Moroccan Paradise in the Latin Quarter

MosqueParis is not only a romantic city, it’s also a melting pot of cultures. So sometimes your steps lead you to an exotic architectural site right in its heart. That’s what happens in the 5th district, at the foot of the Saint Geneviève hill, where a white wall hides a mysterious building, flagged by a colorful tower and a massive wooden door. This monument is actually the Great Mosque of Paris, a little piece of Morocco hidden in the French capital.

mosque3This sanctuary, built between 1922 and 1926, is a tribute to the Muslim soldiers who died during World War I fighting for the French Republic. 100,000 volunteers from Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia perished during the war, far from their native lands. Afterwards, the French people wanted to give the Muslim community a place to commemorate this tragedy. That was the beginnings of this mosque, a Muslim Institute, several reception rooms, and a library. A restaurant and hammam (steam baths) completed this Moroccan haven in the heart of the Latin Quarter.

Mosque2Nowadays, visitors and prayers go together in this quiet atmosphere of the Great Mosque. A peaceful garden welcomes you to this reconstituted paradise, with its fountains, palm trees and roses. Beyond that is the courtyard of the mosque, decorated in the tradition of Fez, the spiritual capital of Morocco. Ceramics, engraved plaster, sculpted wood, and calligraphy running all along the walls and beneath the arcades evoke the North African heritage. At the end of the corridors and terraces a huge door opens onto a majestic reception hall reminding us of the Tales of 1001 Arabian Nights.

>more

Comments are closed