Built in 995, the Niu Jie Mosque is Beijing's largest and oldest mosque and the spiritual center for the city's estimated 200,000 Muslims.
History of Niu Jie Mosque
The mosque was constructed by two Arabs in 995. Throughout the Yuan, Ming and Qing periods (13th-19th C), it underwent several alterations and since 1949 it has been repeatedly restored.
What to See at Niu Jie Mosque
Niu Jie (Ox Street) is a cramped road running north-south in the Muslim Quarter, about a mile directly west of the Temple of Heaven. It is lined with offal stalls and vendors selling fried dough rings, rice cakes and shaobang (muffins), and populated by men wearing white hats and beards.
The Niu Jie Mosque occupies a site of over 6000 m² and includes several buildings: the prayer hall, the Bangge Lou (minaret), a six-cornered moon observatory tower, and two pavilions with stone steles.
The exteriors are designed in classic Chinese style, looking very much like Buddhist temples, but the interiors are more traditionally Arab. And of course, there are no idols to be seen. Both Chinese and Arabic inscriptions adorn the buildings.
Non-Muslim visitors cannot enter the prayer hall (which is usually fairly empty except on Fridays), but can admire the architecture of the exteriors and look around the courtyards. A small courtyard on the south side contains the graves of two Persian imams who preached here in the 13th century. Nearby is a copper cauldron, used to prepare food for devotees.
Quick Facts on Niu Jie Mosque
|Names:||Niu Jie Mosque|
|Visitor and Contact Information|
|Coordinates:||39.884400° N, 116.358000° E|
|Lodging:||View hotels near Niu Jie Mosque|
- The Rough Guide to China 4 (October 2005), 111-12.
- Frommer's Beijing, 4th ed. (March 2006).
- Beijing - Niujie Qingzhen Si Mosque - PlanetWare
- Photos of Niu Jie Mosque - here on Sacred Destinations
Map of Niu Jie Mosque, Beijing
Below is a location map and aerial view of Niu Jie Mosque. Using the buttons on the left (or the wheel on your mouse), you can zoom in for a closer look, or zoom out to get your bearings. To move around, click and drag the map with your mouse.