The oldest Mosque in Beijing
Walking through the grounds of the Cow Street Mosque, the biggest and oldest in Beijing, will only take about ten minutes, and is located in Xuanwu District. So if you are interested in Mosques it’s a nice place to visit but it might be best to combine with a visit to somewhere else as it will not take up much of your time, especially if you are non-Muslim (more on that later).
The grounds cover 6000 square metres and the mosque is the spiritual centre for 10,000 Muslims who live in the vicinity. The mosque was originally in Xuanwu District before it merged into Xicheng District in 2010. Xicheng District, where the mosque is now located, is the largest area inhabited by Muslims in Beijing.
The mosque was first built in 996AD during the Liao Dynasty and reconstructed some years later in the traditional design of Chinese temples during the Qing Dynasty.
The main building inside the grounds is a 600 square prayer hall, which is only open to Muslims. The mosque also hosts tombs of a number of Islamic clerics from hundreds of years ago, along with stone steles with Arabic engraving.
Entry is 10 RMB (@ $1.50)