The Minaret of Samarra, also known as the Malwiya Minaret or Malwiya Tower is part of the Great Mosque of Samarra in Samarra, Iraq. The mosque is one of the largest in the world, and was built by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil. The minaret was originally connected to the mosque by a bridge.
The minaret or tower was constructed in 848 – 852 of sandstone, and is unique among other minarets because of its ascending spiral conical design. 52 metres high and 33 metres wide at the base, the spiral contains stairs reaching to the top. The word “malwiya” translates as “twisted” or “snail shell”.
At the top of the cone is a small cylindrical room with a six-metre radius. This room is decorated with eight arcs on the outside. Each arc is erected on two small brick posts.
Unlike most minarets, the Malwiya was not used for the “call to prayer”; its height made it impractical for such use. However, it is visible from a considerable distance in the area around Samarra and therefore may have been designed as a strong visual statement of the presence of Islam in the Tigris Valley.