Built on the site of the former Mercy Hospital, many of the
beautiful mosaics you will see were inspired by one of the largest mosques in Morocco and
these were completed by artisans from North Africa using traditional materials, bearing in
mind that a good majority of the Muslim community in France have North African roots.
Situated in the Latin Quarter in the 5th Arrondissement of Paris and located adjacent to the Jardin des Plantes
and behind the Institut du Monde Arab,
President Gaston Doumergue inaugurated the La Grande Mosquee de Paris on the 15th of July
The mosque has a distinctly North African and Spanish style with a minaret that is 33
metres high, a crisp white exterior and ornately carved woodwork in eucalyptus and cedar
wood that adorn the internal courtyards along with several small courtyards that have well
kept gardens, trees and fountains.
Inside the mosque there is a prayer hall, which has an unusual layout that gives it an
open and airy feel, but although people from other cultures are not allowed into the
prayer hall, they are allowed to enter the mosque to appreciate its beauty. This
provides an opportunity for visitors to be exposed to the rich Muslim heritage that is now
a way of life for almost 25 percent of the population in France.
Also inside Le Mosquee De Paris there is a tomb for the first Imam of the mosque, who hid
over two hundred Jews in the basement, saving them from concentration camps during Adolph
Hitler's advance on Paris.
The whole place is a wonderful cultural experience where you can even indulge in the Hammams, that are basically Turkish baths
and are open to the public at set times for men and at other times for women.
Also within the mosque, there is a café and tea room called Café Maure de la Mosquée that is in an
authentic North African style, where you can sit sipping mint tea and eat pastries, but
there is also a restaurant called Aux Portes
de l'Orient that serves traditional Middle Eastern cuisine with delights such as
couscous to enjoy at other times of the day.
Today, Muslims living in Paris gather on a Friday, which the Muslim holy day, and during
Ramadan to pray and visitors are not allowed in to certain areas during these times or
during the reading of the Koran, prayers and mediations which are reserved for followers
of Islam, but this is very different from other places of worship such as the Notre Dame Cathedral where anyone is welcome at a
However there are short tours available of the building, its central courtyard, and its
pristine gardens with a guide, or you can just take a stroll around on your own. You
can even visit a genuine Souk, where numerous items are on display from crockery to
fabrics that bring out the magic of the Orient and are available for your to purchase as a
So if you are in this area, why not take a tour of this exquisite Paris monument, and spend some quality tranquil time
out at the tea room and the shaded terrace, which are located just off the main courtyard,
and dream of being in a far away place such as Marrakech.
Address & Contact Details
La Grande Mosquee de Paris
2 Bis Place du Puits de l'Ermite
Telephone: 1 45 35 97 33
Fax: 1 45 35 16 23