Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque
“Architecture is about experience, not only visual but also what you can touch, what you can feel” – Ma Yansong.
To mark the thirtieth of reign of Sultan Qaboos, a breath-taking work of architecture was given as a gift. The spectacular grand mosque was constructed, blends various artistic traditions and styles of the region.
Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque is one of attractions in Muscat that I recommend the most to visit. Regardless what you believe, the architecture of the mosque is worth a visit. Since its location is a bit far from Mutrah neighborhood, and it was not passed by the Hop On Hop Off bus, taxi was the only option I had to take me there. Do not worry to get lost, since most of taxi driver know where this grand mosque is located.
Situated on the Sultan Qaboos highway, this grand mosque is definitely a premiere tourist attraction in Muscat. It is considered as one of the most beautiful modern mosques in the world and the only mosque in Oman where non-Muslims are allowed to visit. The mosque itself was opened in 2001 after having construction process for six years. It blends several style of architectures, such as: Islamic, Middle Eastern, Omani and Persian. Considered as the largest mosque in Oman, the mosque can accommodate twenty thousands worshippers all at once.
The mosque was recorded to have the largest carpet and chandelier in the world, until the Emiratis and Qatari’s came over to measure the interior to break the records in their countries. However, the mosque remains impressive. The chandelier located in the center of men’s prayer measures 14 meters and holds 600 thousands Swarovski crystals and 24 carat gold plating. The carpet has its own achievement. It took around 600 Iranian women to make, and four years to complete. It is still known as the second largest hand-woven rug in the world.
Even if you are not intended to come to the prayer hall, walking on the corridor is interesting experience. There are plenty more to see. The corridor features a variety of mosaics, artworks with unique design styles uses.
No entrance fee is required. However, visitors are expected to dress modestly during the visit. Men should wear the long pants, and women are required to cover their hair, shoulders and arms. The robes are available for all visitors. The mosque is opened from Saturday to Thursday from 8 am to 11 am. They still accept visitors coming on Friday. But my advice, if you are not intended to come for prayer, better avoid to come on this day since the prayer hall will be closed earlier.
This week, Amy challenged us to show some stories of Architecture. Kindly visit her page to see the rule of challenge.