I’m just back from my sixth visit to Paris, where I was able to finally visit the Le Grande Mosquée – a place that’s been on my personal must-see list for years.
I woke ridiculously early (thank you, jetlag) and killed time at the hotel until my walk across town would coincide with the mosque’s opening for the day.
Because I arrived at opening, I was the only visitor for the bulk of my visit. Feeling like I had this beautiful oasis to myself was wonderful.
Le Grande Mosquée was built in the 1920s and gifted to the Muslim community as tribute to the 70,000 Muslim soldiers who died for France in WWI. Its architecture is of Spanish-Moorish style, and is reportedly based on the el-Qaraouiyyîn Mosque in Fez, Morocco.
Everywhere you look, you see intricate detail. Look at this colourful mosaic flooring.
And this elaborate wood door and its hardware.
There was so much to take in and photograph that I worried my battery would die before I could finish. Thankfully that didn’t happen.
My visit was (unintentionally) timed with the roses blooming in the lush courtyard.
I like the use of pink marble against the turquoise flooring.
Here are the speakers for the call to prayer, or adhan, (although I was told that they don’t actually blast the call, as to not disturb neighbours).
My visit was during the holy month of Ramadan, and these large rugs are used during special evening prayers.
After my visit I stopped in next door for a glass of warm sweet mint tea.
Had the weather been nicer, I’d have sat outside under a tree. Thankfully I sat inside the tearoom, where the beautiful decor continued. Plus, more importantly, cat.
Once you’ve been to the typical Paris must-sees, I recommend a stop at Le Grande Mosquée. It’s well worth an hour or 2. But go early, as I was told it tends to get busy in the afternoon.
To see the rest of my photos, click here.