for them cations of Claude-Nicolas Ledoux’s projects are
largely because of these elements. The mosque is well known.4 Postmodern architects have used
one of the most common types of building, and symbols and metaphors to render architecture so-
its presence in the diversity of cultures that par- cially and historically significant, and discussion of
ticipated in the complex historical developments these elements has constituted the main subject
of the Islamic world makes it difficult to produce of postmodern architectural discourse and criti-
a general account. Nevertheless, this article will cism. Charles Jencks’s writings, for example, have
try to analyze certain symbolic features that have focused mainly on such issues.5 Charles Moore’s
been—and still continue to be—common in most Piazza d’Italia, Aldo Rossi’s architecture employ-
kinds of mosques. ing the concept of the “analogical city,” and Hans
Hollein’s projects that try to create “architectural
landscapes” can be cited as examples of projects
i. architecture and meaning that make use of symbols and metaphors. Even a
more structurally oriented architect like Norman
The use of metaphors and other symbols in Foster has used metaphors to describe his work, as
architectural design and interpretation is not in the case of the Millau Viaduct, which he likens
peculiar to Islam. Western architecture and archi- to a butterfly.6 Interestingly, contemporary West-
tectural discourse are full of examples of build- ern architects who have built mosques have made
ings whose meaning is partially determined by use of common Islamic metaphors. The postmod-
symbols. In relation to architecture, the terms ern architect Paolo Portoghesi’s mosque in Rome
‘representation’ or ‘symbol’ have been more com- is a well-known example.
monly used by philosophers, as in the case of Nel- Symbols and metaphors have been particu-
son Goodman’s provocatively titled essay “How larly attractive to Muslim scholars and writers,
Buildings Mean.”1 On the other hand, many archi- who have traditionally avoided precise literal


c 2011 The American Society for Aesthetics
126 The Aesthetics of Architecture

expressions in any realm, believing that the hu- important, since Islam claims to be a religion of
man mind could not fathom the infinite meanings equality and communality. Moreover, in Arabic,
of the world.7 This idea was based on a religious the word for beauty has the same root with the
understanding of the world that held that God words ‘wholeness’ or ‘community.’ Thus, large in-
cannot be defined. This “medieval” disposition, tensively decorated mosques were built in all Is-
seeing constant changes and multidimensionality lamic lands. The first mosques are in the form
in what is observed, had a strong aesthetic aspect of multicolumned (hypostyle) structures where
because it kept Islamic thinkers attentive to per- the space in front of the Mihrab (a kind of altar
ceptual qualities. Moreover, the Islamic view of pointing toward Mecca) was covered with a dome
the world, within which the architecture of the whose interior surface would usually be decorated
mosque developed, is influenced by a sense of with plaster stalactites that created a play of light,
adoration for the creations of God. Such adora- symbolizing the heavens.11
tion renders everything with the emotion of love, The mosque was not only a place for prayer,
leading to empathy and giving rise to an aesthetic but, in its early phase, it also served as the com-
relation to the world. Consequently, all Is- munal meeting place and as a place for judiciary
lamic artworks, including Islamic architecture and court meetings under the supervision of the imam.
specifically the architecture of mosques, need to The hypostyle hall, which was usually a rectangle
be understood and appraised in terms of the sym- with the short axis toward the mihrab, was entered
bols that are embodied therein. This has long been from an open courtyard surrounded by arcades.
understood in the Muslim world. Indeed, some of This courtyard would also be used for prayer when
the ideas I employ to explain the architecture of the congregation was large. This type of mosque
mosques were drawn from the dictated architec- is called “Great Mosque,” from which different
tural records of the greatest of Ottoman architects, varieties were to evolve in the sundry lands where
Sinan, who was active in the Ottoman court dur- Islam spread.
ing the sixteenth century. In these records, written I discuss four types of symbols in my analy-
mostly in poetic form, Sinan describes mosques sis of mosques. The most common, found in all
using numerous metaphors and similes: “In every types of mosques throughout history, refers to
corner is a rose garden of Paradise. . . . Those who “paradise.” The second, what I refer to as “the
its marbles see would think (themselves) in a sea heavenly theater,” is related to the unique func-
of elegance. . . . Each of those variegated arches tion of the mosque as the place for communal
resembles a rainbow.”8 prayer. Except for the imam who performs the
prayer with the community, there are no actors
or rituals for the faithful to watch. Thus, the in-
ii. history, use, meaning terior of a mosque is an empty space, a stage for
prayer which is performed through bodily move-
Islam, which appeared in the seventh century, took ments of prostration. This turns the interior into
its initial artistic forms from existing Christian a space of performance. Third, mosques are often
architecture and decorations.9 The first Islamic understood as “urban sculptures” that guide visi-
religious monument, The Dome of the Rock in tors through cities. “The cosmic spiral” is the final
Jerusalem, in spite of its original form, is neverthe- symbol that is common to many structures, forms,
less decorated with mosaics inspired by Byzantine and decorations in the Islamic world and relates
patterns.10 However, within a short period, sev- to a medieval understanding of time and space.
eral factors, such as social norms, structural ex-
igencies, religious practices, and climate, created
the possibility for various original mosque config- iii. paradise regained
urations around the Mediterranean, where Islam
had spread with great speed. The image for the ideal place has usually been
Islamic prayer does not require a specific edi- “paradise.” Although the notion of paradise is
fice, as prayer can be observed anywhere as long common to most religions, the sacred book of Is-
as one faces Mecca. Although the Prophet had lam, the Koran, and popular Muslim culture stress
warned against the futile show of riches and ma- the idea of paradise almost beyond any other.
teriality in this world, prayer in communion is All mosques have tried to create an atmosphere
Erzen Reading Mosques 127

that refers by analogy to a conception of paradise. extremely important physical and spiritual refer-
Moreover, the Islamic world is considered by the ence to heaven. Although, throughout history, dif-
faithful to be the land of peace, “Dar-el-Islam,” ferent mosque designs employed light differently
as opposed to lands where anarchy and war reign, because of the restrictions of their structures, light
“Dar-el-Harp.” Consequently, the mosque should has always—and in all cultures—referred to a sa-
be an ideal place where all tensions are brought to cred and spiritual force, often to God. It could be
equilibrium and harmonized. An attempt is made that the most perfect and generous use of light in
to reference this quality in mosques through the mosques belong to Ottoman mosques of the six-
apparent equilibrium of structural forces. Ideally, teenth century, which, like Gothic cathedrals, do
in a mosque, all tensile forces are integrated to not have load-bearing walls. The baldachin struc-
create an atmosphere of harmony. As Augusto ture of sixteenth-century Ottoman mosques al-
Romano Burelli states in relation to the mosques lows for windows to be opened in its walls at all
of Sinan, “the purpose of decoration is not the elevations. This is because the structure depends
making-explicit of chosen constructive details, but on columns and arches. There are also windows
rather [by] masking and blurring of the construc- around the drum of the dome, allowing light to
tive procedure followed, . . . decoration tends to enter the interior from all sides and levels. In spite
function as a reconciler of opposites.”12 One can of this profusion of light coming from all direc-
understand this better by comparing the structure tions, any directionality of light is avoided. At all
of a mosque with that of a Christian monument times of day the quality of light is such that one
or church, where the dynamism and the constant never knows where the sun is. The overall light
movement of contrary forces are singled out as an effect is provided by double windows, by grates
aesthetic quality. In the Western world, humans on the outside, and by stained glass. As Burelli
create their own destiny by opposing contrary states, “the internal space given over to prayers
forces with will and power. In the Islamic world, must be perfectly visible in all its points, unsecret
however, it is believed that humans are born into and revealed . . . [while] conceal[ing] from the wor-
a perfect world and that the mosque should repre- shipers the position of the sun in the heavens.”14
sent this perfect world, while also referring to the Other features that are related to paradise are
afterlife that is promised to the faithful. A state- the decorations on the mihrab and on the exterior
ment from Burelli perfectly illustrates this for the wall of the portico (the arcaded entrance section
mosques of Sinan: also used by latecomers for prayer). As the faith-
ful look toward the mihrab niche, they often face
The space of the mosques of Sinan is [a] metaphor for decorations that symbolize the opening to the par-
Islamic paradise. In the 97 verses of the Koran in which adise garden. In the portico of the Rüstem Paşa
paradise is described, there is one which describes the Mosque in Istanbul (c. 1560), tiles that depict a
enchantment of the paradisiacal space more strikingly garden of flowers symbolize paradise. The Green
than the others. “But for those who follow their duty Mosque in Bursa has a mihrab that is decorated
to their God, for them there are lofty rooms with lofty with blue tiles on which yellow and gold flowers
halls above them . . . beneath which rivers flow. . . . [There have been painted. We can extend these examples
they rest,] sojourning in gardens where they will.” (Sura indefinitely, from the early mosques in northern
XXXIX, 20-73-74)13 Africa all the way to those in Andalusia in south-
ern Spain.
According to Islam, humanity has destroyed the Two other types of symbols found in mosques
perfect world initially given by God. In mosques, that refer to paradise are the presence of water
an attempt is made to recreate this perfection or and images of forests. In the Seljukid medreses,
make people remember it primarily through sym- which also served for religious rituals and meet-
bols and expressions such as calligraphy, deco- ings, there used to be a small pool under the
ration, and the structure of mosques, as well as oculus of the dome, collecting rainwater and re-
through certain other aesthetic designs that refer flecting the sky; often a spiral incision into the
to the promised paradise. pavement near the pool would symbolize the uni-
Besides the structural harmony attained by verse. In the early Ottoman mosques in Bursa, the
solving and concealing tensions to create an atmo- first hall under the dome would also contain a little
sphere of peacefulness, the use of light has been an fountain with running water. The Great Mosque
128 The Aesthetics of Architecture

in Bursa dating from 1300 has in its very center worshipped, and the main purpose of prayer is
a large pool with sprinkling water, used also for to represent this direct relation with God, to offer
ablution. The famous mosque of Sinan in Edirne oneself to the gaze of God as a worshipper of God.
(Adrianopolis) also has a small fountain right in In this performance, the bodily relationship
the middle of the interior. Ablution fountains of with architecture becomes vital and physically
the Süleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul (1557), built real. Before entering the mosque, a cleaning rit-
by Sinan for Suleiman the Magnificent, are lo- ual is observed at the ablution fountains: The feet,
cated in the exterior walls of the building, creat- the face, and the ears are washed and, before en-
ing a physical bond with the building and refer- tering the mosque, the shoes are removed. Before
ring to the rivers of paradise. It has often been the prayer, the body is prepared and cleansed.
suggested that the Great Mosque type, with a hy- This practice readies the body for both active par-
postyle hall boasting many columns, such as the ticipation and heightened perception. One feels
wooden mosques built in Anatolia by the Seljuks the floor under one’s feet, and during the prayer
(c. 1100–1300) or the Great Mosque of Cordoba touches one’s forehead to the floor several times.
(786–788) with its hundreds of columns and super- In this bare interior the voice of the imam and the
imposed horseshoe arches, represents or symbol- sounds of water (if there are fountains) are made
izes the forest. For a culture that first developed to be heard and appreciated in the best way. In
in the desert lands of Arabia, both water and flora many of the mosques of Sinan, water jugs have
have special value. This is the reason why green is been placed in the domes to absorb echoes so that
almost a sacred color for Islam and why the pres- the call to prayer and the sounds of the prayers
ence of water in the mosques is of special value. themselves are heard in the clearest and most aes-
Thus, by the inclusion of many visual and sensory thetically pleasing way possible. When the prayer
references to paradise, the mosque is experienced is observed in congregation, the bodily presence
as a metaphor for it in every sense. and perception become even more acute. In addi-
tion, being close to the floor accentuates the per-
ception of movements of the body and intensifies
iv. heavenly theater
the perception of sounds.
The ritual of prayer observed in congregation is a Great architects throughout the world have
performance of adoration and prostration to God, been especially sensitive to the fact that architec-
the “all-seeing.” The sight of prayer in a mosque, ture can impose certain physical and psychological
either of a single individual or of a group, will attitudes on the user. For example, ascending and
make it obvious that the whole interior space, de- descending ceremonial staircases, as in the case of
signed to be clearly visible and homogeneous in opera houses or palaces, demand a certain bodily
all of its parts, is conceived as a stage for the obser- position to adapt to this ceremonial atmosphere,
vance of a performance. The interiors of mosques while period furniture requires not only certain
have no furnishings, except for carpets covering ways of sitting and standing but appropriately har-
the floor and the minbar, a high platform or stair- monious clothes to go with it. Louis XVI inte-
case upon which the imam faces the congregation. riors are striking examples of this phenomenon.
In this bare space, the proportions of architectural Similarly, changes in the disposition of the body
elements such as columns and arches and the dif- often occur when entering an interior from an
ferent scales of verticality are often calculated to open space. This change can be accentuated ar-
complement the human body, which is picked out chitecturally. The very sensitive architect Alvar
as an actor to be watched. Aalto made users conscious of this change by
In comparison to the conception of space con- creating special light conditions at the entrances
figured through linear perspective, which creates of his buildings. More generally, this shift in the
a scene as if through a window, in a mosque the change of location from exterior to interior and
congregation is placed at the center of the struc- the many different implications it can have often
ture so as to sense its space as if it revolves around have been emphasized through specific designs
them.15 The congregation is thus made part of the applied on gates and doors. In mosques, entrances
performance, both watching and being watched. are designed, decorated, and even covered with
This reflects the idea that God is everywhere and special inscriptions to prepare people for the spe-
is always watching. The whole world is there for cial experience of the heavenly theater that lies
the enjoyment of God, who is to be adored and inside.
Erzen Reading Mosques 129

v. urban sculpture space and time and the related arts are based in
Islam.16 In contrast to the Vitruvian principle of
The Ottomans, who ruled over the Islamic world
symmetry and the spatial understanding related
for about 700 years, created an architecture which
to linear perspective, which are influential in the
was open to the exterior and developed a type
West, in Islam, both auditory and visual forms take
of mosque that stood out in the urban space as
their organizing principle from the spiral.17 If we
a sculptural form. Mogul mausoleums were simi-
listen to oriental Islamic music, we shall hear un-
lar to Ottoman mosques in that the form was to
ending repetitions and circular progressions. Like-
be seen from all four directions. The most famous
wise, analyses of space in mosques and in religious
of these mausoleums are the Taj Mahal, the mau-
architectural sites show that structural elements as
soleum of Haydar in Delhi, and that of Akbar near
well as spatial units are arranged in circular form,
Agra. These last two can be understood as urban
enveloping and circumscribing each other like wa-
sculptures. On the other hand, sixteenth-century
ter rings around a falling stone.
Ottoman mosques were designed with a specific
This spiraling formation of the structure and
urban development project in mind. They were
the placement of architectural units in a group
positioned in the city to be viewed from specific
of buildings, such as architectural complexes, are
distances and venues and visually related to each
most apparent in sixteenth-century Ottoman ar-
other in the urban landscape. For example, the
chitecture. As mentioned previously, this becomes
great mosque of Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent
obvious when we are trying to reach an Ottoman
(1557), placed right above the Golden Horn in Is-
mosque in the city. A comparison between the
tanbul, acts as a welcoming façade to the city just
approach to the great mosque of Suleymaniye in
above the harbor. Entering the Golden Horn, one
Istanbul and the approach to a Christian basilica,
is confronted with the view of the Suleymaniye
such as St. Peter’s Basilica in Rome, is revealing
Mosque, which hovers above the port. It is be-
in this respect. In the former, although we see the
lieved that the monument was illuminated at night
building in all its monumentality from a distance,
and would act as a beacon to the night traffic on
as we come near, we are led through labyrinth
the sea. The religious monument seeming from
streets, and access to the entrance of the mosque
the distance as a composite sculptural form that
becomes possible only after spiraling toward it. In
could almost be held in one’s palm is a perfect sym-
Rome, after a certain point, a straight path, creat-
bol, a perfect object, which creates the visual fo-
ing a linear perspective, will lead us directly to the
cus for the city. Many sixteenth-century Ottoman
front of St. Peter’s.
mosques have a pyramidal form that accentuates
The above example of circular paths around a
their sculptural aspect. Thus, architecture of this
mosque is similar to the circularly arranged struc-
sort, understood as urban sculpture, directly ad-
tural elements that support many monuments. Es-
dresses itself to our bodily and mobile sense in
pecially in structures where the dome spans a
the city, as it connects to our sense of erectness
wide opening, there are several enveloping lay-
and guides our orientation in the city. With spiri-
ers of structural elements, concentrically placed,
tual and mnemonic implications, the mosque that
that make it possible to enlarge the interior space
is perceived and experienced as an urban sculp-
as well as to stabilize the structure. In an architec-
ture becomes an important asset to the city, offer-
tural complex containing different public build-
ing guidance and creating cultural and social ref-
ings, such as the mosque, the medreses (colleges),
erences. As the Ottoman mosque is transformed
the hamam (bath), the hospital, the hospice, the
into an urban sculpture, it contributes to the ob-
soup house, the stables, the latrines, and several
server’s sense of familiarity with the city and cre-
courtyards in between, these elements are ar-
ates a sense of human scale, giving the observer
ranged in enveloping concentric circular form. A
the feeling of belonging.
perfect example of this is again the Suleymaniye
Mosque in Istanbul.18
vi. the cosmic spiral This spiral configuration, used both in architec-
ture and the placement of buildings in an architec-
The spiral, as a form that is both three-dimensional tural complex, has several functions that relate to
and that has no beginning and no end, is the basic perception and to the aesthetic appraisal. The first
formal principle on which the understanding of would be that sacred or religious spaces are not
130 The Aesthetics of Architecture

properly entered directly, but only after respect- formance, each new execution of this “maqam”
fully circling around them. Another more subtle would be varied in adaptation to the actual con-
meaning in relation to the use of spiral forms ditions, very much like jazz music.22 Similarly,
would be how the movement of the body and its in Islamic architecture, no matter how much a
experience could refer to both cosmic and spiritual building conforms to a set, preexisting plan, its
movements. As one turns in circles in space, simi- final form will vary according to the actual con-
lar to the movements of the whirling dervishes and ditions of site, topography, patron, and local tra-
the revolutions of the planets, one has a very differ- ditions. Moreover, buildings will be designed to
ent sense of space, and the body becomes in tune be appreciated as they undergo constantly chang-
with the environment. Barbara Montero claims ing conditions which daily and annually produce
that the perception of movement in the body, in changes of mood and atmosphere. According to
joints and muscles, which is referred to as “propri- Cafer Efendi, the author of the book on Mehmet
oception,” can have an aesthetic meaning.19 Thus, Efendi, the architect of the Blue Mosque, the value
circulation patterns forced by the architecture of of this mosque lay in the way it offered unlimit-
mosques, perceived as the body moves around in edly changing views to the eye, as its elements
them, constitute one of the important aesthetic as- could be seen differently from each different van-
pects of Islamic architecture and urban planning, tage point.23 Explaining the aesthetics of mosques
aspects which literally embody metaphor. through symbols reinforces this characteristic, as
Besides the spiral, which is understood and val- each symbol can be read differently according to
ued as a cosmic and spiritual form, the relations the changing experience and imagination of each
between the circle, the square, and the triangle observer. Thus, because of their embedded sym-
also constitute a basic forms metaphor in the struc- bols, the meaning of a mosque is to a degree open-
ture and decoration in Islamic religious buildings. ended and constructed anew by each observer ac-
The circle symbolizes the perfect form and relates cording to her knowledge of these symbols.
to the heavens and to God, while the square, with The use of metaphors and other symbols to
its four directions, relates to human existence and interpret Islamic architecture has been common
to the world. Most Islamic geometric decoration of throughout the Muslim world. In Islam, as in many
polygons and stars is derived from the rotation of premodern cultures, certain ideas take the form
the square within the circle.20 This relationship can of historically persistent symbols. This article has
also be observed in the basic forms of the mosque, tried to show that many valued experiences of Is-
especially in the mosques where the structures lamic architecture are grounded in meanings of
have developed through several centuries, such as which an observer may not be fully conscious,
Ottoman mosques. In these, the spherical shape of and that to be fully appreciated mosques must
the dome and the prismatic shape of the building be “read.” Sometimes architectural metaphors are
are symbolic representations of the square mov- universal, and other times they are culturally spe-
ing within the circle. The Ottoman mosque and cific. Thus, while for all cultures certain types of
its decorations are thus perfect expressions of the buildings, such as temples or houses, may have
synthesis of the world of man and the realm of a similar meaning, other buildings, because they
God. However, this polarity can also be under- contain specific symbols associated with specific
stood as practicality and spirituality, as mind and cultural traditions, can be understood only within
body, or as earth and world, similar to the way that context. For example, as opposed to the idea
these oppositions had been interpreted by Martin of paradise for mosques, the use of the body of
Heidegger.21 Christ can be shown as the basis for church plans.
To read a mosque and understand how it differs
from a church, it is necessary to understand the
vii. conclusion culturally specific metaphors found in its architec-
ture.
The use of symbols in mosques is related to a more As stated in the beginning of this article, ex-
fundamental feature of both Islamic architecture cept for a few symbols, such as those referencing
and other Islamic artworks. In certain forms of paradise and the heavenly theater that are intrin-
Oriental music, although a certain rhythmic style sic to the idea of the mosque, not every mosque
called “maqam” would be chosen for each per- makes use of the same set of symbols. However,
Erzen Reading Mosques 131

I have tried to show how mosque architecture is 6. See www.greatbuildings.com/buildings/Millau_


essentially connected to symbols and myths (and Viaduct.html
7. Jale Nejdet Erzen, “Islamic Aesthetics: An Alterna-
indeed to some specific symbols) and that, there-
tive Way to Knowledge,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art
fore, to properly appreciate a mosque, it must be Criticism 65 (2007): 69–75.
read with them in mind. In any case, it is helpful 8. Sinan’s Autobiographies: Five Sixteenth-Century Texts,
to understand the underlying Islamic approach to ed. Gülru Necipoğlu, trans. Howard Crane and Esra Akın
the world and how that approach generates a set (Leiden: Brill, 2006) p. 132.
9. Oleg Grabar, The Formation of Islamic Art (Yale Uni-
of ideas and images that should shape our experi- versity Press, 1973).
ence of mosques.24 10. Oleg Grabar, The Shape of the Holy: Early Islamic
Jerusalem (Princeton University Press, 1996).
11. Doğan Kuban, Muslim Religious Architecture (Lei-
JALE NEJDET ERZEN
den, the Netherlands: Brill, 1974).
Department of Architecture 12. Augusto Romano Burelli, La Moschea di Sinan (Mi-
Middle East Technical University lano: Cluva Editori, 1988), p. 35.
Balgat, 06531 Ankara, Turkey 13. Burelli, La Moschea di Sinan, p. 19.
14. Burelli, La Moschea di Sinan, p. 43.
15. Emel Ardaman, Perspective and Istanbul, the Capital
internet: erzen@metu.edu.tr
of the Ottoman Empire (Oxford University Press, 2007).
16. Alexandre Popodopoulo, L’Islam et l’art musulman
(Paris: Mazenod, 1976).
1. Nelson Goodman, “How Buildings Mean,” Critical 17. Vitruvius, The Ten Books of Architecture, trans.
Inquiry 11 (1985): 642–653. Hicky Morgan Morris (New York: Dover, 1960). Vitruvius
2. Denis Hollier, Against Architecture: The Writings of discusses the symmetry of the human body as a model for
George Bataille, trans. Betsy Wing (MIT Press, 1992). Hol- the beauty of architecture on pp. 72–75.
lier also points out that architectural terms constitute the ba- 18. For the Suleymaniye Mosque in Istanbul, see Gülru
sis of many metaphors found in philosophy and other fields, Necipoğlu Kafadar, “The Suleymaniye Complex in Istanbul:
arguing that “architecture . . . always represents something An Interpretation,” in Muqarnas, vol. 3, ed. Oleg Grabar
other than itself from the moment it becomes distinguished (Leiden, the Netherlands: E. J. Brill, 1985), pp. 93–117.
from mere building. . . . [T]his encroachment by an irre- 19. Barbara Montero, “Proprioception as an Aesthetic
ducibly metaphorical situation, with architecture defined as Sense,” The Journal of Aesthetics and Art Criticism 64 (2006):
the representation of something else, extends to language, 231–242.
where architectural metaphors are very common. There is 20. Keith Critchlow, Islamic Patterns (Rochester, VT: In-
the façade, generally concealing some sordid reality; there ner Traditions, 1976).
is the secret, hidden architecture itself that one discovers . . . 21. Martin Heidegger, “Origin of the Work of Art,” in
in the universe itself where one acknowledges the creator’s Philosophies of Art and Beauty, ed. and trans. Albert Hof-
unified plan; pillars are not all literally pillars of the church; stadter and Richard Kuhns (University of Chicago Press,
keystones prevent systems (whether political, philosophical, 1964), pp. 650–708.
or scientific) from collapsing; to say nothing of foundations” 22. Charles Fonton, Yüzyılda Türk Müziği, trans.
(pp. 31–32). Cem Behar (Istanbul: Pan, 1987); see also Cem Behar,
3. Hugh Pearman, Contemporary World Architecture Klasik Türk Musıkisi Üzerine Denemeler (Istanbul: Bağlam
(London: Phaidon, 1998). Yayıncılık, 1987).
4. Christian Norberg-Schulz, Meaning in Western Archi- 23. Howard Crane, An Early Seventeenth Century Ot-
tecture (London: Studio Vista, 1975), pp. 334, 362. toman Treatise on Architecture (Leiden, the Netherlands: E.
5. Charles Jencks, The Language of Postmodern Archi- J. Brill, 1987), p. 34.
tecture (London: Rizolli, 1977). 24. I thank Fred Stark for his help in revising the English.
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