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Saturday, June 7, 2008

The Great Mosque, Xian

The Great Mosque, Xi'an
Originally uploaded by Pinocure
The main prayer hall of the Great Mosque located at the Huajue (Muslim Street) in the center of Xi'an city, is the largest and one of the most important Islamic mosque in China. Its construction started in 742, the first year of Tianbao period of the Tang dynasty, and additions were made during the Song, Yuan, Ming, and Qing dynasties which makes it an ancient architectural complex.

The mosque is a combination of traditional Chinese architecture and Islamic art. In Chinese style, it was constructed as a series of pavilions, buildings with four courtyards between them. The wall, however, is decorated with Islamic art.

It is the only one Mosque that opens to visitors in the country. But non-Muslim visitors are not allowed to enter to the main prayer hall.

The Great Mosque was added to the UNESCO Islamic Heritage List in 1985.

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