Add: No. 88, Niujie Zhonglu, Xicheng District, Beijing
Name & Address in Chinese: 牛街清真寺，北京市宣武区牛街18号区牛街.
How to Get to Beijing Niujie Mosque
By Bus: Bus No. 10, 109, 61, or 6. Get off at Niujie
By Subway: Line 4 at Caishikou Station
Niu means Ox or Cow, Jie means street in Chinese. Niujie literally means Ox Street. Niujie, or Ox Street is the spiritual center of the 13,000 Chinese speaking Hui Muslims living in Beijing and it is the largest area inhabited by Muslims in Beijing.
Beijing Niujie mosque was first built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty, a dynasty established by the Khitan people who were a historical para-Mongolic nomadic people from Northeast China. It was originally designed by Nasruddin, the son of an Arabic Imam who came to China to preach the Islamic faith during the Liao Dynasty. To lure more Chinese to convert to Islam, Niujie Mosque was designed to look like a Chinese temple from outside, with the exception that it displays Arabic calligraphy in the interior.
Niujie Mosque was destroyed by the Mongol armies in 1215 when they ocupied Beijing. The mosque was rebuilt in 1442 in the Ming Dynasty and significantly expanded in 1696 during the Qing Dynasty. After the founding of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, the mosque underwent three renovations, respectively in 1955, 1979 and 1996. The latest renovation took place in 2002 with a total investment of over 10 million Chinese Yuan.
Covering an area of approximately 10,000 square meters, Niujie Mosque consists of group of buildings which follow the norms of traditional Chinese architecture. A traditional Chinese tower at the entrance serves as the minaret. The prayer hall is 600 square meters in area, and can hold more than 1,000 worshipers. Other facilities include the Stele Pavilion, the Twin Pavilions, tombs of Arabian sages, and an incense burner dating from the Ming dynasty. Niujie Mosque is the biggest and oldest mosque in Beijing.