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Address: Mosque on Hua Jue Lane,
Admission Fee: 25 yuan May-Nov, 15 yuan Dec-Feb
Telephone: +86 (0)29 87295212
hotels nearby:Grand New World Hotel - Xian,Melody Hotel Xi”an
scenic spots nearby: XianYang Museum,Mao Mausoleum

Great Mosque

Description

The Great Mosque in Xian is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques nestled in the Huajue lane in Xian, Shaanxi Province. This mosque was built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and was rebuilt by Song, Yuan, Ming and Qing, and has formed present scales. The Great Mosque was added to the UNESCO Islamic Heritage List in 1985.

Occupying an area of over 12,000 square meters, the floor space more than 4,000 square meters, keeps the construction mostly in the Ming Dynasty style. Landscaped with gardens, the further one strolls into its interior, the more serene one feels. In Xian, it is really well worth a trip to see the Great Mosque, not only for its centuries-old history but also for its particular design of mixed architecture - traditional Muslim and Chinese styles.

Attractions in the Great Mosque
The first courtyard houses an elaborate wooden arch nine meters high covered with glazed tiles which dates back to the 17th century. In the center of the second courtyard, a stone arch stands with two steles on both sides. On one stele is the script of a famous calligrapher called Mi Fu of the Song Dynasty; the other is from Dong Qichang, a calligrapher of the Ming Dynasty. Their calligraphy because of such elegant yet powerful characters is considered to be a great treasure in the art of handwriting.
In the second court, separated from the first by a shallow roofed pavilion, stands a rectilinear stone pailou built to resemble a wooden structure. Two freestanding vertical brick piers, carved with ornate floral motifs and crowned with tiled roofs with upswept eaves and dougong brackets, follow the stone pailou. These monumental piers, which are repeated again in the third courtyard, house stone tablets with Arabic inscription in their central arched niches. Reception rooms which are used as shops and residential space, flank the second court.
At the entrance to the third courtyard is a hall that consist many steles from ancient times. When visitors enter this courtyard, they will see the Xingxin Tower, a place where Muslims come to attend prayer services. A 'Phoenix' placed in the fourth courtyard, the principal pavilion of this great mosque complex, contains the Prayer Hall, the surrounding walls of which are covered with colored designs. This Hall can easily hold 1,000 people at a time and according to traditional custom, prayer services are held five times everyday respectively at dawn, noon, afternoon, dusk and night.
There are via threes marble gates with wooden doors in the fourth courtyard. The prayer hall, preceded by a large platform, is at the western end of the courtyard. Before this platform stands the Phoenix Pavilion or the Feng Hua Ting. Feng Hua Ting was built during the Qing Dynasty, the pavilion is said to resemble a phoenix with its outstretched wings and interrupts direct view to the prayer hall. Its roofline connects three distinct pavilions, extending from the central hexagonal structure towards two pyramidal roofed gazebos. Lecture halls also flank this courtyard. The South Hall serves as a gallery for inscribed tablets that record the history of the mosque. Beyond the Phoenix Pavilion are two small pools, it contains fountains, set astride the central axis, followed by the stone "Cloud Gateways" of the granite "Moon Platform" preceding the prayer hall.
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. 

 


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