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10 Mosques You Must See

 Mosques are a place of worship. They are places in which class, wealth, status and ethnicity disappear. Yet while many are off-limits to non-believers, many of Islam's largest, loveliest and most historic shrines are open to all. Take a look at 10 of the world's most beautiful mosques:

Hassan II Mosque, Casablanca, Morocco

beautiful mosques
For the few who visit Casablanca, the city's landmark Hassan II Mosque is a must-visit. Completed in 1993, the mosque stands on oceanfront promontory. Its minaret is enormous and is, in fact, the world's tallest at 210m. The interior glows with magical shades of blue marble mosaics and enormous pendant chandeliers. 

Aqsunqur Mosque, Cairo, Egypt

beautiful mosques
Old Cairo is a museum of mosques with dozens of historic shrines located in the medieval center. One of the finest is the Aqsunqur Mosque, completed in 1347. Found in Bab al-Wazir Street, the fortress-like walls are capped with minarets and intricately carved domes. The inside is covered in a luminous array of azure tiles. 

Sultan Ahmed Mosque, Istanbul, Turkey

beautiful mosques
This mosque soars high above the heart of Istanbul. Completed in 1616, it is also known as the Blue mosque and is reminiscent of Ottoman architecture. Needle-thin minarets dramatically rise towards the sky. Its interior, adorned with red carpets and delicate tilework, is just as magnificent. 

Masjed-e Jameh, Isfahan, Iran

beautiful mosques
If this were located in almost anywhere else in the world, Masjed-e Jameh would be teeming with tourists. Nevertheless, for those that do make it to Iran, they are able to enjoy roaming the grounds of this authentically foreign-free mosque. Two of the world's most stunning mosques are located here. The Jameh Mosque is the larger and older of the two. It dates back to pre-Islamic Zoroastrian times and has been rebuilt continuously over the centuries producing the stunning complex you see today. 

Umayyad Mosque, Damascus, Syria

beautiful mosques
The Umayyad Mosque is one of the world's oldest and most revered Islamic Shrines. The mosque dates back to 715, less than a century after the Muslim faith first burst spectacularly into the world. Adorned with Classical Roman-style Corinthian columns and Byzantine-style mosaics, the monumental building reflects the changing times in which it was built. 

Sheikh Zayed Mosque, Abu Dhabi, UAE

beautiful mosques
This mosque was recently built - works were completed in 2007. The mosque boasts record-breaking attractions including the world's largest carpets and the largest marble mosaic. 

Jama Majid, Delhi, India

beautiful mosques
The Jama Masjid is a majestic monument to India's great Mughal rulers. The mosque was commissioned by Shah Jahan, the creator of the Taj Mahal. Its soaring minarets, delicate marble domes, and vast prayer hall make it a mosque worth visiting. 

Great Mosque of Samarra, Iraq

beautiful mosques
Located some sixty miles north of Baghdad, the Great Mosque of Samarra is one of the oldest and most unusual in the Islamic world. Completed in 851 most of the mosque was largely destroyed during the Mongol invasion of 1278 aside from its outer walls, and its unique minaret, the Malwiya Tower - a conical structure rising at 52m high, wrapped in a spiral staircase. 

Mezquita, Cordoba, Spain

beautiful mosques
Built on the site of an early Christian basilica following the Muslim conquest of Spain. Ur was completed in 987, before being returned to use as a church in 1236. 

Diyanet Center Mosque, Lanham, Maryland, USA

beautiful mosques
Opened in 2016, the Diyanet Center mosque is one of the largest and most beautiful in the United States. It is designed in the classic Ottoman style and was part-funded by the Turkish government. The mosque is adorned with Turkish marble making it a site worth visiting. 
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