Guestbook opened for now.  We aren't registering members at the moment.  Guests wanting to post brief queries may post in our guestbook.  No lengthy debates please. Kindly note: MV is a place for serious learning through mutual consultation where we have zero tolerance for trouble-makers, narcissists and needless disputants. We simply stand for what is compatible with the Noble Quran regardless of titles such as "traditionalism" or "modernism."
Muslim Villa
July 30, 2021, 09:28:21 pm
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
 
  Home Help Search Arcade Gallery Links Staff List Calendar Login Register  

Courtyard Homes: A Fabulous History


+-
Shoutbox
July 20, 2021, 11:41:46 am Ruhi_Rose: Wa'Salam and Eid al Adha mubarak dear Sis 🙂
July 20, 2021, 10:50:47 am Zeynab: As-Salaam Alaikum dear brothers and sisters.  Hajj mubarak and Eid-al-Adha mubarak.
July 15, 2021, 09:46:44 am N. Truth Seeker: What are the months for Hajj, and what does "Ten Nights" in Surah Al-Fajr refer to?  Visit the following link to study this very significant information.
4 months of Hajj, and Surah Al-Fajr.
July 12, 2021, 05:44:36 am Heba E. Husseyn: As we enter the month of Dhul Hijjah 1442, please read what the Great Quran says about Hajj.  Also visit the related links at the end of the same post to learn more.
July 10, 2021, 11:40:41 am Zeynab: They're folks with zero conscience.
July 10, 2021, 11:39:02 am N. Truth Seeker: I see ....  if they had only given a fraction of the money for rebuilding Gaza ..
July 10, 2021, 11:37:24 am Heba E. Husseyn: I think another slimeball is elon musk ..
July 10, 2021, 11:34:58 am N. Truth Seeker: so true sister.  Btw, are bezos and branson the only ones, anyone else as well trying to please their lowly ego?
View Shout History
Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Send this topic  |  Print  
Author Topic: Courtyard Homes: A Fabulous History  (Read 320 times)
Zeynab
TEAM MV Founder
Admin
Hero Member
*
Posts: 4848



WWW
Badges: (View All)
« on: May 07, 2018, 12:18:05 am »



Did you know that the culture of Courtyard Homes began in Syria?

The "courtyard"  ( صحن )   in modern terms does not have a noteworthy significance.   It's just another word for the compound of a house.   But in medieval  Islamic culture it had an altogether different overtone.  It was an  essential  element of every middle-class and wealthy residence with a distinctive, indigenous aura of its own.

The concept of courtyard houses is one of the most  amazing and professionally planned architectures of our Muslim Heritage  that originated in Syria, spreading across the Arab and Muslim world.  Courtyard homes weren't necessarily  characterized by their opulence.   In fact, most courtyard homes were  simple yet their subtle nuances were striking displays of enduring  architectural layouts  decorated with  intricately woven geometric patterns and shapes.

Courtyard housing dates back to hundreds of years in Syrian history that began from the buildings of Bilad al-Shaam and those close to the rivers of Tigris and Euphrates.

 

The idea of a courtyard descended from ancient Arab travelers who pitched their tents on convenient spots of the desert to ensure shelter  and safety for themselves and their horses, cattle and camels.  As the  concept of Arab-Islamic architecture developed, the courtyard became  more specific.   The courtyard can be perceived as  something originating from the influence of the Arab nomadic lifestyle;  an open living area within the premises of one's own home having the  desired privacy, particularly for women of the household.

Some of the most awesome courtyard houses were built in Damascus, the  best ones in Aleppo Province, which lasted for centuries from the era of  the Rashadun, Ommayads and Abbasids.  Unfortunately, it's highly likely  that many of these priceless edifices have been destroyed during  the Syrian war beginning early 2011.



 

The traditional courtyard house in Syria had a floor at basement level;  a  ground floor for family gathering (called ‘salamek’ implying the  Islamic greeting "salam");  and a first floor of private rooms for family  members (known as ‘harmlek’).  These  houses were usually accessed through a modest space leading into a  spacious and beautifully landscaped courtyard. It was very difficult,  therefore, to judge the level of wealth or modesty of the houses from  their external appearance.  Most Syrian courtyards had a humble  exterior.  Their size and interior beauty depended on the wealth of the  occupying families.



The building materials locally available influenced the appearance of Syria's courtyard homes. Abundance of stone in the area made it the main building material.  Walls were frequently formed with layers of white and black stones called Al-Ablaq, a distinctive characteristic of the courtyard houses of Syria. 

Landscaping with decorative planting were synonymous with Syrian  courtyard housing. Climbing jasmine and rose bushes, citrus trees of  oranges and lemon, added color and fragrance to the courtyard  atmosphere.  Small architectural fountains with the sound of spouting  water in the center of many courtyards created a dramatically striking  effect. Plants and water within the courtyard also helped maximize  shading and cooling the surroundings in warm summer months.



Social, cultural and religious factors have played an important role in the shaping of  courtyard homes in Syria.   The need for privacy was of greatest importance.

Entertaining guests and relatives was (and still is) important in the lives of Syrian families. Courtyards were generally the venue of entertainment instead of the interiors of homes. ‘Thursday weekly courtyard parties’ were a common feature.  Guests were invited for dinner and entertained in the courtyard with folk music.  Female gatherings were the most significant part of the culture on a weekly basis, strengthening both family and neighborly ties.





Quoting below a comprehensive excerpt from 'Met Museum, Art of the Islamic World'   which includes every aspect of the wide culture of courtyard houses in Damascus, 1700s.

"Within the city walls, 18th century Damascus was densely built.  Palatial residences stood alongside more humble dwellings, bathhouses,  mausoleums, schools, and places of worship, all within a grid of  bustling market streets, narrow alleys, and cul-de-sacs. Courtyard  houses traditionally  accommodated an extended family, often consisting of three or more  generations, as well as domestic servants. Narrow winding entryways to  these domestic residences - preceded by plain exterior doors - obscured  views of the interior from pedestrians on the busy streets outside. The  entrance created a dramatic effect as guests traveled from the simple  exterior through a dark and narrow passage, which opened onto an airy,  lushly planted courtyard surrounded by living spaces. Windows and  balconies often lined the interior walls of the home, rather than the  street, enabling its residents to take full advantage of the calm and  quiet courtyard within."



Unfortunately the Arab home with its internal courtyard has disappeared in contemporary architecture in a rapidly changing world with a variety of ups and downs -  imperialist wars, occupations, collaborators, conspirators, economic woes, the senseless craze of immigration etc.  Families have been torn apart and the significance of togetherness, tradition and culture have changed exceedingly.
 


Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Ruhi_Rose
TEAM MUSLIM VILLA The Avid Reader | Mom of 3 cute rascals
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3497



WWW
Badges: (View All)
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2018, 01:28:13 am »



Adorable !!    As I read this I almost floated away down the memory lane.  What lovely and cozy lives they lived back then.  These courtyard homes were heavenly.  I don't mean the splendor.  Many were very simple as you rightly stated.  I'm alluding to the atmosphere of cohesive bond in down-to-earth, well planned dwellings. 

Many thanks for this lovely read, my dear sis.   The images are mesmerizing.  May Allah The Almighty grant us a similar close-knit community of the righteous in Jannat, InshAllah, ameen.


Report Spam   Logged

Heba E. Husseyn
TEAM MUSLIM VILLA Villa Artisan
Hero Member
*****
Posts: 3889



WWW
Badges: (View All)
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2019, 03:04:10 am »



Such an adorable post!  Smiley    Reminds me so vividly of the stories of my ancestors told to me by my dear parents and grandparents.  I so much wish I lived back in those times.   Modern era stinks  Sad
Report Spam   Logged

Zeynab
TEAM MV Founder
Admin
Hero Member
*
Posts: 4848



WWW
Badges: (View All)
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2019, 03:05:47 am »



Yeah, those were such marvelous times .....  Smiley
Report Spam   Logged


Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Send this topic  |  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Scammers & spammers will be reported | © If you borrow MV contents you must mention our link with hypertext | MV Team is not responsible for comments by members or guests.
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum


Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy