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Great Mosque

Bordering the Drum Tower to the northwest, the Great Mosque is the biggest, oldest and best-preserved mosque in Xian as well as one of the four biggest mosques in China. It is a spiritual oasis in the heart of Xian. Come to refresh or recharge yourself. This over 1300-year-old mosque is bound to entertain and enrich you.

Initially constructed in 742, this 13,000 sq m-mosque shows the interpenetration between Islamic belief and Chinese culture. It is a National Cultural Heritage site.

A trip to this time-honored and large-scale architecture complex is a cultural excursion to the Islam realm.

Inside the mosque, ancient buildings, majestic mansions, pagodas, tablets, memorial archways, pray chambers greet you the same way 1,300 years ago. Meandering along the maze of 180 mansions, not only can you peek into the monastic life of the Muslims, but also reap beautiful moments of a lifetime.

All of these buildings perfectly blend into the tranquilizing and heavily forested environment. Under the canopy of giant trees, flowers boom brilliantly throughout the year. While birds chirps merrily. The scents and sights mingle with the pray songs of the Muslims, at morning or dusk and during festivals.

Be prepared to encounter a 9m-high wooden memorial archway, the origin of which can be traced back to the 17th century. The south and north anterooms, the stone memorial archway, Chici Temple, Shengxin building, and Yizhen Pavilion, bewitch visitors by their weathered charm and splendor.

On the stone memorial archway, there are inscriptions of Mi Fu and Dong Qichang, who were famous calligraphers in ancient China. Yizhen Pavilion is also called Phoenix Pavilion due to the fact that the pavilion looks like a phoenix spreading its wings for flying. There is also a main temple in the mosque which is used for worshiping. It can house more than one thousand people.

The mosque features ancient buildings, Ming-or-Qing-style furniture, and the Koran books. Its architectural style is Chinese while its decoration strictly conforms to the Islamic rules. That’s why it is one of the world’s Islamic relics.

Entry Fee: RMB 25 (March-November); RMB15 (December, January, February)
Bus Options: Bus 4, 7, 32, 201, 215, 222, 251, 252 or Tourism Bus No. 8 (610) and get off at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station. Walk to the Drum Tower and find entrance to the mosque in the Huajue Lane to the northwest of the Drum Tower.
Tip: After the Great Mosque tour, tourists can stroll to Muslim Quarter for a visit.
 
 Photos that worth more than one thousand words (click to enlarge)
 
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Author: Winny Posted on Aug 3,2010
Re-edited by Sophia on Mar 25,2014 
 
 
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