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Xi'an Great Mosque Facts
Location: northwest to the Drum Tower on Huajue Lane in downtown Xi’an
Construction Area: 1.2 hectares (3 acres)
First Built in: 742 AD
The Great Mosque in Xi'an is one of the oldest, largest and best-preserved Islamic mosques in China.
According to historical records engraved on a stone tablet inside, the Great Mosque was built in 742 during the Tang Dynasty (618-907). This was a result of Islam being introduced into Northwest China by Arab merchants and travelers from Persia and Afghanistan during the mid-7th century when some of them settled down in China and married women of Han Nationality.
Their descendants became Muslims today. The Muslims played an important role in the unifications of China during the Yuan and Ming Dynasties. Hence, other mosques were also built to honor them.
In Xi'an, it is really well worth a trip to see the Great Mosque, not only for its centuries' old history but also for its particular design of mixed architecture - traditional Muslim and Chinese styles.
Occupying an area of over 12,000 square meters (14,352 sq yd), the mosque is divided into four courtyards, 250 meters (273 yd) long and 47 meters (51 yd) wide with a well-arranged layout. Landscaped with gardens, the further one strolls into its interior, the more serene one feels.
At the entrance to the third courtyard is a hall that contains many steles from ancient times. As visitors enter this courtyard, they will see the Xingxin Tower, a place where Muslims come to attend prayer events. A 'Phoenix' placed in the fourth courtyard, the principal pavilion here, contains the Prayer Hall, the surrounding walls of which are covered with colored designs. This Hall can easily hold 1,000 people at a time and according to traditional custom, prayer services are held five times everyday respectively at dawn, noon, afternoon, dusk and night.
After the Great Mosque tour, tourists can stroll to Muslim Quarter for a visit.
How to Get to Great Mosque
Take bus No. 7, 15, 32, 205, 215, 221, 222, 251, 252, 612, 618 or Tourist Line 8 (No. 610) and get off at Zhonglou Xi (Bell Tower West) Station. Walk north to the Drum Tower and then walk northwest along the Huajue Lane for around 5 minutes to reach the mosque.
Take Metro Line 2 and get off at Zhonglou (Bell Tower) Station. Get out from Exit B. Walk towards west for around 6 minutes and you can see the Drum Tower. Then follow the above route to get to the mosque.
Xi'an Bus /Metro Search
|Admission Fee||March-November: CNY 25 |
December-next February: CNY 15
* Muslims are free to enter.
|Recommended Time for a Visit||1-2 hours|
From the hotel, walk south along North Avenue around 140 yards. Then walk west around 760 yards to find the scenic spot. It is behind the Drum Tower.