The Ashmolean

Iraq: Navel of the World

Buildings [5]

Imam Hasan al-'Askari was the eleventh of the twelve Shia imams, a direct descendant of the prophet's cousin 'Ali. He lived in Samarra in the 9th century CE, but the shrine photographed by Creswell is of 17th century date. The enormous open archway, or iwan, at the front of the building, had been typical of local monumental architecture since pre-Islamic times.

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