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Mshatta Palace (Qaṣr al-Mshattā)

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 griffins.

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 7th.

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 impression.

Qasr Mshatta Map&Locatin

Mshatta Palace is located 25 km south of Amman, Jordan. See bellow the location on the map:

View Qasr Mshatta in a larger map

Mshatta Palace Photos

Click on the images to enlarge
Palace of Mshatta site by APAAME
Part of Mshatta Facade is decorated and exposed in Berlin at the Museum of Islamic Art (hosted by Pergamon Museum, Berlin, Germay) → see the map
Palace of Mshatta expo1 by valakirka
Palace of Mshatta expo2 by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Palace of Mshatta expo3 by Jean-Pierre Dalbéra
Palace of Mshatta expo4 by maywaskind