Mshatta Palace (Qaṣr al-Mshattā) is
an unfinished Islamic palace. It may have been built by the caliph al-Walid II to welcome
pilgrims returning from Mecca.
Mshatta Palace - Histtory and Architecture
The outer enclosure is a square
shaped building made of fine ashlar masonry with regularly spaced half-round buttresses and, on
the south, a gate flanked by two semi-octagonal towers.
The interior of Mshatta is divided
into three tracts, of which only the central one was laid out, again in three parts. The
gate-block appears to have consisted of an enclosed hall, a small court and a mosque, but only
the base courses were laid out.
The second part comprised a large
open court. The third block had a triple-arched façade in front of an audience hall containing
two rows of grey–green marble columns terminating in a triconch.
The hall, of which the plan derives
from a late Roman type, was flanked by four suites of four vaulted rooms around a court. The
walls, which rested on three courses of limestone masonry, were built of fired brick and
supported slightly pointed pitched-brick vaults of Mesopotamian style.
The most notable feature is the
richly carved south façade presented by the Ottoman sultan Abdülhamid II (1876–1909) to Emperor
William II. The façade is divided by a zigzag moulding into 40 triangles 2.95 m high, in
various stages of completion. Each triangle has a central rosette in high relief, and the
remainder of the field is sculpted in low relief with chalices, vines, lions, birds and
Rediscovered by Europeans several
times in the 19th century, the Mshatta was variously attributed to the Ghassanid and the
Lakhmid dynasties in the 6th century AD or to the Sasanian occupation of Syria in the early
An attribution to Islamic times,
however, is certain because of the integral presence of the mosque and is supported by the find
of two bricks fired with Arabic graffiti and one with an Arabic stamp
Qasr Mshatta Map&Locatin
Mshatta Palace is located 25 km south of Amman, Jordan. See bellow the
location on the map:
Qasr Mshatta in a larger map