The design of this mosque reflects its locale. It has curved eaves, colorfully painted supports and beams, and glazed roof ... More
Ox Street Mosque (Niujie Mosque)
The design of this mosque reflects its locale. It has curved eaves, colorfully painted supports and beams, and glazed roof tiles. It is located on the eastern side of Niu (Ox) Street, home to a large community of Chinese Muslims (known as Hui). The temple was built under the direction of Nastruddin, the son of an Arabic priest who came to China in 996! The call to pray is announced from the minaret five times a day, beginning at dawn. The prayer hall can accommodate 1,000.
It took awhile to find the site, by Subway and local bus, but I went on a Friday afternoon, expecting to find lots of people (prayer day) but finding no one except a few Chinese tourists following a Chinese Tour guide. Eitherwise, I had the place to myself, except for the usual watch people standing by. After going to the booth to buy my entry ticket, and finally realizing that the ticket seller was asking me "where are you from?"- by pointing to a Globe and thinking that he was trying to sell me something, I was shaking my head "bu", finally told him that I am from France (Faogao), which seemed to amuse him.
I found the site to be a surprising beauty. A mix of old Chinese Temple and 19th century Arabian influence Architecture, made it very original. The ornate prayer Rooms are not open to "non-Muslims" (which I respected even having thought "how would they know anyway?". Took some fine photos. The side-trip was well worth it.
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