South Africa’s Oldest Mosque
The magnificent Juma Masjid Mosque, meaning "Mosque of the Congregation", has become of one the most popular tourist attractions in the coastal city of Durban. Until recently the Mosque was the largest in the Southern Hemisphere, accommodating up to 6,000 worshipers, but today it claims second place after the Turkish-style Nizamiye Mosque in Johannesburg.
Built in 1881, the original structure could accommodate 48 worshipers, but was demolished in 1884 to make way for a new larger structure which was further enlarged in 1903 to double its capacity and make way for an arched veranda, making the Juma Masjid Mosque the oldest mosque in the country.
The Mosque has a unique design and is geometric in shape, an excellent example of Islamic architecture. It is adorned with original marble, chandeliers and crown moulding from 1895 and its gilt-domed minarets are a sight to behold, a cultural highlight when visiting the city. Every Friday, downtown Durban is abuzz with thousands of local Muslims going to pray at the Grey Street Mosque, as it is still locally referred to.
Visitors are welcome during certain hours and you can call ahead for a guided tour. The interlinking buildings also allow visitors to walk through the Madressa Arcade Bazaar a shopping space with a distinct Indian flavour. Also around the Mosque are several Indian food outlets offering the unique Indian “Bunnychow”! The Juma Mosque is really a series of interlinking buildings, arcades and corridors, in which commerce, religion and community exist in equilibrium – a definite stop for those visiting Durban.
Entrance is Free
Strict Dress Code of respectable attire, legs must be covered and shoes must be removed before entering the building
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