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+86-29-8964-0200 Info@IslamiChina.com

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Xian Great Mosque

Xian Great Mosque

Add: No. 30, Huajuexiang, Lianhu District, Xi’an
Tel: 029-87219807
Name & Address in Chinese: 化觉巷清真寺,西安市莲湖区化觉巷30号。

How to Get to Xian Great Mosque
By Bus: Get off bus at Bell Tower Station
By Subway: Line 2, Bell Tower Station

The largest and best preserved of the ancient mosques of China

Xian Great Mosque

XIAN GREAT MOSQUE

Xian Great Mosque is also called Huajuexiang Mosque. Local Muslims call it Dongdasi meaning East Great Mosque. Xian Great Mosque is a tranquil and historic mosque that has served Xian’s Muslim community for hundreds of years. Being the largest and best preserved of the ancient mosques of China, the buildings of Xian Great Mosque are a fascinating fusion of Chinese and Arabian styles. Xian Great Mosque was added to the UNESCO Islamic Heritage List in 1985.

According to historical records engraved on a stone tablet collected by Xian Great Mosque, there was a mosque built in Tang Dynasty capital Chang’an (today’s Xi’an) in 742 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). However, this is the not the proof that Xian’s Great Mosque was built at the current location in 742 because the area of the Great Mosque was where the Royal City of Chang’an was located during the Tang Dynasty. The Royal City was where Tang Empire’s government offices located and places of worships were not allowed inside Chang’an’s Royal city.

Xian’s Muslim community was formed during the Mongolian Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368) when Muslims enjoyed much higher social status than Han Chinese. Muslims played an important role in helping the founding of Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), seven mosques were built in today’s Muslim quarter of Xian including the Great Mosque of Xian to honor their contribution. The Great Mosque of Xian underwent renovation and expansion during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).

The Great Mosque is made up of four successive courtyards that lead up to the main prayer hall at the western end of the mosque. Each courtyard contains a central monument, such as a pavilion, a stone gate or a tower. The total area is over 12,000 square meters.

In the first courtyard, there is a wooden memorial archway with two sculptured dragon stone tablets on both sides. The archway is nine meters high, made up of a main gate and two smaller side gates. It can be traced back to the 17th century. The archway is painted red with exquisite carvings and supported by several red wooden pillars. Three chambers stand either side, in which now is displayed some furniture preserved from the Ming and Qing dynasties.

Walking across the Three Room Hall, on which the Chinese Name of the mosque is written, is the second courtyard. A stone gate stands in the middle, four Chinese characters “Tian Jian Zai Zi” are carved on the gate, meaning Allah is watching here and now. Further west, there are two stone steles. On the steles are famous calligraphic writings, the one to the north is from a famous Song Dynasty Muslim calligrapher, Mi Fu, and other one is from Dong Qichang, a Ming Dynasty calligrapher.

Standing in the center of the third courtyard, is a 3-storied octagonal tower in traditional Chinese architecture, serving as the minaret of the mosque. The faded color of the tower tells that it has been standing in wind and rain for long. Precious Ming and Qing cultural relics such as calligraphies and paintings are preserved in the halls flanking this courtyard.

Passing through the stone path of the fourth courtyard, is the One Truth Pavilion. The pavilion is said to be built during the Qing Dynasty. Because the pavilion looks like a phoenix spreading its wings, it is also called Phoenix Pavilion. It blocks a direct view to the most important building of the mosque, the prayer hall. Beyond the Phoenix Pavilion are two small pools, now containing fountains.

The Prayer Hall is located on the west end of the entire complex. It covers 1300 square meters and can seat more than 1000 people to worship at a time. The ceiling of the prayer hall is decorated with over 600 colored panels where Koran was carved 600 years ago. The walls, the gate and panels of the prayer hall are decorated with patterns of trailing plants and Arabic letters.

"اطلبوا العلم ولو بالصین."

“Seek knowledge even unto China.”

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him)

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