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003. 'Anah — Minaret at 'Anah

Northern Al-Anbar Governorate.

Date: circa 1058, or perhaps a century later, Uqaylid period



The minaret at 'Anah was reportedly destroyed on June 22, 2006. Photo © Iraqi State Antiquities Board

The Minaret was located in the town of Anah, in western Iraq, near the banks of the middle Euphrates River a short distance from the main road connecting Iraq and Syria, about 80 km east of the Syrian border and 310 km west of Baghdad. The minaret was built by a member of the Uqaylid dynasty of Mosul during the 10th century, or more likely the 11th century.

Scholar Francis Deblauwe reports that the minaret was allegedly destroyed by an explosion on 22 June 2006. According to Deblauwe, "the Iraqi Accord Front, a mainly Sunni Arab Islamist Iraqi political coalition, accuses Shi'ites of staging a deliberate campaign of destroying national and esp. Sunni-origin monuments: the top of the Malwiyyah minaret in Samarra (also a famous monument built by a Sunni dynasty, this time the Abassids), the monument of el-Mansur in Baghdad, etc."

The Archnet Digital Library describes the Minaret at 'Anah in the following manner: "As a freestanding tower, its octagonal plan differs from the Seljuk and Zangid Iraqi minarets of the same period. It is built with rubble stones and covered with juss, or gypsum.

The octagonal base has an arched opening onthe north side providing access to the interior of the minaret. Its octagonal shaft leans sidewise. It is decorated with eight rows of arched niches set in rectangular frames. Every row is composed of eight niches located on each of the eight sides of the octagon. Some of these sixty-four niches constitute windows to light the internal staircase. The shaft ends with an octagonal recessed spire covered by a low dome. This recess creates a space for the balcony inscribed inside the minaret envelope; it is accessible through four arched openings situated on the sides of the octagonal spire below the dome."

Source: ArchNet


  34° 26' 54" 
  34.448333° N
  41° 59' 46"
  41.996111° E

   GoogleEarth satellite image
   of 'Anah (external resource)