ORIENTATION OF THE FIFTEENTH AND SIXTEENTH CENTURY MOSQUES IN THE FORMER YUGOSLAVIA
Keywords:Mosque orientation, qibla, Yugoslavia, circular statistics, test of uniformity, von Mises distribution
The paper presents the analysis of the orientation of 60 mosques built in the XV and XVI centuries in the Balkans’ region of former Yugoslavia. The mosques have been selected according to their architectural value - mostly the dome mosques that were built by the most renowned builders. Based on the geographic coordinates, the qiblas of all mosques were calculated and the azimuths of their axes measured on orthophotographs. Statistical analysis has shown that the axes of these mosques vary in the horizon sector that is five times wider than the calculated sector of the correct qibla, with a systematic deviation of –10° 15' in relation to the correct qibla. Connections between deviations of the architectural design (dome mosques and other mosques), location and elevation have not been identified. However, a connection between deviations and the time of construction has been identified: deviations from the qibla are smaller in mosques built at a later date. The paper has laid the groundwork for future analysis of the causes of the aforementioned deviations: in the XV and XVI centuries there were no accurate geographic coordinates of locations and the builders were not able to calculate (take over, measure) the exact qibla direction, regardless of the method they applied.
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