Homs – Mosques
حمص – الجوامع

There are numerous historic mosques (الجوامع) scattered throughout the old city of Homs (حمص), though little research is available on most of them. Characteristic of these mosques is the black basalt stone used in their construction, often featuring tall square minarets with minimal decoration. Many of these stones were recycled from the Roman and Byzantine periods, when the city was known as Emesa. In their present form, the majority of these buildings date from the Mamluk and Ottoman eras. Over a dozen mosques can be found throughout the old city, mostly in the western and southern neighborhoods.

The largest and most well documented of these historic mosques is al-Nuri al-Kabir Mosque (جامع النوري الكبير), in the northwestern quarter of the old city. The site of a Pagan temple under the Romans, then the Church of St. John under the Byzantines, the present mosque at the site dates back to Seljuq era (12th-13th century). The name suggests it was constructed under the rule of Nur al-Din Mahmoud Zenki (نور الدين محمود زنكي). The mosque has a large rectangular courtyard oriented east-west, with the prayer hall on the southern side. The interior features cross-vaulted architecture common to the period. Recycled stones from the Roman and Byzantine periods have been used throughout the building, which is generally open even outside of regular prayer times.

Note that the famous Khalid Ibn al-Walid Mosque (مسجد خالد ابن الوليد), outside of the old city, is covered separately.

 

Getting There: Homs (حمص) is Syria’s third largest city and its central location means that it has regular bus connections to all major cities in Syria. The al-Nuri al-Kabir Mosque (جامع النوري الكبير) is centrally located near the entrance of the old city’s main market (سوق). Most of the other historic mosques are in the alleyways of the old city to the south and east.

Coordinates: 34°43’51.00″N / 36°42’53.00″E

Transliteration Variants: None

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