The word “mosque” means a place of worship for followers of Islam. There are thousands of mosques around the world, almost every country in the world hosting such religious constructions. Many of these structures have become very famous for their architectural, historical and aesthetic significance, and those that allow people of other religions access have even hundreds of thousands of visitors annually.
With a special emphasis on vastness, the list below presents the most impressive Muslim mosques:
Al-Masjid al-Harām. Located in Mecca, Saudi Arabia, Al-Masjid al-Harām is the largest and most holy mosque in the world. The fact that it hosts Kabba in its courtyard, the most sacred Islamic place on Earth, is reason enough to place it at the top of our list. Moreover, this mosque is visited every year by one million pilgrims to perform the Hajj, the largest annual pilgrimage in the world. In the Islamic faith (Koran) it is said that this sacred place, Kabba, was built by Abraham and his son Ismail. During prayer, Muslims simply line up around Kabbai, while in any other mosque, people line up in neat lines, all pointing to Kabbai’s direction.
This huge mosque has 9 minarets and has been renovated and expanded several times over the years. Visually, Al-Masjid al-Harām is probably not the most impressive mosque, but because it is the largest, most important and most holy in the world, we simply had to mention it in this article.
Sheikh Zayed. The magnificent Sheikh Zayed Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Decorated with Greek and Italian marble and having a structure that includes 82 domes and 1000 columns, this mosque, with a capacity of 40,000 people, allows non-religious tourists to enter. Moreover, here you will find huge chandeliers made entirely of Swarovski crystals, as well as the largest carpet in the world, measuring about 5627 square meters. The designers used mosaic to cover the entire yard, which is also noted as one of the largest courtyards of all mosques in the world. Also worth noting is the reflecting pool that surrounds the mosque, enhancing its beauty.
The Sheikh Zayed Mosque is the eighth largest mosque in the world, but it is perhaps the most beautiful and ever can be visited by tourists of any religion.
Blue Mosque. Anyone who has visited Istanbul, surely went to the amazing Blue Mosque. Officially called the Sultan Ahmed Mosque, it has an interior adorned with 20,000 hand-painted blue plates. Gallery tiles are arranged to create flower, fruit and cypress designs. In the evening, the atmosphere changes as the colored headlights illuminate the five main domes, six minarets and eight secondary domes, making everything become even more spectacular!
The best way to see the architecture in all its splendor is to enter the mosque through the west. It has its gates open to tourists of any religion, but like any other mosque, access is allowed only if visitors have their heads and feet covered.
Hassan II Mosque. This mosque is located in the port city of Cassablanca in Morocco. King Hassan II of Morocco wanted to renovate a beloved monument of his people and thus, with the huge cost of 800 million dollars, this splendid copy of the Moorish architectural style was completed in 1993. The mosque has many special features; it has heated floors, electric doors, a retractable roof and a laser above its minaret, directed to the holy Mecca. At a height of 210 meters, the minaret is the tallest in the world, making Hassan II Mosque the highest religious structure ever built.
It is built on a porch overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, and part of the mosque has glass floors, so Muslims, when worshiping, can look directly at the waters of the ocean below. Unfortunately, this feature is reserved for royal use. However, Hassan II Mosque remains a huge source of pride for Moroccans.
Putra Mosque. Located in Putrajaya, Malaysia, the Putra Mosque stands out through its granite construction in pink shades, roses, which combine design elements from the Middle East with the traditional Malaysian. The dome of the mosque, supported on 12 huge pillars, has refined features, with amazing illustrations on the stained glass windows at the base. The mosque was built between 1997 and 1999 and has three main functional areas: the prayer hall, the courtyard and the study area.