Niu Jie Mosque, Beijing

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.

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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

Site Information
Names:Niu Jie Mosque
Country:China
Categories:mosques
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:39.884400° N, 116.358000° E
Address:Beijing, China
Lodging:View hotels near Niu Jie Mosque
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. The Rough Guide to China 4 (October 2005), 111-12.
  2. Frommer's Beijing, 4th ed. (March 2006).
  3. Beijing - Niujie Qingzhen Si Mosque - PlanetWare

More Information

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