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Niujie (Ox Street) Mosque

pagoda in Niujie MosqueThe Niujie (Ox Street) Mosque is located in the compact community of the Hui nationality in Xuanwu District. It is a historical site under state protection with its long history, grand scale and rich decorations. Niujie Mosque also enjoys a high fame abroad. In addition to receiving Chinese Muslims to worship, it is also a gathering place for overseas Islamic followers on traditional Islamic festivals.

Being the oldest and largest Islamic mosque in Beijing, the Niujie Mosque was first built in 996 during the Liao Dynasty, and in 1474, it was granted the present name by the Ming emperor Chenghua. Covering a total area of 6, 000 square meters, the Niujie Mosque is neatly and compactly laid out and presents an aesthetic blend of architecture, reflecting both ancient Chinese palaces and Arabian mosques. The buildings in the mosque are built of timber while the interior decorations are in typical Islamic flavor. The main buildings include the Wangyuelou (Viewing the Moon Tower), Libaidian (Prayer Hall), Bangkelou (the Minaret, or the Calling Tower), Shanqingtang (Hall of Celebrating Goodness), archway and the screen wall.the interior view of Niujie Mosque

Niujie Mosque

The Prayer Hall in Niujie Mosque is the core building in the mosque. Covering an area of 600 square meters, the hall faces the east and has a hexagonal wooden pavilion with a pyramidal roof. 5-bayed in width and 3-bayed in depth, the hall can house 1, 000 persons to pray at the same time. There are 18 posts forming 21 arches to support the hall. On the beams and ceilings are rich relief patterns and carvings of flowers and Arabic scriptures, and on the lintel of the entrance are the texts of the Koran. The caisson ceiling further in was built in the Song Dynasty and the hollow-out windows are made in patterns of Kufic Arabic words.

Among the many rare steles and relics in Niujie Mosque, there are two precious Yuan-Dynasty gravestones in Arabic, one was set in 1280 and the other in 1 283. Visitors can learn about the stories on the renovations of the mosque by the Ming imperial court from a stone stele inside the mosque. They can also have a look at the big bronze pot made during Qianlong's reign, a copper incense burner and an iron one of the Qing Dynasty.

 

Niujie Mosque Tour

During the tour to Niujie Mosque, travelers could learn more about the Islamic festivals. If you are a slamic, then Niujie Mosque is an ideal place during your Beijing tour.