Religious buildings are among the largest, nicest and most pampered buildings in the world. Islamic sanctuaries are no different. Mosques have always been the centre of religious, political and social life for most Muslims. No matter what period they were built, they were always meant to show God how his builders respected him. There are thousands of larger or smaller mosques in the world. In this article, we want to show you seven unique mosques from around the world.
Al Haram Mosque, Mecca, Saudi Arabia
The al-Masjid al-Haram mosque, sometimes referred to as the Great Mosque of Mecca, is the largest and oldest mosque in the world. In the middle of it stands the black shrine of Kaaba, which is the most sacred place for all Muslims. This indicates the direction in which all believers pray, wherever they are in the world. Abraham and his son Ismail built the Kaaba. A mosque has been built around Kaaba, and it has expanded several times over the centuries. Recent restorations are currently underway, allowing up to 2.5 million believers to fit into the mosque at the same time. Such a capacity is needed because the Grand Mosque is the annual destination of the sacred Hajj pilgrimage that every Muslim should undertake at least once in life.
Al Nabawi Mosque, Medina, Saudi Arabia
Masjid an-Nabawi, or the Prophet’s Mosque, is the second holiest place of all Muslims and the third oldest mosque in the world. It was founded in the centre of Medina by the prophet Muhammad himself after he escaped from Mecca. The mosque is often visited by pilgrims during their holy pilgrimage to Mecca, Hajj. The building also serves as a mausoleum of the Prophet Muhammad, whose grave is located directly under the Green Dome. Nowadays, the mosque is the centre of Medina and is surrounded by many hotels (فنادق المدينة المنورة) and an old market.
The Grand Mosque of Kuwait, Kuwait
The main mosque of the state of Kuwait is relatively young, as it was only completed in 1987. The building is only decorated with one minaret, and the mosque itself does not look spectacular from the outside. All the more surprising when entering. Its opulent interior decoration is stunning, the main hall is very ornate, and its ceiling symbolizes the sun. There are many other buildings in the area of the mosque, including a large library with Arabic literature. The mosque is open all days except for Fridays, and you can visit it with a free guided tour that speaks perfect English.
Kuwait is not a frequently visited country, so check out why it’s worth visiting Kuwait.
The Blue Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey
Construction of the mosque was completed in 1616, and its real name is the Sultan Ahmed Mosque. It is one of the most visited monuments in Istanbul. It is a very impressive and architecturally unique building built during the heyday of the Ottoman Empire. The mosque is visible from a wide area thanks to six minarets, and there is also Ahmed’s grave, school and hospice. The Blue Mosque was nicknamed for its 20,000 blue tiles that lined the entire interior. The tiles are hand-painted and decorated with motifs of lilies, carnations, tulips and roses.
Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque, Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates
Sheikh Said’s Grand Mosque is considered to be one of the most astounding mosques in the world, certainly rightly so. It is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates, and the most expensive materials were used for its construction. Inside is the largest carpet as well as the second-largest chandelier in the world made with Swarovski crystals. The mosque serves primarily as an educational centre for tourists and the general public.
The Grand Mosque is not the only photogenic place in the Arab Emirates – The best 15 photos not only from Dubai.
Nasir Al-Mulk Mosque, Shiraz, Iran
Outside this inconspicuous mosque, Nasser al Mulk is known mainly as the Pink Mosque because of its pinkish mosaic tiling. It is supposed to evoke the atmosphere of sunrise or sunset. After passing through an ordinary entrance door, you will find yourself in a fairy-tale world. The most beautiful is the interior windows of the mosque, which contain colourful stained glass. If you visit the mosque early in the morning, the sun shines directly through the beautiful colourful windows. You can admire the beautiful play of colours and lights on the walls of the mosque.
Read our article about the best 6 places to see in Iran.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque, Muscat, Oman
As the name suggests, the mosque was built by Sultan Qaboos ibn Said, and it was opened in 2001 to mark the 30th anniversary of his reign in Oman. The Grand Mosque is one of the largest in the world as it can provide shelter for up to 20,000 believers at a time. The dome of the main dome is 90 meters high, and below it is the greatest crystal chandelier in the world; the rest of the mosque is also very beautifully and tastefully decorated. For non-Muslims, the mosque is open daily, except Friday from 8:30 am to 11 am.
Muscat and the whole Oman is absolutely amazing country, read 7 reasons to fall in love with Oman.
Abu al-Haggag Mosque, Luxor, Egypt
This mosque is interesting, not so much for its appearance, but rather its location and historical value. It was built inside the Luxor Temple, dating back to 1400 BC. Not long after the decline of the Egyptian Empire and its religion, Christian believers built a church in the northeastern part of the first patio of the Luxor Temple. After the conquest of the area by Muslims, the Abu al-Hajjaji mosque was built on the foundations of the ruined church. This means that this place has continuously been used for religious purposes for over 3,400 years. The Temple of Luxor is the oldest building in the world and is used for non-archaeological or religious purposes. The easiest way how to visit Egypt and Luxor is to flight to Cairo (رحلات طيران من جدة الى القاهرة).
The entire Luxor Temple is an amazing building, but the city of Luxor and its surroundings offer countless other activities and amazing places to visit.
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