21 January 2006

The Great Mosque of Xi'an and the Muslim Quarter

The current buildings in the Great Mosque of Xi'an were built in the 14th century, although it probably was established as long ago as 742. It is a large complex with many buildings. There is still a local Muslim population in Xi'an (as opposed to Beijing- its native Muslims are long gone even though there is a good-sized community there now).

I love to see mosques around the world. Many beautifully incorporate local architectural elements into the design of the mosque. As I've said many times, I love the diversity in Islam. I also love how peaceful mosques are and this one is no exception.

As usual, my husband was able to go into the off-limits parts by speaking Arabic to the men there. This particular mosque has a rather plain prayer hall, but he said the mosque in Beijing had a beautifully decorated hall.

The pictures below (if I can get them to post) are of the streets surrounding the mosque. We spent several hours wandering through here.

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