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Updated by Joanna James on Sep 13, 2018
Headline for Religious attractions in Maldives -The inimitable Coral Stone Mosques of Maldives
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Joanna James Joanna James
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Religious attractions in Maldives -The inimitable Coral Stone Mosques of Maldives

Maldives' coral stone mosques embody the Islamic nation's dominant faith. Rich in heritage and masterfully designed, exploring these monumental works of art is a must during your stay!

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The Old Friday Mosque

The historic Old Friday Mosque referred to as the "Hukuru Miskiiy" in Dhivehi remains the oldest mosque in the country and served as the Malé population's main mosque for around four centuries until the advent of the Grand Friday Mosque and Islamic Centre. The construction is exemplary of meticulous coral stone architecture, intricate lacquer work and detailed wood carvings that represent one of Maldives' most prolific works of artistic expression. With immaculate interior and exterior walls beautifully carved with Arabic lettering and decorative designs, the mosque's surrounding is a 17th-century graveyard built with coral stone tombstones of sultans and nobles from the past etched with unique designs unlike anything found elsewhere globally.

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The Grand Friday Mosque

Officially named the Masjid-al Sultan Mohamed Thakurufaanu-al-A'z'am, the Grand Friday Mosque is the largest mosque in the Maldives and is an awe-inspiring architectural landmark located in close proximity to the Adaaran Select Hudhuranfushi resort and the Presidential Palace. The mosque's splendid golden dome and minaret occupy much of Malé's skyline. The interior of the mosque is adorned with breathtaking wood carvings and Arabic calligraphy. The Islamic Centre is located adjacent to the mosque and functions as a conference hall for ceremonies and official meetings and functions. The hall is capable of accommodating over five thousand worshippers at a time. Both the Friday Mosque and Grand Friday Mosque are stalwarts in Maldives coral architectural history and should definitely be at the top of your list of places to visit in Maldives.

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The Old Mosque of Isdhoo

The Old Mosque was established in 1701 CE, dating back to the reign of Sultan Ali XII. The significance of this mosque as a tourist attraction is that it serves as a keep for the copper chronicles "Ishdhoo Loamaafaanu"; the oldest historical writings in existence in Maldives. The mosque is one of the best surviving examples of small coral stone architecture and has been well-maintained. With columns made from coral stone and from its intricate carvings to its entrance steps, carved wooden doors, lacquer calligraphy and interior decoration, the quality of workmanship evident in the mosque's architecture is some of the finest that Maldives has ever seen.

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The Eid Mosque

The Eid Mosque or "Eid Miskiiy" in Maldives is said to have been built between 1799 AD and 1835 AD, during the reign of Sultan Mohamed Mueenudhdheen Iskandhar. The mosque has been used for the performing of Eid prayers for centuries and is currently, a living monument of pivotal cultural and religious importance to the people of Maldives. On par with the layout of most Maldivian mosques, the mosque's main structure lies on a raised plinth made of coral stone with steps that lead up to its entrance in the centre. With walls made of white coral stone blocks and windows and doors built of finely carved wood, the mosque is the last of the coral stone mosques and possesses some of the best ornamentation seen in Maldives.

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