Amman’s monumental mosque on the hill

Mosque  (2)
The King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque is pictured in these undated photos. (Photos: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)
King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque was built for two main reasons: The first was to honor the memory of Jordan’s late King Hussein who passed away in 1999, and the second was to be a landmark that functions as Jordan’s official state mosque. اضافة اعلان

Designed by the Egyptian-born British architect Khaled Azzam and completed in 2006, it is by far Jordan’s largest mosque with the area of 8,000sq.m. that can accommodate 5,000 worshippers in its indoor and outdoor areas.

Located in the edge of the capital, the mosque sits on the highest hill in the area providing a platform to the architectural icon and overlooking Al-Hussein Public Parks, the Children’s Museum, the Royal Automobile Museum, and the neighborhoods around it.

The site plan takes the form of a 70x70sq.m., with each corner marked by a huge squared minaret, giving the building a sense of greatness.
The main dome of the mosque is replicated on the minarets, while the plan’s aligns with Jerusalem towards the southwest, creating a “spiritual axis” as the architect called it.

The visitor is welcomed at the main entrance with a series of arches and vaulted arcades defining the outside prayer area and leading into a courtyard surrounded by the building.

The open air area that is enclosed from three sides is known as the iwan, and is mostly vaulted in traditional Islamic architecture that leads from the courtyard to the main prayer area, accommodating 2,500 worshippers.

The first floor houses offices, lecture halls, a library, and different facilities, while the second floor houses a 350sq.m. double-winged prayer hall for women.

The mosque is heavily influenced by Egyptian pre-modern Islamic architecture, linking the large square structure and the four minarets with medieval-era Cairo.

The King Hussein Bin Talal Mosque is pictured in these undated photos. (Photos: Nayrouz Ali/Jordan News)

The stairs that lead up to the mosque and the iwan’s spiritual white vaults might not be the most significant experience of the mosque, but seeing the building at night, completely lit up on top of the hill makes for a visual attraction.

A team from Balqa Applied University’s Islamic Arts Faculty created the mihrab, the focal point of the mosque that directs worshippers towards Mecca, the facade of the mihrab is made of rare types of wood, which were used for the building’s construction for the first time in 300 years in the Islamic world.

In 2012, His Majesty King Abdullah opened the Museum of the Prophet, which displays a number of relics associated with the Prophet Mohammad. 

Pope Benedict XVI visited the mosque during his tour of the Holy Land in 2009. This was his second visit to a mosque by a pope.

The mosque is now the official state mosque, where King Abdullah and the Hashemites pray on Friday and during Ramadan.

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