Moscow Cathedral Mosque

25 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Sergey Korovkin 84/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Sergey Korovkin 84/cc-by-sa-4.0

Moscow Cathedral Mosque is the main mosque of Moscow. It is located on Olimpiysky Avenue, close to the Olympic Stadium in the centre of the city.   read more…

Routes of El legado andalusi/Al-Andalus

4 October 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, European Union, General, Living, Working, Building, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks, UNESCO World Heritage

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Morningstar1814/cc-by-sa-3.0

In the 8th century, the Iberian Peninsula saw the arrival of Arabs and Berbers who mixed with the Roman-Visigoth inhabitants, engendering what was known as Al-Andalus. This successful medieval Muslim civilisation extended, at its peak, to most of what is today Spain and Portugal, until its downfall in the late 15th century.   read more…

Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

1 July 2019 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: Architecture, General, House of the Month

Sheikh Zayed Mosque seen from the courtyard © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0

Sheikh Zayed Mosque seen from the courtyard © Wikiemirati/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is located in Abu Dhabi, the capital city of the United Arab Emirates. The largest mosque in the country, it is the key place of worship for daily prayers, Friday gathering and Eid prayers. During Eid, it may be visited by more than 41,000 people. The Grand Mosque was constructed between 1996 and 2007. It was designed by Syrian architect Yousef Abdelky. The building complex measures approximately 290 by 420 m (950 by 1,380 ft), covering an area of more than 12 hectares (30 acres), excluding exterior landscaping and vehicle parking. The main axis of the building is rotated about 11° south of true west, aligning it in the direction of the Kaaba in Mecca, Saudi Arabia.   read more…

Abraj Al Bait Towers in Mecca

10 July 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Abraj Al Bait Towers © King Eliot/cc-by-sa-3.0

Abraj Al Bait Towers © King Eliot/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Abraj Al-Bait is a government-owned megatall complex of seven skyscraper hotels in Mecca. These towers are a part of the King Abdulaziz Endowment Project that strives to modernize the city in catering to its pilgrims. The central hotel tower, the Makkah Royal Clock Tower, A Fairmont Hotel, has the world’s largest clock face and is the third tallest building and fourth tallest freestanding structure in the world. The building complex is metres away from the world’s largest mosque and Islam‘s most sacred site, the Masjid al-Haram.   read more…

Theme Week Saudi Arabia – Medina

29 April 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi - Mosque of the Prophet © Aymanzaid2/cc-by-sa-4.0

Al-Masjid al-Nabawi – Mosque of the Prophet © Aymanzaid2/cc-by-sa-4.0

Medina, also transliterated as Madīnah, is a city in the Hejaz region of Saudi Arabia that is also the capital of the Al Madinah Region. The city contains al-Masjid an-Nabawi (“the Prophet’s Mosque”), which is the burial place of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, and is the second-holiest city in Islam after Mecca. Medina was Muhammad’s destination after his Hijrah from Mecca, and became the capital of a rapidly increasing Muslim Empire, first under Muhammad’s leadership, and then under the first four Rashidun caliphs, Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, and Ali. It served as the power base of Islam in its first century where the early Muslim community developed. Medina is home to the three oldest mosques, namely the Quba Mosque, al-Masjid an-Nabawi, and Masjid al-Qiblatayn (“the mosque of the two qiblas“). Muslims believe that the chronologically final surahs of the Quran were revealed to Muhammad in Medina, and are called Medinan surahs in contrast to the earlier Meccan surahs. Similar to Mecca, non-Muslims are forbidden from entering the sacred core of Medina (but not the entire city) or the city centre by the national government. Today, Medina (“Madinah” officially in Saudi documents), in addition to being the second most important Islamic pilgrimage destination after Mecca, is an important regional capital of the western Saudi Arabian province of Al Madinah. In addition to the sacred core of the old city, which is off limits to non-Muslims, Medina is a modern, multi-ethnic city inhabited by Saudi Arabs and an increasing number of Muslim and non-Muslim expatriate workers: other Arab nationalities (Egyptians, Jordanians, Lebanese, etc.), South Asians (Bangladeshis, Indians, Pakistanis, etc.), and Filipinos.   read more…

Mecca in Saudi Arabia

15 June 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

The Masjid al-Haram and Kaaba © Ariandra 03/cc-by-sa-3.0

The Masjid al-Haram and Kaaba © Ariandra 03/cc-by-sa-3.0

Mecca is a city in the Hejaz in Saudi Arabia. It is the capital of that kingdom’s Makkah Region. The city is located 70 km (43 mi) inland from Jeddah in a narrow valley at a height of 277 m (909 ft) above sea level. Its resident population in 2012 was roughly 2 million, although visitors more than triple this number every year during the hajj (“pilgrimage”) period held in the twelfth Muslim lunar month of Dhu al-Hijjah.   read more…

Isfahan in Iran

13 January 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Naghshe Jahan Square (Imam Square) © Arad Mojtahedi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Naghshe Jahan Square (Imam Square) © Arad Mojtahedi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Isfahan is the capital of Isfahan Province in Iran, located about 340 kilometres (211 miles) south of Tehran. It has a population of 1,760,000 and is Iran’s third largest city after Tehran and Mashhad. The Greater Isfahan Region had a population of 3,800,000 in the 2011 Census, the third most populous metropolitan area in Iran after Tehran and Mashhad. Isfahan is located on the main north–south and east–west routes crossing Iran, and was once one of the largest cities in the world. It flourished from 1050 to 1722, particularly in the 16th century under the Safavid dynasty, when it became the capital of Persia for the second time in its history.   read more…

Theme Week East Jerusalem – The Al-Aqsa Mosque on Temple Mount

6 January 2016 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

Al-Aqsa Mosque © Andrew Shiva

Al-Aqsa Mosque © Andrew Shiva

Al-Aqsa Mosque (“the Farthest Mosque”) is the third holiest site in Islam and is located in East Jerusalem. The site on which the silver domed mosque sits, along with the Dome of the Rock, is referred to as al-Haram ash-Sharif (“the Noble Sanctuary”), or the Temple Mount. Muslims believe that Muhammad was transported from the Sacred Mosque in Mecca to al-Aqsa during the Night Journey. Islamic tradition holds that Muhammad led prayers towards this site until the seventeenth month after the emigration, when God directed him to turn towards the Kaaba.   read more…

Theme Week East Jerusalem – The Dome of the Rock/Qubbat As-Sakhrah on Temple Mount

18 November 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage, Union for the Mediterranean

© Starbuck121/cc-by-sa-4.0

© Starbuck121/cc-by-sa-4.0

The Dome of the Rock is a shrine located on the Temple Mount/Haram Al-Sharif in East Jerusalem. It was initially completed in 691 CE at the order of Umayyad Caliph Abd al-Malik during the Second Fitna. The Dome of the Rock is now one of the oldest works of Islamic architecture. It has been called “Jerusalem’s most recognizable landmark”. Its architecture and mosaics were patterned after nearby Byzantine churches and palaces. The octagonal plan of the structure may also have been influenced by the Byzantine Chapel of St Mary built between 451 and 458 on the road between Jerusalem and Bethlehem.   read more…

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