teradesa.com  The mosque was burned down by the Dutch during an attack on Koetaradja (Banda Aceh) on April 10, 1873.

If there’s one place you must visit when traveling to Banda Aceh, it’s the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque. This is a historical site that has existed since the glory era of the Sultanate of Aceh and survives to this day. The mosque has been through a lot, from the burning tragedy by the Dutch colonials in 1873 to the tsunami in late 2004.

Baiturrahman Grand Mosque was first built during the Aceh Sultanate era. The roof of this mosque was made in accordance with the characteristics of mosques in Indonesia at that time, a four-pyramid roof.

There are two versions of the history of the construction of this mosque. Some sources say the mosque was founded in 1292 AD by Sultan Alauddin Johan Mahmudsyah. Meanwhile, another source states that this mosque was founded by Sultan Iskandar Muda in 1612 AD.

During its journey, this mosque was burned down by the Dutch during an attack on Koetaradja (Banda Aceh) on April 10, 1873. The collapse of the mosque building triggered an uprising of the Acehnese people. They fought to defend the mosque until their last blood. During the battle, the Dutch lost their commander, Major General Johan Harmen Rudolf Köhler on April 14, 1873.

The mosque building was then rebuilt by the Dutch on the orders of General Van Der Heijden. The rebuilding of the mosque was part of an effort to ease the resistance of the Acehnese people to the Dutch occupation. The process of rebuilding Majid Raya Baiturrahman took place in 1879-1881 AD. The architecture of the new building was made by de Bruchi who adapted the Moghul (Indian) style.

The mosque, which is located in the center of Banda Aceh City, then underwent several expansions. The first occurred in 1936. Due to the efforts of Governor General A. PH. Van Aken, two domes were built on the right and left sides of the mosque. Furthermore, in 1958-1965, the mosque building was expanded again. In this second expansion, two domes and two minarets were added on the west side (mihrab). The five domes symbolize the five elements in Pancasila.

In 1992, construction was carried out with the addition of two domes and five minarets. In addition, the mosque yard was expanded so that the total area of the mosque is now 16,070 square meters.

When the 21-meter tsunami wave hit the coast of Banda Aceh on December 26, 2004, the mosque was among the buildings that survived – although some parts of the mosque were damaged.

The post-tsunami renovation effort cost Rp20 billion. The funds came from international aid, including the Saudi Charity Campaign. The renovation process was completed on January 15, 2008. Today, the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque is the center of Islamic activities for the people of Banda Aceh.


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