Facts of the Great Mosque
Names: simplified Chinese: 西安大清真寺; traditional Chinese: 西安大清真寺; pinyin: Xī’ān Dà Qīngzhēnsì
History: built in 742 A.D
Address: Huajue Xiang 30, Xi'an, Shaanxi, China
Opening Hours: 8:00-20:30
The Great Mosque in Xian is an active mosque serving the Hui community more than 1300 years. It is located in near the Drum Tower (Gu Lou) on 30 Huajue Lane, now center of Xian. Founded in 742, the Mosque is one of the oldest mosques over China and renowned for its centuries-old history and particular design of mixed traditional Muslim-Chinese style architecture.
During the mid-7th century, many Arab merchants and travelers of Persia and Afghanistan came to China and brought along the Islam culture. Many of them settled down and married with local people. Their descendants became the distinct Hui people who remain the Muslim culture. The Muslim played an important role in the unifications of China during the Yuan (1271-1368) and Ming (1368-1644) Dynasties. The Great Mosque and many others were built to honor them and functioned as a place to worship for the Hui people. It is still active and non-Muslims are not admitted to the main prayer hall or during times of prayer.
The whole complex of the Great Mosque covers an area of 6,000 square meters with four courtyards. The structure is a combination of traditional Chinese architecture and Islamic art. The pavilions, furniture, courtyards are evidence of the Chinese style. While the letters and decorations on the wall come from the Islam culture.
Travel tips for Visiting the Great Mosque
1. It is open to visitors from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m.
2. The non-Muslims are not admitted to the main prayer hall or during times of prayer.
3. Female tourists visiting the mosque should not wear sleeveless dress or short pants.
4. When visiting the mosque, it is important to respect Muslim religious customs, such as not bringing ham sausages or roujiamo (pork meat) into the mosque. Avoid discussing topics that may be detrimental to national unity. During Muslim prayers, don't make noises and take pictures.
5. In the early afternoon on every Friday, there is a large congregational prayer in the mosque. Many Muslims come to worship during this time, so it may be crowded.
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