The Muslim West
Mosques: A Place for Prayer
Great mosques and local mosques
The mosque is the main religious building in Islam. Built on a square or rectangular plan, it consists essentially of three parts: prayer room, courtyard and minaret.
The prayer room is divided into naves that are sometimes parallel or, more commonly, perpendicular to the qibla wall which faces Mecca, identified in turn by the mihrab niche that is often framed by a horseshoe arch and occasionally ornately decorated.
These features initially appeared in the Great Mosque of Córdoba and became fully established in Almohad mosques.
Djama'a al-Kebir (Great Mosque)

Hegira 490 / AD 1097
Algiers, Algeria
The typical features of these religious spaces can be found both in the great mosques financed by sovereigns and in the smaller local mosques built using donations pledged by the devout.