Movable domes in Masjid Nabawi

Over the centuries, the Prophet’s Mosque in Medina, known as Masjid al-Nabawi has been expanded and modernized to accommodate the growing number of pilgrims visiting Medina, especially during the Hajj and Umrah seasons.

a circular pattern on a ceiling

One of the notable features of the current structure includes the innovative movable domes. Integrated as part of the mosque’s recent expansions, these domes are engineered to optimize the environmental comfort for worshippers. They are strategically placed and are technologically equipped to slide open or close. When opened, they allow natural light and ventilation, helping to cool the large spaces below during hot weather. When closed, they provide shade and protect worshippers from the harsh sun.

These movable domes are a marvel of modern engineering within a religious architectural context, blending functionality with aesthetic grace. They are typically adorned with Islamic art and calligraphy, reflecting traditional designs while being built with contemporary materials and mechanisms.

This feature not only enhances the mosque’s capacity to manage large crowds but also represents a fusion of tradition and modernity, showing respect for the historic and religious importance of the mosque while using cutting-edge technology to meet current needs. This adaptation ensures that Masjid al-Nabawi continues to serve as a place of worship, learning, and community, in a manner that is safe, comfortable, and spiritually enriching for all visitors.

  • The movable domes of the Prophet’s Mosque were built to a standard size, with a rib at thebase measuring 18 meters in length and weighing 80 tons. They move on iron rods that havea total length of 1573 linear meters. A variety of materials were combined to give the domesdecorative touches, and they were covered from the inside with strips.
  • The movable domes of the Prophet’s Mosque are constructed of solid cedar wood,embellished with ceramic pieces with harmonious geometric patterns and wooden figures with blue turquoise inlays to match the domes’ exterior beige color. They are also covered with hexagonal mosaics.
  • There are 27 movable domes of the Prophets Mosque in total, all of which are regularly maintained. They are mounted on a base that is square in shape and has 18 m of sides, 80 tons are each. It is supported by 1573 m of iron bars that are used to move it.
  • These domes are composed of a structural framework covered from the inside with wooden pieces made of 2 mm thick solid cedar wood slats that were put together with special glue and embellished with eye-catching geometric wooden shapes and blue turquoise pieces.

Reference- Instagram