Although the Islamic buildings in China have their origins in the Arabic world, they have taken on an architectural form incorporating also Chinese features. Islam was first introduced to China by land in the western territories and to the coastal cities by sea during the Tang dynasty. Mosques were subsequently built throughout China. Along the coast these magnificent buildings were constructed in traditional Arabic style, of brick and stone with flat roofs, while further inland elaborate timber constructions arose. The sheer quantity and variety of mosques and Islamic tombs illustrated provides a considerable insight into this very Chinese architectural form.
Preface to the English Edition.- Preface.- List of Photographs.- Foreword.- Photographs: Northern China (Sites North of the Yellow River); Central China (East and Southwest China); Northeast China; Sites North of the Great Wall; Western Sites.- Text: The Historical Development of Islamic Buildings - The spread from Arabia into China via the Silk and Spice Road: The Beginnings and the Spread Eastwards; The Period of Transplantation; The Period of Formation; Period of Adjustment; The Period of Stagnancy and Decline.- The Categories and Composition of Islamic Buildings - The unique features of the mosques and mausoleums with their mixture of Chinese and Arab characteristics: The Mosques; The Mausoleums.- The Layout an d Fitting up of Islamic Buildings - The technical and artistic achievements of the two major types of Chinese Islamic buildings: The Architectural Layout, Treatment of Space and Artistic Achievements; The Architectural Fittings and Decoration.- Appendices.- Glossary.- Notes on the Photographs.- Maps and Chronology.