Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque

Sunday, November 29, 2015

you can click photos to enlarge

If you have me on Facebook, you might have seen that I recently uploaded an album titled "Muscat City Tour." Last week I went on a morning tour of the city and hit all the musts of Muscat. Some I had been to and others I hadn't, this included the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque.

The above entry is about a month old! Unfortunately, I never go to really finishing this post. Each Islamic country (if I am not mistaken) has a "great" or "grand" mosque, and it is usually the biggest or more significant in the country. This is Oman's.

The Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is located in Muscat, the capital, and is the largest mosque in Oman and one of the largest in the gulf. It has a capacity of 20,000 people, in its' two prayer rooms and the surrounding courtyard area. It was a gift to the country from His Majesty Sultan Qaboos in celebration of his 30th year of reign. According to what I read, there was a design/architectural competition held and completed in 2001. 

"The minarets offer a nod towards traditional Egyptian architecture, while other decorative touches (such as the wooden ceilings and elaborate tile work) were inspired by Omani and Persian traditions. Other architectural details, such as the impressive latticed golden dome over the central prayer hall, are entirely original."

Read more:

When entering you really have to take a moment to take it all in and appreciate it. Visiting the Grand Mosque reminded me that sometimes I take architectural masterpieces for granted. It is a long and precise art that is made with a lot of care and thought, and I don't give it a second glance. Especially this one that there are so many small details. Here are a few fun facts:
  • The main square-shaped prayer room can accommodate 6,500 worshipers and has a central dome which rises 50 metres above the floor. 
  • The length of the north and south corridors is 240 metres each. These have been divided into halls, each containing a decoration from a specific Islamic culture.
  • The walls of the south corridor constitute a visible screen that houses the mosque’s various facilities, including a library that contains 20,000 reference volumes in science, Islamic culture and humanity
  • The interior walls of the mosque’s main hall are completely covered with white and dark grey marble. These are decorated with murals of leafy patterns and geometrical designs.
  • The dome is made up of spherical triangles within a structure of sides and marble columns, crossed with pointed arches and decorated with porcelain panels. Timber panels stretch in a fashion that reflects the architectural development of Omani ceilings.
  • The carpet covering the prayer hall floor is the world’s second largest and took 400 female weavers from the Iranian province of Khorasan four years to make – the whole thing measures 60 x 70m, contains 1.7 million knots and weighs 21 tonnes.
  • The huge Swarovski crystal chandelier in the centre of the hall is a staggering 14m tall and was often claimed to be the largest in the world until the construction of an even bigger crystalline monster in Qatar in 2010.
The information was taken from the Oman Tourism website and can find the full article here.


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