13 December 2012

Mashrabiya مشربية or Shanasheel شناشيل

Here are some more examples of Mashrabiya or Shanasheel windows.  All of the photographs below were taken in Sidi Bou Said.  In some of the photographs below, it is possible to see these Mashrabiya or Shanasheel windows adorned with cylindrical glazed brick tiles and also decorated with Tunisian tiles.
Just to remind you Mashrabiya or Shanasheel is a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the second storey of a building or higher, often lined with stained glass.   This is an element of traditional Arabic architecture used since the middle ages up to the mid-20th century. It is mostly used on the street side of the building; however, it may also be used internally on sahn side.  Mashrabiyas were mostly used in houses and palaces although sometimes in public buildings such as hospitals, inns, schools and government buildings. They are found mostly in the mashriq – i.e. east of the Arab world, but some types of similar windows are also found in the maghrib (west of the Arab world). They are very prevalent in Iraq, the Levant, Hejaz and Egypt. They are mostly found in urban settings and rarely in rural areas. Basra is often called “the city of Shanasheel”.

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