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Great Mosque Xian

  • In Xian the Great Mosque is among the best-preserved, biggest and oldest Islamic mosques all over China. It is located on Huajue Lane, northwest of the Drum Tower.

  • As per historical records carved on a plaque inside, it was constructed in 742 during the Tang Dynasty. This was a consequence of Islam introduced in Northwestern China by travelers from Afghanistan and Persia and Arab traders during the mid-7th century. Some of them settled in China and tied knot with ladies of Han Nationality. Their off springs became Muslims. The Muslims played an important part in the unification of China during the Ming and Yuan Dynasties. Therefore more mosques were also constructed to pay respect to them.
  • When you are in Xian, it’s really worth a trip to witness the Great Mosque, not just for its centuries-old history but also for its meticulous design of combined architecture - Chinese styles and traditional Muslim.
  • Spread over an area of more than 12,000 square metres, the Great Mosque is split into 4 courtyards, 47 metres wide and 250 metres long with a well-arranged layout. Decorated with gardens, the further you wander into its interior, the more serene you feel.
  • The 1st courtyard has a sophisticated wooden arch 9 metres high coated with glossy tiles which dates back to the seventeenth century. In the middle of the 2nd courtyard, there is a stone arch with 2 steles on both sides. On one stele there is the writing of a renowned calligrapher, Mi Fu of the Song Dynasty; the other stele from Dong Qichang, a calligraphist of the Ming Dynasty. Due to elegant nevertheless powerful characters, their handwritings are considered to be a great wealth in the art of handwriting.
  • A hall which has several steles from ancient times is at the entranceway to the 3rd courtyard. When visitors get into this courtyard, they see the Xingxin Tower, a spot where Muslims offer prayers. A 'Phoenix' in the 4th courtyard, has the Prayer Hall. This Hall can accommodate 1,000 people at a time and as per custom, prayers are offered five times a day.
  • In China, this Great Mosque is the only mosque open to visitors. Non-Muslims are not admitted to the main prayer hall during times of prayers.