Perhaps no culture mastered the design and use of the arch more than the Muslims. Inheriting earlier arch forms from the Greeks and the Romans, Muslims developed a variety of new shapes including the horseshoe, multi-foil, pointed and the ogee arches. The passion they had for this motif is due to the regularly mystical/symbolic meanings associated with it, as well as its functional advantages. Their architecture uses it as a major structural and decorative feature. The arch soon spread to all cultures progressively becoming a global architectural motif. This article explores the significance of the arch, Muslims' understanding of it, and its transfer to Europe.
The Arch That Never Sleeps
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Figure 1: Sarajevo skyline. (Source: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=597483&page=66).
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