The Mosque and School of Al-Amiryah
The Amiriya Madrasa (Amiriya School) located in southeast of Rada’a is one of the greatest monuments in Yemen. It was established by the last king of Tahirid Dynasty Sultan ‘Amir bin abd al-Wahab in 1504.
The Amiriya Madrasa (Amiriya School) located in southeast of Rada’a is one of the greatest monuments in Yemen. It was established by the last king of Tahirid Dynasty Sultan ‘Amir bin abd al-Wahab in1504.
Sultan Abdul Wahab of the Tahirid Dynasty was not only a great administrator but a lover of art also. The Madrasat Amiriya was built in Islamic-style in its purity of line and proportion and the use of space.
It considered as one of the most important 16th-century buildings still extant in the Yemen. The Amiriya Islamic School, was a remarkable scientific and religious educational center in its day. Students from the Arab and Islamic regions came to the school in search of knowledge.
The al-Amiriya Madrasa is the most extravagantly ornate monument in Yemen, a abundance of domes, arches, and niches on the outside, and a decorated delight on the inside, with wonderful carved stucco patterns and inscriptions and extraordinary painted frescoes which colors were still vibrant.
Al-Amiriya is three stories high. The ground floor contains a series of shops along the outside and vaulted rooms on the inside, with a public bath (hammam) at the southwest corner. The first floor contains the prayer hall preceded by an inner court to the south, and is accessed with stairs from two porches to the east and south.
Its inner court, which is enveloped by an arcade of slender columns, is flanked to the east and west by rectangular madrasa halls that face the street with four mashrabiyya, or timber-screened window boxes.
The prayer hall, similarly, is enveloped by vaulted galleries with wide archways pierced into the east, west and south façades of the madrasa. The northern gallery, located behind the qibla wall, is distinguished with carved stucco panels and an octagonal ablution basin.
A ribbed dome rises the end of each gallery, the domes to the north, which occupy the corners of the madrasa, are enclosed into rooms with mashrabiyya. Two other ribbed domes mark the southern ends of the madrasa halls.
Together, the six ribbed domes sit symmetrically on the flat roof terrace, which is protected all around by a parapet of floral crenellations. The walls of the prayer hall rise three meters above the roof terrace, allowing clerestory windows to bring light to the inside. Its six identical round domes, which are hoisted on tall archways falling on two heavy columns, dominate the madrasa’s roofline.
Externally, the three fronts north, east and west, are punctuated by arched openings breeze. The blast slender profile crown the building at the terraces, or stand out six domes elevated to the prayer hall.