Exterior of the Al-Azhar Mosque,Cairo, Egypt.
In search of spirituality or new wonders to discover, take advantage of a trip to the Middle East to immerse yourself in the breathtaking architecture of sacred buildings. From Egypt to the United Arab Emirates and Saudi Arabia, these are the places of worship not to be missed.
The Al Azhar Mosque in Egypt
Both a mosque and a university, Al Azhar proudly sits in the heart of Cairo. This high place of prayer and theological teaching, whose construction was completed in 972, has a considerable influence in the Arab world. And for good reason: it has a thousand-year history and enjoys a strategic geographical location. In terms of architecture, the Al Azhar Mosque marvels thanks to its arcades resting on marble columns, its bouquet of five minarets and its dome decorated with Koranic friezes inside.
The Sacred Mosque in Saudi Arabia
With an area of 356,000 square meters, the Sacred Mosque of Mecca is the largest in the world. Every year, it welcomes more than 2 million pilgrims on the occasion of the hajj. A colossal architecture supported by nine minarets, splendid calligraphic domes and thousands of circular white marble columns. Like a sumptuous palace, the religious complex is finely decorated. Engravings, precious chandeliers and meticulously crafted prayer mats decorate the interior and exterior spaces. Breathtaking.
The Hassan II Mosque in Morocco
The Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca is located on the water’s edge. Built partly on the sea, it extends over nine hectares and includes a minaret that culminates at an altitude of 210 metres. An architectural jewel, the building features facades adorned with zelliges (coloured earthenware tiles) and numerous carved wooden doors. The fruit of the work of more than 10,000 craftsmen recruited throughout the kingdom.
The Badshahi Mosque in Pakistan
With red sandstone walls and white marble domes, the Badshahi Mosque is inspired by the architectural style of Persian mosques. It is near the fort of Lahore and along the Ravi River that it deploys its four 54-metre high minarets and a quadrangular courtyard. At nightfall, the domes are tinted with a green light, offering a magical spectacle.
The Great Sheikh Zayed Mosque in the United Arab Emirates
Majestic and immaculate, the Great Sheikh Zayed Mosque is a pure jewel. White marble coverings, precious stone details, Austrian crystal… So many noble materials that make up this grandiose work with 80 domes. A place of worship in the heart of Abu Dhabi that can accommodate up to 40,000 worshippers: 10,000 in the three inner prayer rooms and 30,000 on the outer esplanade. This courtyard, also colossal, is bounded by 1000 columns and has galleries where you can shelter from the heat.