Islamic Seljuk architectural genius at Divrigi Ulu mosque, Sivas, Turkey: combination of sacred art, mathematics, astronomy and architecture

One recent discovery reveals that Muslim architects and scientists used mathematics far beyond producing decorative patterns. This is revealed in the Divrigi Ulu mosque, one of the masterpieces of Selçuk architecture located in Sivas, Turkey. It is known for its outstanding geometric styles and botanic designs. This astonishing mosque was founded in 1228 by the Mengücekid emir, Ahmet Shah. It was built by the architect Hürremsah from Ahlat. The UNESCO recognised, is cultural significance and it placed in the World Heritage List in 1985.

Recent discoveries show that there shadows of different silhouettes appear on the carvings of the outside walls of the mosque.During the different hours of a day, four shadows appear on the walls facing different directions: the first three are the silhouettes of a man looking straight, reading a book and praying, respectively, and the last one is the silhouette of a praying woman. These remarkable features could not have been designed without the combination of mathematics, astronomy and art. Actually, before the construction of the mosque had started, the scientists observed the positions of the sun and stars for two years. After very careful calculations had been done, the results were applied in the construction of the walls and the carving of the outside doors.



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