This short, but highly interesting article will guide you through some of the most impressive mosaics in the world, chosen by none other than – me! So, be advised, this is my personal view of the issue at hand. While these all may be different to one another by style, or material used, or even just the year they were made in, (yeah, some of them are quite old), there is certainly a connecting point for all of them, they all have an impressive fact attached to them, if not only visually interesting. Here is a list of some of them I chose to present to you, mosaic enthusiasts.
The Jameh Mosque in Yazd was built in the 12th century but was majorly rebuilt in the 1300’s. In the regular Islamic style, it is covered in mosaic patterns almost all over the place, which gives a stunning look to it. That is probably why it is featured on the Iranian 200 rial banknote. An interesting fact is that the mosque has the tallest tower – or so called minaret, at a staggering 48 meters of height! The sample picture shows how intricate the patterns are.
Mediana was a rather small ancient Roman settlement near modern-day city of Nish, Serbia, but is known for the fact that emperor Constantine the Great was born and lived there. Yep, that is the guy who made Christianity the mainstream religion in the Roman Empire. The whole place is littered with breathtaking mosaics, most of which, sadly, are all worn out with no or little funds to restore them, or put them out to the public at large. For now, only a few of them are put on display, but the restoring process is, as they say, largely underway.
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This place may not be as old, or as historically important as the previous two, but it is evenly or, maybe, even more impressive! This small house is located in Chartres, some 50 miles southwest of Paris, and between 1938 and 1964 its owner completely covered it in ceramic tiles, making the whole thing one huge mosaic. It is a certainly original approach, because of which this house is visited by more than 30.000 tourists a year. Intricately detailed, it doesn’t ever seem to impress whoever visits it.
The town of Ravenna in Italy seems to be very rich in beautiful mosaics. Amongst all of these mosaics, the three that are the ones that, somehow, pop up first are the Basilica of Saint Apollinare Nuovo, Sant Apollinare in Classe and the Basilica of San Vitale. They date back to the 5th and 6th century AD, and are all done in an early Christian style and theme. The sample picture shows a wall in the Basilica of Saint Apollinare Nuovo and some of its Christianity-motivated scenes. Feel free to search the other two on Google.
This mosaic map was a historically relevant discovery back in 1894, when it was found during the construction of a Greek Orthodox Church. It was originally 16 meters long and 6 meters wide, but now only a part of it exists intact. That intact part shows the city of Jerusalem and it was a kind of a city map, with its surroundings, as it is supposed. It is a kind of a peer of the mosaics of Ravenna, since it was also constructed in the 6th century AD, but it is significant as it is the oldest mosaic map yet to be found.
San Diego, California
This huge glass tile mosaic mural hangs on the side wall of Villa Harvey Mandel in San Diego, California. It is one of the largest of its kind in the world as it reaches 43 feet in width and 72 feet in height. It is the work of the artist and designer Italo Botti, but, sadly, he died four months before it was completed. The mural shows the modern way of living in the USA, but in a subtle, almost old-fashioned way.
The French street artist, who has the alias “Invader”, is known around the world for stamping his mini-mosaics showing the low-resolution scenes from the game Space Invaders, first all over Paris, his hometown, then all over the rest of the world. He even has one on each and every letter on the infamous Hollywood sign. The sample shows one in the Netherlands, but he has works like these literally from Tokyo to Vancouver. A truly original approach to conceptual art, and he is a highly appreciated street artist at the World level. You also have instructions on how to reach his work in his books and portfolios. Paris is, of course, still the most “invaded” city in the world.
I hope you enjoyed this little tour around the world of mosaic art. Naturally there are a lot more certainly worth visiting, but if we wanted to pass through them all it would probably take years only to read this article, let alone visit every single location. So, find out more on these, and many other, slightly mosaics some other time.
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