Masjid al-Shawadhna
Nizwa, Oman

The Shawadhna Mosque is a historic mosque in the city of Nizwa, located among the dwellings of the 'Aqr quarter just south of the city's citadel fortress. The mosque existed in the first half of the sixteenth/tenth century AH, as an inscription dates its carved stucco mihrab to 1529/936 AH.

The mosque is an irregularly shaped structure consisting of a courtyard, prayer hall, and ablutions room. The mosque is located on a terrace that accommodates for the sloping terrain of the neighborhood, and is thus above street level. The entrance is an unassuming archway leading up a flight of narrow stairs onto the east end of the mosque's courtyard. Directly across from the landing of these stairs, in the southeastern corner of the court, is a room attached to an ablutions fountain. The prayer hall occupies the northern facade of the courtyard, on which three large doors open onto three aisles parallel to the qibla wall. Four large columns in two rows of two support the roof. Three windows on the hall's northern wall, directly opposite the doors to the courtyard on the southern wall, admit light into the hall. 

The mosque is unadorned except for an ornate mihrab on the qibla wall of the prayer hall. The mihrab niche takes the form of a shallow pointed arch surmounted by an arch-shaped lunette with a blue and white ceramic bowl inset into its center, surmounted itself by an inscription. Framing this is a field filled with a geometric repeat pattern in a deeply cut style, which rests on decorative columns. Framing this is a larger frame featuring rows of circular recessions, which are filled and framed by vegetal motifs. Surmounting the mihrab is a monumental inscription containing the shahada.


Costa, Paolo. Historic Mosques and Shrines of Oman, 53-57. Oxford: Archaeopress, 2001.

Nizwa, Oman
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Associated Names
mihrab constructed in 1529/936 AH
Variant Names
مسجد الشواذنة
Shawadhna Mosque
Building Usages