select - Great Mosques
Written by Oryx
From the ancient to the contemporary, mosques are not only places of worship, but splendid feats of architecture featuring diverse styles, cultural influences, and dazzling craftsmanship.
Ahmad ibn Tulun Mosque
The largest mosque in Cairo and the oldest still surviving in its original form, Ibn Tulun Mosque was built in the 9th century as the grand ceremonial centrepiece of the Tulunid Dynasty. It is noted for its vast arcaded courtyard – designed to accommodate Ibn Tulun’s entire army for prayers – and distinctive minaret, featuring a helical exterior staircase. Although there is some notable stucco, the mosque is striking for its grand simplicity of style.
Distance: 2,066 km
Flight Time: 3 hours, 25 minutes
Frequency: 3 flights a day
State Mosque of Qatar
One of the newest landmarks in Qatar, officially known as the Sheikh Muhammad Ibn Abdul Wahhab Mosque after the influential 18th-century Sunni scholar, has a prayer hall topped by 28 domes and a soaring 65-metre minaret. A further 65 domes cover the quadrangle, making this one of the most distinctive buildings in central Doha.
Qatar Airways flies from Doha to 118 destinations worldwide.
Hassan II Mosque
This amazing building, built to commemorate the Moroccan king’s 60th birthday, is one of the world’s largest mosques and boasts the world’s tallest minaret, which soars 210 metres. From the top, a spotlight shines in the direction of Mecca by night. The mosque stands by the sea on a rocky promontory, even allowing views of the sea through a glass floor in the prayer hall. The interior décor of marble, granite, and cedar is delicately carved and decorated in the Moorish style, with strong influences from Islamic Spain.
Distance: 5,736 km
Flight Time: 8 hours
Frequency: Daily via Tunis
Sultan Ahmed Mosque
Popularly known as the Blue Mosque, this enormous multiple-domed building fuses Byzantine and Ottoman styles. Light streams into the interior of the building through 260 stained-glass windows, illuminating the patterns on its vivid blue Iznik tiles, whose floral designs depict tulips, roses, carnations, and cypress trees. Woodwork is encrusted with ivory and mother-of-pearl, and walls are adorned with outstanding calligraphy of verses from the Quran.
Sabiha Gökçen Airport, Istanbul, Turkey