The famed Great Mosque of Xi’an ranks as one of the most renowned places of worship in the nation of China. It is considered to be amongst the largest, most ancient and most completely preserved mosques in the country.
Historical details inscribed on a stone plaque within the mosque indicate that the place of worship was constructed during the reign of the Tang Dynasty in 742. Significant additions and renovations were carried out at the time of the Qing, Ming, Yuan and Song Dynasties. The beautiful complex of pavilions and towers seen today therefore was very much a gradual development.
The mosque was created due to the development of Islam in China, the religion having been introduced to China by travellers from Arabia and Persia. Some of these travellers made their home in China, having married Han Chinese women. The descendants of these settlers retained the Islamic religion and customs, building mosques to conduct their ceremonies and prayers.
The expansive Great Mosque is separated into four courtyards and is laid out in a harmonious fashion. A notable feature is the beautifully landscaped gardens which suggest an aura of tranquillity; the further you go inside the compound, the calmer you will feel.
A distinctive aspect is the combination of architectural motifs, with customary Islamic architecture being blended with traditional Chinese design elements. This combination has resulted in a unique appearance not to be seen elsewhere.
A point of interest is the wooden archway to be seen in the front courtyard, dating to the 17th century, which is about 9 m tall, with painted rafters, carved beams and upturned eaves. Other highlights at the site include the Worship Hall, Honoured Prayer Hall, Phoenix Pavilion and Shengxin Lou. Additionally the compound features a revered Koran, artworks and valuable antique furniture. The visitor will also be able to admire a number of ancient steles inscribed with precious calligraphic engravings, reputed to have been the work of well-known calligraphers of ages past.
Discerning visitors who desire Xian accommodation are sure to find an excellent choice in the Citadines Central Xi’an. These comfortable serviced apartments Xian offers provide well-furnished rooms and numerous amenities.
Thanuja Silva is a travel writer who writes under the pen name Auburn Silver. She has a passion for fashion and a deep interest in admiring new and exotic attractions around the world.