Home » Silk Road Attractions » Xian Attractions » The Great Mosque

Xian Attractions

The oldest mosque in China, Xian’s Great Mosque was founded in 742, during the Tang Dyansty (618-907). The mosque is located near Xian’s Ancient Drum Tower. During the time there was a large number of Persian and Afghanistan merchants and traders in the city and they built the mosque.  The mosque has a beautiful blend of Chinese architectural styles with Arabic writing and decorations and has neither domes nor minarets.

The Great Mosque occupies an area of over 12,000 square meters and has four courtyards which are landscaped with gardens. The first courtyard is home to a nine meter high wooden arch that dates back to the 17th century. In the exact center of the second courtyard a stone arch stands flanked by two steles. The steles were carved with script by two famous calligraphers and they are considered a cultural treasure. The third courtyard’s entrance has a hall contained within. The Prayer Hall, the largest structure in the mosque can hold 1,000 people easily.

The mosque is the only one within China which allows non-Muslim visitors, although they are not admitted to the main Prayer Hall and during prayer times, they are not admitted.