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Al-Saffar, M., 2020.

Baghdad; City of cultural heritage and monumental Islamic architecture

Output Type:Journal article
Volume/Issue:13 (25)

The urban form of Baghdad city has changed as the complexity of its systems has increased. The traditional urban form of the historic core of Baghdad (Old Rusafa) has been influenced by social, cultural, and religious factors. Baghdad old centre has much neglected Islamic monumental architecture going back to the Abbasid Empire, Al Mustansiryia School, for example. These antique buildings are located in the heritage area, surrounded by old suqs, narrow alleys and traditional Baghdadi houses that were largely built during Ottoman times. Old Rusafa has a long historical span of well over a thousand years, and it has become a complex urban organism. Nowadays, the traditional core forms a contrasting mixture of the dense irregular historic urban fabric and new expansions often conflicting with each other in form, function and scale. The complex urban structure and form in the city centre of Baghdad has provided an example of how to create privacy and a healthy environment for its people, especially within district society. During the last few decades, Old Rusafa has suffered in both its architectural monuments and areas; however, enough urban fabric remains to evoke its past grandeur. This research aims to explore the architecture and monumental heritage of the traditional core of Baghdad. It will seek to analyse significant buildings, mosques, traditional suqs and private houses that emphasise both urban fabric identity and the urban form of the traditional core. This paper will apply mixed research methods to assess the physical heritage urban context of Old Rusafa. It will use qualitative and quantitative techniques to gather information and examine the case study area. The result of this research will evaluate Baghdad urban and cultural heritage and raise awareness of the importance of safeguarding Baghdadi monumental Islamic architecture and its unique urban inheritance.