When visiting the beautiful archipelago of Maldives make sure not to overlook its many cultural heritage sites. Mainly found in the capital, Male, these attractions provide a unique and fascinating insight into the history of the nature as well as its religious traditions that are very much a part of the lives of the people. Of the vast number of such places you can visit, the most popular among tourists is the Grand Friday Mosque that can be found on Male. Its close proximity to the jetty of the capital might be a cause for this but the great golden dome that dominates the Maldivian sky line is hard to miss.
Built in 1656 during the reign of Sultan Ibrahim Iskandhar, it is one of the oldest and definitely the biggest mosque in Maldives able to hold up to five thousand devotees at a time. The mosque is situated within a larger complex of the Islamic Centre which holds the mosque, burial sites of important citizens and royalty, administrative offices, conference hall in which various ceremonies and official meetings have been held and a library. This complex due to its many uses is frequently used and visited thereby making the Friday Mosque inevitably busy. However, the sheer magnitude of the place dwarfs the large crowds allowing ample space to admire its beauty in quiet serenity.
The mosque is filled with intricate designs carved into the white walls creating beautiful shapes to soothe the eye. The narrow minarets that reach into the skies accompanied by the glittering golden dome are a prominent site among the other buildings of the capital of Maldives. The marvellous coral engravings and the artwork of wood carvings and Arabic calligraphy of this edifice compliment the hard labour of artists that were involved in its construction and provide a glimpse of the glamour of the past.
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