JOACHIM GIERLICHS, Ph.D., is an independent scholar, curator, and consultant in exhibition and museum planning, currently working as curatorial and collections consultant at the Zayed National Museum in Abu Dhabi, UAE. During the academic year 2018-2019 he was senior research fellow at the Alexander von Humboldt College for Islamic Intellectual History at the University of Bonn, Germany. From September 2013 to October 2016 he was director of special collections and archives at the Qatar National Library in Doha. Prior to that he was curator at the Museum of Islamic Art in Doha (2007–2010), guest curator and scientific adviser of the “Roads of Arabia” exhibition at the Pergamon Museum, Berlin (2012), and research associate at the Museum of Islamic Art in Berlin for the Yousef Jameel Digitization Project. His research focuses on the art and material culture of Anatolia, Iran and Central Asia in medieval and early modern times, and most recently also on the Arabian Peninsula and the Gulf region in the pre-modern and modern period. He is the author of many articles on various topics and the author and co-editor of several books, including “Islamic Art in Germany” (Mainz, 2004), “Crimea, Caucasus, and the Volga-Ural Region: Islamic Art and Architecture in the European Periphery” (Wiesbaden, 2009), “Focus 50: Unseen Treasures from the Museum of Islamic Art in Qatar” (Doha, 2010) and “Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures from Saudi Arabia” (Tübingen, 2012).


This paper will introduce and discuss a very specific type of mosques mainly to be found in Anatolia and in a few examples in Central Asia. Going back to the earliest scholarly contribution concerning this topic; an article in German by the eminent scholar Katharina Otto-Dorn (1908-1999), during her period as first professor of Islamic Art at Ankara University (1954-67) and which can still serve as an excellent overview, this contribution will first describe the main features of some of the most impressive examples from the 13th and 14th centuries in Afyon, Ankara, Beyşehir and Sivrihisar. In the second part several questions will be addressed:Why this type of mosques is mainly found in Anatolia, and there during the Seljuk and Emirates (Beylikler) periods? Is there any continuation of this mosque type into the Ottoman period? Are there any predecessors, e.g. in Central Asia, and how influential are they?Given that wood is needed for such mosques, why do we not find them e.g. in the wooden rich mountain areas of Mazandaran or Gilan to the south of the Caspian Sea in Iran?

Offerings by Speakers

Mosque: Innovation in Object, Form and Function

Wednesday 24th - 25th November, 2021
09:00 AM - 06:00 PM