Xi'an Great Mosque - Hui Culture & Muslim Religion

Location of Xi'an Great Mosque:

Near the Drum Tower, Xi'an Great Mosque locates on Huajue Lane in Xi'an, China. It is one of the oldest, largest, and most famous Islamic mosques in China, which makes it a special visit in your Xi'an tours.

History of Xi'an Great Mosque:

Xi'an Great Mosque was first built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty (reign of Emperor Xuanzong, 685-762). Later, it was renovated during Ming and Qing dynasties. Till now, this awesome Islamic building group becomes a renowned tourist attraction at home and abroad, and is used by Chinese Muslims (Hui people) as a place of worship.

In the Tang Dynasty, Islam was introduced to China by Arabian merchants and thus became an important part of the Xi'an religion. Some of them settled down in China and married Han women. Their descendants are Muslim today. The Muslims played an important part in the unification of China during Yuan and Ming dynasties. Many mosques including the Xi'an Great Mosque are built to honor them.

The layout of the Xi'an Great Mosque:

Covering an area of over 1, 3000 square meters, Xi'an Great Mosque can be divided into four courtyards.

In the first courtyard, there is a nine-meter-high wooden arch with glaze-covered tiles, and it can be traced back to the seventeenth century. The buildings, there display many featured furniture from Ming and Qing dynasties.
In the second courtyard, there is a stone arch with two steles on each side. On the steles, there are lots of calligraphic writings from famous calligraphers of China, such as Dong Qichang in the Ming dynasty.

At the center of the third courtyard, there is a tower called Xingxin tower, where Muslims come here to attend prayer services. At the bottom of the tower, there is a famous stone carving- Two Dragons are playing with a pearl. It is said that the stone carving is a relic of the Tang Dynasty. In the halls, there are displays of the Koran translated into Chinese and Arabic, precious calligraphy and paintings, porcelain, etc.

In the fourth courtyard, there is a pavilion called the Phoenix Pavilion, just like a phoenix dancing elegantly. There is also a worship hall that can hold over a thousand people. The corridor is full of styles that record the history of the Great Mosque.

Features of Xi'an Great Mosque:

First, unlike most mosques in Arab countries, the Great Mosque in Xi'an is completely Chinese in its architectural style, except for some Arabic decorations.

Second, the ancient architectures hint at the long history of the great mosque; and the Koran, the special furniture, and the statuary art of brick prove the splendid culture of Islam.

Third, any statues are not allowed to appear in the mosque; it is fully different from other kinds of temples.
Fourth, Muslims like to live in the surrounding areas of the mosque, so Xi'an Great Mosque is surrounded by Chinese Muslims - Hui People. By the way, non-Muslim visitors are not allowed to enter the main prayer hall of the mosque.

Fifth, Muslim Street (from the Drum Tower to the North College Gate) is a highlight during your Great Mosque tour. It has a deep cultural atmosphere of Muslims. All the shops and restaurants are operated by Muslims. Here, tourists may taste the delicious Muslim food and snacks, such as roasted beef, and roasted fish. The small items of art crafts are also attractive.

If you'd like a tailor-made China tour, please contact us.

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