Have you ever wondered what places like the Taj Mahal or even Angkor Wat looked like in their heyday? Visiting this mosque felt like visiting a world wonder before time has had a chance to reduce it to ruins. While it may not be as impressive as some of the ancient ruins simply because its construction benefitted from modern technology, someday future generations lining up to marvel at the opulence of this incredible structure.
Built by the beloved president of the UAE, Sheikh Zayed, the Grand Mosque took 11 years to complete, and is the eighth largest mosque in the world. 40,000 people can worship here at once. Architecturally, this place is stunning. The perfect contrast of the pure white and gold, mirrored in the blue reflecting pools that line the outside.
Dress code at the mosque is pretty strict, but they loan out clothes for the women to wear to keep them covered head to toe. John was allowed to wear pretty much whatever, so long as he didn’t have shorts on.
The inside of the mosque is massive, and can accommodate 7,000 worshippers at one time.This is just one of seven huge crystal chandeliers, and it is apparently the third largest chandelier in the world.The carpet inside is the largest hand-made carpet in the world. It took 1,200 women a year to complete it.The gold niche marks the direction of mecca, toward which worshippers should pray. Surrounding the niche are 99 flowers with each name/attribute for god written within. The photo on the right is our guide explaining how the prayer clock. Traditionally, Muslims pray 5 times per day, but the actual times change depending on the day (ie the first prayer is to be done before sunrise, but the time can vary.) In Abu Dhabi the call to prayer is performed five times per day at the Grand Mosque and then broadcast all over the city through all of the smaller mosques.So many beautiful archways…