teradesa.com The Xi’an Grand Mosque in Lianhu District, Xi’an Province, is the largest mosque and one of the most important Islamic places of worship in China.
The Great Mosque of Xi’an has also been included in the prestigious UNESCO list in 1985.
History of the mosque
Construction of the mosque began in 742 AD, the first year of the Tianbao Era of Emperor Xuanrong’s reign in the Tang Dynasty, and additions were made to the building during the Song (960-1279), Yuan (1271-1638), Ming (1368-1644), and Qing Dynasties (1644-1911), making the building a complex representation of ancient architecture from various eras.
In the Tang Dynasty, Islam was introduced to China by Arab traders. Many Muslims settled in China and married into the Han people.
The Great Mosque of Xi’an was built at that time to honor the founders of Islam in China. Since then many other mosques have been established throughout the region.
Structure of the mosque
Covering an area of 6,000 square meters, the mosque complex is divided into four courtyards.
In the first courtyard, there is a wooden arch. The arch is nine meters high, with glazed tiles, and can be traced back to the 17th century.
Three rooms stand on either side of the arch, where some furniture from the Ming and Qing dynasties are now displayed.
In the center of the second courtyard stands a stone arch with two columns on either side. Above the stele are famous calligraphic inscriptions by leading ancient calligraphers.
At the entrance to the third courtyard is a hall containing many inscriptions from ancient times.
In the center of the courtyard is the Xingxin Tower, where visitors can come to attend services.
The fourth courtyard contains a large prayer hall that can accommodate more than 1,000 people.
The mosque is a combination of traditional Chinese architecture and Islamic art.
In the Chinese style, there are a series of pavilions, with the four courtyards of the mosque in between. The walls, however, are decorated with Islamic art.
How to visit
The Great Mosque of Xi’an is the only mosque in China that can be visited by non-Muslims, they are still not allowed to enter the main worship space.
The mosque can be visited every day, from 8am to 7pm.
In addition to the mosque, tourists can also simultaneously travel to other historical tourist areas such as the Terracotta Army site, the Ancient City Wall, and the Great Wild Goose Pagoda.
The Terracotta Army is one of the largest terracotta statue sites in the world, and one of the greatest discoveries of the 20th century.
While the Ancient City Wall is a landmark that divides Xi’an into inner and outer sections.
This wall is the earliest wall that ever existed in China.
The Great Wild Goose Pagoda is the most famous monument in Xian. It is one of the finest examples of Tang-style pagodas in China.