The eastern banks of the Tigris and Euphrates was where the capital of the Persian empire lay during the 7th century. Hence the proximity often led early Islamic architects to not just borrow, but adopt the traditions and ways of the fallen Persian empire.
Islamic architecture borrows heavily from Persian architecture and in many ways can be called an extension and further evolution of Persian architecture.
Many cities such as Baghdad, for example, were based on precedents such as Firouzabad in Persia. In fact, it is now known that the two designers hired by al-Mansur to plan the city's design were Naubakht (نوبخت) a former Persian Zoroastrian, and Mashallah (ماشاءالله), a former Jew from Khorasan, Iran.
Persian-style mosques are characterized by their tapered brick pillars, large arcades, and arches each supported by several pillars. In South Asia, elements of Hindu architecture were employed, but were later superseded by Persian designs.
Differences between Islamic architecture and Persian architecture
Like this of other nations that became part of the Islamic realm, Persian Architecture is not to be confused with Islamic Architecture and refers broadly to architectural styles across the Islamic world. Islamic architecture, therefore, does not directly include reference to Persian styles prior to the rise of Islam. Persian architecture, like other nations', predates Islamic architecture and can be correctly understood as an important influence on overall Islamic architecture as well as a branch of Islamic architecture since the introduction of Islam in Persia. Islamic architecture can be classified according to chronology, geography, and building typology.
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