Mosquée de Paris

Mosquée de Paris (80)

This impressive architectural complex constitutes the spiritual centre of the Muslim community of Paris. 

It was built after the First World War, between 1922 and 1926.

The Moorish-style building, inspired by the mosques of Fez, in Morocco, was built by Charles Heubès, Robert Fournez and Maurice Mantout, according to the designs by Maurice Tranchant de Lunel.

The best Tunisian, Moroccan and Algerian craftsmen took part in the works. Their hands produced the exquisite Arab tiling, mosaics and woodcarvings that decorate this mosque.

Its most characteristic element is the white and green minaret that stands 33 metres high. And it follows the classical architectural rules of the height being five times the width. It has a square ground plan and each side has ornamentation based on geometric figures and floral motifs. And from here the faithful are called to pray 5 times a day.

The whole complex is articulated around a large courtyard and its gardens. 

In the middle of a big white wall there is a door which leads to the large inner courtyard.

The entrance door is an example of the finest Moroccan art, just like the cover carved in cedar wood. The carved wooden frame has an inscription with verses from the Koran. 

The courtyard has some magnificent coffered ceilings in cedar and eucalyptus. You can also see a mosaic frieze in which one can see verses by the Tunisian poet Jalaleddine En-Nakache. In the centre there is a fountain.

The entrance door to the Prayer Hall is also a marvellous craftsman’s work of carved wood. In the Prayer Hall, spacious and with many columns, in the centre you will be able to see a grand octagonal wooden cupola in hand-carved cedar with multicolour crystals fitted in. The marvellous piece in copper and iron were cast by the craftsmen of Fez and was a gift from Moulay Youssef, Sultan of Morocco.

The two minbars, the steps where the orator stands, which you can see, made in wood were also a gift, one from King Fouad I of Egypt, and the other from His Highness Lamine Bey of Tunisia.  

On your visit make sure you do not miss the big tapestry, a marvel of great value and a gift from the Shah of Iran, Réza Pahlevi. A marvel of Persian art.

In the complex, as well as the mosque, there is the Institute of Muslim Studies, where classical Arabic and Islamic culture is taught, a typical tea house, some Arab baths and even shops where you can buy leatherwork and woodwork... The tea salon and its terrace are perfect for letting time just roll by.

If you want to visit the mosque, remember that your clothing must be suitable and take off your shoes at the entrance of the prayer hall.

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