A mashrabiya (Arabic: مشربية), also either shanshūl (شنشول) or rūshān (روشان), is an architectural element which is characteristic of traditional architecture in the Islamic world and beyond. In Turkish it is called şahnişin, from Persian, and this has been adopted into Greek as sachnisi. It is a type of projecting oriel window enclosed with carved wood latticework located on the upper floors of a building, sometimes enhanced with stained glass. It was traditionally used to catch and passively cool the wind; jars and basins of water were placed in it to cause evaporative cooling. It has been used since the Middle Ages and up to the 20th century. It is most commonly used on the street side of the building; however, it may also be used internally on the sahn (courtyard) side. The term "mashrabiya" is sometimes used of similar lattices elsewhere, for instance in a takhtabush.
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