Project Information:

Project Title: Seldschukische Kuppelmoscheen in Iran
Funding Body: Volkswagen-Stiftung
Funding Period: 2018-19
Application in Opus Magnum-Programm der Volkswagen Stiftung
Applicant: Prof. Dr. Lorenz Korn

Domed mosques of the Saljuq period in Iran, funded by the Volkswagen Foundation (Opus Magnum programme)

The introduction of monumental dome halls under Saljuq rule in Iran (11th-12th cent. AD) is the most significant step in the development of mosque architecture between its origins in the 7th century and the Ottoman mosques with a centralizing dome from the 15th-16thcentury onwards. Re-designing the most important part of the prayer hall with the new concept of the monumental dome implied that the interior space of mosques achieved new qualities. The exterior of mosques was also fundamentally altered towards a new shape, which proved to establish a new type. The effect of this change can be seen to the present day. 

Reasons for this change, and the circumstances under which it happened, have not been sufficiently understood, while the importance of this transformation for the history of mosque architecture is generally acknowledged. In his research on Iranian mosques, Lorenz Korn takes a closer look at the conditions under which the type of larger mosques changed during the Saljuq period.

Generous funding through the ‘Opus Magnum’ scheme of the Volkswagen Foundation made it possible for him to work one year without teaching obligation, in order to process the material from field research and to summarize the results for a book publication. During the academic year 2018/19, Lorenz Korn was granted leave from the University of Bamberg and replaced by Ralph Bodenstein. The replacement was funded by the Volkswagen Foundation.



L. Korn: Domes in the Saljuq Architecture of Iran, in: Sheila Canby, Deniz Beyazit, Martina Rugiadi (eds.). The Seljuqs and Their Successors: Art, Culture, and History. Edinburgh 2020, pp. 72-87

L. Korn: Illustrating Islamic Architecture: On Visual Presentation and Scholarship, International Journal of Islamic Architecture 10 (2021), pp.171-190. (DOI: 10.1386/ijia_00038_1 10).

L. Korn: Twin Minarets in the Architecture of Iran, in: Melanie Gibson (ed.): Fruit of Knowledge, Wheel of Learning: Essays in Honour of Professor Robert Hillenbrand, London (forthcoming).

L. Korn: The Dome in the Mosque. The Formation of a New Building Type During the Saljuq Period (in preparation).