• Elizabeth Merklinger: Four Great Islamic Monuments
Elizabeth Merklinger: Four Great Islamic Monuments

Four Great Islamic Monuments 
Lecture by Dr.Elizabeth Schotten Merklinger

4 October 2007, 20:00

The Architecture Department of Stacion Center for Contemporary Arts, Prishtina hosts Dr.Elizabeth Schotten Merklinger and her lecture "Four Great Islamic Monuments".

In this lecture four great monuments of the Muslim world are examined: the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem, the Shah Mosque in Isfahan, the Alhambra in Spain and the Taj Mahal in India.

Islamic architecture revolves around three very different structures, the mosque, the palace and the mausoleum. The mosque is unusual in religious building in that it has no liturgical centre, the mihrab simple indicates the direction of Mecca. 

The palace on the other hand is dominated by the personality of the monarch whose audience chamber forms an obvious point of the bldg complex.Because of the social and political basis of Islam the mosque has rarely been simply a place of worship; it corresponds to church, townhall, school and hostel, all under one roof.

Artistically the mosque is of great importance. Not only did the finest calligraphers and decorators embellish its surfaces and its mihrab, but all objects of furniture in wood and glass (lamps, minbar and puplit) were of the highest quality.

We will be looking at four different Islamic monuments today: 1 mosque, 1 palace and one mausoleum, as well as one building which does not allow itself to be classified.


Elizabeth Schotten Merklinger

Dr.Elizabeth Schotten Merklinger is an art and architectural historian and a frequent university and museum lecturer. She has taught at a number of universities in North America and Europe, among them Carleton University (Ottawa, Canada), University of Ottawa (Ottawa, Canada), Concordia University (Montreal), Cambridge University (UK), Oxford University (UK), Georgetown  University (Washington, D.C.) and the Smithsonian Institution (Washington, D.C.). 

She has been a broadcaster and has produced radio documentaries for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, including a four-part series, "The Answers in the East", as well as several short documentaries on a variety of political topics such as "The Power of Islam". She has been a curator at the National Gallery of Canada (two exhibitions on Buddhist and Hindu art) and at the Canadian Museum of Civilization( Quebec ).

Dr.Merklinger has lectured extensively on a variety of cruise ships since her retirement from fulltime university teaching about a decade ago. In addition to lecturing and writing, she has been on contract to such organizations as the World Bank and Canadian International Development Agency in a number of countries in the Caucasus,

Asia and Central America working on tourism development projects. Dr.Merklinger received BA and MA degrees from Cambridge University (UK) and a PhD in History and Architectural History from Delhi University, India. She is the author of a number of scholarly publications including two books on Islamic architecture, Sultanate Architecture of PreMughal India (2005) and Indian Islamic Architecture:The Deccan (1982).

This event is sponsored by Kosova Foundation for Open Society.