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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for 5 Cultural Sights to See in Maldives - Immerse Yourself in the History, Arts and Culture of the Maldivian Isles
Joanna James Joanna James
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5 Cultural Sights to See in Maldives - Immerse Yourself in the History, Arts and Culture of the Maldivian Isles

Embark on a voyage of discovery in the heart of Male and discover the history, religion, arts and culture of the Maldivian people.


Discover the Historical Evolution of the Maldivian Culture at the National Museum

The National Museum of Maldives was first established in November 1952 i.e. on the National Day of Maldives, by Mohamed Amin Didi, the Prime Minister of Maldives at that time. The Museum is housed in a three-storied building (known as the old building) as well as another building (known as the new building). The National Museum is located in the Sultan Park in the capital of Maldives, Male, and is close to the National Art Gallery. The museum hosts a number of collections, artefacts and relics such as costumes, coins, armour and furniture.


Immerse Yourself in the Religious Culture of Maldives at the Islamic Centre

Opened in 1984, the Masjid al Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam, known for convenience as the Islamic Centre, hosts the Grand Friday Mosque. The Masjid al Sultan Muhammad Thakurufaanu Al Auzam was opened by Maumoon Abdul Gayoom, the President of Maldives. While the centre hosts conference halls, a few offices as well as a library, it is most well-known for hosting the Grand Friday Mosque, which is the largest mosque in Maldives as well as one of the largest in the region. The Islamic Centre is considered to be an architecturally stunning landmark in the country.


Purchase Local Art at the Esjehi Art Gallery

The Esjehi Art Gallery is a very small gallery that is found in an old building (the construction of which dates back to the 1870s) on Medhuziyaraiy Magu. Because of the size of the gallery, the public as well as visitors to Maldives, are often able to engage in a dialogue with the artists displaying their work at the Gallery.


Walk Through the Oldest Mosque in Maldives

For holidaymakers who are enjoying the very best Maldives resorts have to offer, an opportunity to immerse themselves in some local history awaits at the Hukuru Miskiiy. While tours of this particular mosque can be arranged by speaking to the concierge at resorts such as Anantara Kihavah Maldives Villas, holidaymakers can also opt to visit and explore this landmark on their own. Also known as the Old Friday Mosque, Hukuru Miskiiy is made out of carved coral stone and is the oldest mosque in the country as it was built in 1658. Those who visit the Mosque can marvel at the woodcarvings, lacquer work as well as the cemetery with lavish tombstones. The Old Friday Mosque has also been placed on the UNESCO World Heritage Site Tentative List.


Marvel at the Talent Displayed at the National Art Gallery

Located close to the National Museum, within the confines of the Sultan Park in Male, the National Art Gallery was opened in 2005. This particular gallery was established in response to the need for a designated space for arts and culture in Maldives. When it was founded, the gallery hosted an exhibition titled 'Maldives Contemporary'. This exhibition showcased the stunning artistic talents of nearly 30 local painters. The National Art Gallery has also hosted a contemporary art show titled 'Breathing Atolls' in 2012.