The mosque of Umar is located in the ancient Roman city of Bosra, about 140 km south of Damascus. Although Bosra is known for its famous, still-intact Roman theatre, the city also displays strong Islamic (especially Ayyubid) architectural influences. Some of its Islamic monuments include: Hammam Majak, Mosque of al-Khider, Mabrak Mosque, Fatima Mosque and the Mosque of Umar. The mosque of Umar is one of the oldest surviving mosques in Islamic history. The Caliph Umar, who led the Muslim conquest of Syria in 636, founded the mosque. It was completed in 720 by the Caliph Yazid II and renovated and expanded in the twelfth and thirteenth centuries by the Ayyubid dynasties who also fortified the Roman theatre and baths.
The mosque's plan is arranged around an enclosed courtyard wrapped with a single arcade on the eastern and western sides and a double arcade on the southern side that leads to the prayer hall. The courtyard was originally used as a market and sleeping area for traveling caravans on the trade routes across Syria, especially on the annual pilgrimage roads to Mecca. The mosque has one of the earliest examples of an Umayyad square minaret, which was repeated in the other great Umayyad mosques in Damascus and Aleppo.
Burns, Ross. Monuments of Syria, 61-66. London: I.B. Tauris & Co Ltd., 1992.
Ecochard, Michel. La Restauration des monuments islamiques en Syrie. s.n. ca. 1943.
An illustrated survey of restoration work done on Islamic monuments in Syria between 1935 and 1942. The document includes a chronological narrative and summary (pp. 5-7) and a list of monuments restored or in the process of being restored while Henri Seyrig was Director of the Antiquities Service (p. 8). The remainder of the document is divided into sections illustrated with drawing and photos by Michel Ecochard, on the following topics: - minarets, pp. 9-12 - cupolas, pp. 13-16 - interiors, pp. 17-20 - scaffoldings pp. 21-24 - selected monuments pp. 25-28