Manara Madrasa al-Muzaffar
Arbīl, Iraq
The minaret was built in 1190 by Muzaffar al-Din Abu Sa'id al-Kawkaburi, the ruler of Arbil. Excavations conducted by the Iraqi Directorate of Antiquities in 1960, and in 1980, have uncovered the foundations of a large mosque to the southeast of the minaret, disproving the previously held belief that the minaret was part of the madrasa built by the same donor.

The minaret is composed of a high octagonal base and a tall cylindrical shaft, with a balcony located between the base and the shaft. It is built of baked bricks. The base is decorated with two tiers of niches with pointed arches, two on each of the eight faces that are inscribed in rectangular frames. The balcony parapet is carved with twenty-four small niches. The access door to the minaret steps is on the eastern side of the octagonal base and leads top the balcony. From there a small door gives access to steps inside the cylindrical shaft that led to the second balcony now collapsed.

The shaft tapers inward and is decorated with several bands of interlocking diagonal Hazar-Baf motifs that are separated with thin bands.


Bosworth, Clifford Edmond. 1996. The New Islamic Dynasties. New York: Columbia University Press, 190-191.

Sami ibn al-Sayyid Khammas. 1992. Imarat Irbil fi al-'Asr al-'Abbasi wa-mu'arrikhuha Ibn al-Mustawfi. Al-Riya': Dar al-Shawwaf, 95.

Uluçam, Abdüsselam. 1989. Irak'taki Türk Mimari Eserleri. Ankara: Kültür Bakanligi, 123-124, 411-412.
Arbīl, Iraq
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Associated Names
1190/585 AH
Style Periods
Variant Names
Minaret of Madrasa al-Muzaffar
Manarat Madrasat al-Muzaffar
Building Usages