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La Grande Mosquee de Paris

La Grande Mosquee de Paris was the very first mosque to be built in France plus it is also the largest mosque in France as well, and the decision to build this great mosque was in tribute to the French Arab community that fought in the First World War, especially to those who gave their lives at the Battle of Verdun in 1916.   

Funding for the construction of the mosque was provided by the French Government, but it was built by Arab's and inspired by the famous Alhambra mosque located in Spain and in turn it has a Spanish, Moorish style, with the first stone being laid in 1922.

La Grande Mosquee

- La Grande Mosquee
- Le Hammam
- Aux Portes l'Orient
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La Grande Mosquee de Paris

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 1926.

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 Mass.

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 souvenir.

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

Grande Mosquee Paris

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