Niujie Mosques

Entrance Fee CNY 5 for Chinese, CNY 10 for foreigners;

free for Muslims

Opening Hours 08:00-16:00

The Niujie Mosque is located at Xuanwu District of Beijing City. It is the largest and oldest mosque in Beijing City. From the cultural perspective, it is a sign of the spread of Islam in China in the early period.  The mosque was built in 996 AD, during the Liao dynasty, and was originally designed by the son of an imam, Nazruddin. After Genghis Khan’s armies destroyed it in 1215, the mosque was rebuilt and later significantly expanded in 1442. By the Qing dynasty, the neighboring markets were well known for halal beef and mutton, and today the Muslim presence is still quite strong, with Muslim grocery stores lining the road and Arabic script on most of the signs.

The Niujie Mosque faces towards Mekka, the layout is symmetrical and compact. Of the 42 rooms in the complex, the most important is the 600 square-meter prayer hall, which can hold more than 1,000 worshippers and is a striking blend of Islamic and Chinese design. The son of the founding Arab imam is buried in the courtyard garden, along with two sheikhs from Central Asia who came to China along the Silk Road. The mosque complex also contains several
stone tablets, including epitaphs for the two sheikhs and a stele by Emperor Kangxi (1654-1722) absolving the Hui Muslim minority of a conspiracy to overthrow the Qing dynasty.

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