The mosque was put into operation in the 9th century AD. by the Abbasid caliph Al-Mutawakkil, who reigned in Samara. At the time of construction, it was the largest mosque in the world, covering an area of 38,000 square meters.
The mosque consists of a rectangular building inside with dimensions of 239 x 156 meters and an external, closed rectangular building measuring 374 x 443 meters. The mosque enclosed by an external baked brick wall 10 meters high, with a total of 16 gates and 44 semicircular towers.
The mosque’s minaret is a conical tower with a spiral ramp. One of the most famous minarets, it is 52 meters tall. It is positioned on a square base and has an exterior staircase. The base is 33 square meters and is almost three meters high. This base supports the ramp which goes up the tower counterclockwise five times until reaching the top to a small cylindrical room.
The Great Mosque of Samara was destroyed mainly after the Mongol invasion of Iraq in the 13th century. In 2005, the mostly intact minaret was also partially destroyed by a bomb attack.