Guide to Major Mosque Buildings in Europe, European Islam Advice, Online Architecture

Major Mosque Buildings in Europe

21 Dec 2020

In Europe, Islam is the second-largest religion after Christianity, and thus it is no surprise to see a rise in the number of mosque buildings in the continent. Muslims have always been looked upon sophisticated and rich world civilizations and have been appreciated for their history and architecture. A large number of Muslim migrants beaned to England, France, and other parts of Europe from a different country during the 1950s and 1960s.

In recent years, the Muslim community in Europe has built some of the most amazing mosques and minarets in the country. The mosque is the basic perceptible foundation of their faith, and the buildings were needed to accommodate their growing numbers. A typical building of mosque comes with minarets, long slender towers and unites the diverse strands of the Muslim community who come from different parts of the world.

Grand Mosque and KSA Pavilion, Dubai, UAE, building design by Architects RMJM:
Grand Mosque of Gate Avenue
image courtesy of architects practice

Major Mosque Building Designs in Europe

Although there are a countless number of mosques in Europe, there are some that deserve mention because of their history and architecture.

  • Imam Ali Mosque in Hamburg – Imam Ali Mosque is one of the oldest mosques in Europe and was established in Hamburg in the late 1950s. Today, it has developed as one of the leading Islamic centers and has striking floors laid with cheap carpets.
  • The grand mosque in Paris – The Great Mosque of Paris is one of the largest in France and comprises prayer rooms, a library, an outdoor garden, a gift shop, as well as a cafe and restaurant. It is characterized by horseshoe arches, courtyards, and green-tiled roofs. Surely one of the most Instagram worthy spots in Paris.
  • Zitouna mosque in Tunisia- some of the architectural elements of the Great Mosque of Paris can be seen in the Zitouna mosque in Tunisia, and those were initially borrowed from Morocco.
  • The Essalam Mosque of Rotterdam – The Essalam Mosque is believed to be the biggest mosque in Europe. The new building is a purpose-built mosque, with a dome and two minarets, and there are several floors and windows on all sides. If you happen to be visiting Rotterdam for its famous summer carnival, then checking out this mosque would be an excellent idea.
  • The Great Mosque of Cordoba- One of the oldest structures from the Muslims ruled Al-Andalus times, the Great Mosque of Cordoba is located in the Spanish region of Andalusia. The building and architecture of the mosque are as complex as its history.
  • Blue Mosque – The Blue Mosque in Armenia dates back to the 18th-century and is one of the oldest existing structures from the city’s Iranian period. The building carries national significance and is seen as the model for the early Qajar mosque architecture.

These mosques play an important role in promoting the visibility of Islam and Muslims in Europe. One can see some common architectural forms, styles, and details in these mosques in the West. They are financed by Muslim governments in the Arab world and are an essential symbol as statements of Muslim identity. There are new mosques being planned and in many major European cities, such as Copenhagen, Munich, Cologne, Amsterdam, Strasbourg, Athens, Berlin, and more.  It can be seen as an effort of humanity and its love for the divine and who believe in balancing faith with modernity.

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