#168 Great Mosque of Djenne & #112 Palace of Westminster

Great Mosque of Djenné was founded around 1200 C.E and rebuilt around 1906–1907. Made from adobe, this mosque is a representation of Islam’s influence in Sub-Saharan Africa. Having been rebuilt three times, it shows the value of religion in the empire. Their effort to rebuilt and maintain the adobe on the building shows how much they respect the Islamic faith. Palace of Westminster are the English Houses of Parliament, designed by Charles Barry and Augustus W. N. Pugin. Made of limestone masonry and glass in 1840–1870 C.E., it holds the 2 central houses of government: House of Commons and House of Lords. Having been rebuilt once after a fire burned down the original, it shows the value it holds in English culture. Both of these show the influence art has on the power and social atmosphere of an empire. The Great Mosque of Djenne is respected as the holy site for Islam as it a holy site for the community to come together at. The Palace of Westminster is placed at the center of the city because the English appreciate their connection to the government.

Visually, both are formed to be made of more natural material. Both are made from industrial materials on the exterior: limestone for the Palace of Westminster and adobe for the Great Mosque of Djenne. The Palace of Westminster is placed on a concrete base, showing the modern techniques for architecture. On the other hand, the Great Mosque of Djenne is made from adobe in accordance to Islamic design to make the exterior more simple. However, it still is valued for its size as it is the largest mud-brick building in the world. This shows how they tried to form the buildings in a way in which they could flow with the other buildings in their areas, detailing that there is importance in the more natural look and creating it where these buildings are valued in everyday activities.

Visually, both differ in their general design. For the Palace of Westminster, the piece shows a Gothic revival with its arches and windows and the intricate carvings done into them. This was done as a response to the rise of manufacturing buildings and factories that diminished the beauty of the city itself. It shows how much the English wanted to respect their past designs/architecture. On the other hand, the Great Mosque of Djenne is more natural, given that it is in a central area of the empire. It does still show the transition between everyday life and the marketplace nearby to the sacred site itself with the use of a staircase. Its design allows for there to be a connection to religion for the whole empire.

Contextually, both hold value in their community since they were rebuilt. For the Palace of Westminster, there was a contest made out on how to design the new Palace after the first burnt down. The Great Mosque gets refined every few years or so because material needs to be reapplied with mud brick. Both gained more importance because it shows how much these buildings are valued if they were remade and are still being refurbished to this day.

Contextually, both differ in their value between church and state. The Great Mosque of Djenne is a central part of the Mali for its religious ideals, while the Palace of Westminster is a respected part of English culture more than religion because of their part in the development of government. Both are central areas for religion but the Great Mosque of Djenne is more for advancing Islamic faith, while the Palace of Westminster advances the power of the government in England.




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s