Muslim Quarter, Xi'an China
The Muslim Quarter is a famous snack and shopping center in a historically Muslim neighborhood of Xi’an. The Muslim Quarter is well-known for it’s unique street food, archictecture, shopping, and Chinese Muslim cultural influences. The Great Mosque of Xi’an is probably unlike any mosque you’ve ever seen–constructed in a traditional pagoda style. The Great Mosque has an interesting history, too. Throughout the Chinese Cultural Revolution, where many religious centres were forced to close, The Great Mosque in Xi’an remained open for worshippers.
Museum of Islamic Art In Doha, Qatar
Islam has produced incredible artistic feats–and has a very pronounced and proud artistic identity. The Museum of Islamic Art in Doha celebrates achievements in Islamic artistry over the pasty 1,400 years, and is home to some of the most amazing and unique pieces of Islamic art. From photography, to jewellery, to poetry and paintings, MIA is preserving and advancing Muslim culture, heritage, and identity.
THE GREAT MOSQUE OF SAMARRA
The Great Mosque of Sammara is one of the most architecturally unique mosques you will ever seen. Constructed as a giant spiraling pillar, visitors can walk up a ramp that takes them all the way to the top. At the top of this “snail shell” minaret was a place where the Adhan (call to prayer) would be given from. The Great Mosque of Samarra was constructed by the Abbasid Caliphate in the mid 9th century CE. At the time of construction, it was the world's largest mosque.
Of course, Yemen isn’t great for visiting right now, but this amazing capital city is still worth mentioning. Sana’a is the largest and oldest city in Yemen. Located on a mountain 2,300 metres above sea level, it is also one of the highest capital cities in the world. The most notable feature about Sana’a is its incredible old city, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The streets of old Sana’a are filled with brilliant old Islamic architecture, including 100 mosques, 12 hammams, and over 6 thousand houses. The homes in Old Sana’a resemble multi story skyscrapers, detailed with intricate geometry and friezes.
The Suleymaniye Mosque is an awe-inspiring old mosque located on Instanbul’s third hill. The mosque was commissioned by famed Ottoman Sultan Suleymaniye the Magnificent. The massive mosque took around 7 years to build, under the instruction of imperial architect Mimar Sinan. The incredible structure was finished in 1557, and remained the largest Mosque in Istanbul until 2019. Today, the massive mosque complex is a relic of the grandeur and splendour of the Ottoman era–and a popular tourist spot. The mosque complex houses hammams, Islamic schools, and even a restaurant.
Great Mosque of Córdoba
The Great Mosque of Cordoba, nowadays known as the Cathedral of Our Lady of The Assumption, wasn’t always a Church. This religious site in Cordoba, Spain, has extraordinarily interesting roots in Islamic history.
The site was originally a Roman temple to the god Janus. Then, invading visigoths turned the temple into a church in 572. However, exiled Ummayid Prince Abd al-Rahman had different plans for the site. Once the exiled Ummayids had gained control of the Iberian Peninsula where Cordoba is located, they began extensive public works projects to recreate the grandeur of their home in Damascus. So, the Spanish church was rebuilt as a magnificent Mosque. The Mosque took about once a year to build, because old Roman and Visigoth materials were reused. Completed in 786, the complex remained a mosque until it was turned back into a church during the Reconquista in the 13 century. Today, the complex is a testament to Spain’s varied religious influences, and a remnant of Islamic Spain.