Masjid Baiturrahman, in Banda Aceh, Indonesia, represents one of the first examples of a domed mosque in Southeast Asia.
Masjid Baiturrahman replaced a mosque built in 1872 by Sultan Nur al-Alam. The original mosque, named Mesjid Raya or Grand Mosque, was said to replicate a 1614 mosque built by Sultan Iskandar Muda with its layers of wide-hipped roofs. When the kingdom of Aceh resisted Dutch mercantile treaties in 1873, the Dutch invaded Banda Aceh, starting the 30 years Aceh War, and destroying the newly constructed Mesjid Raya. In an effort to persuade the Acehnese to end their resistance, the Dutch rebuilt this central mosque
The architect, de Bruchi, modeled the new mosque on a Mughal (ruled the Indian Subcontinent 1526-1858) plan which had not been seen before in Southeast Asia. Whereas the previous mosque was laid out on a square plan with a four-tiered roof, this new Dutch creation copied many stylistic elements of Mughal mosques. These Mughal elements were further embellished with Moorish* touches, such as the tear shaped arches and the arabesque plaster moldings.
In 1936 two side domes were added. In 1957 a fourth and fifth dome were added at the rear, completing a symbolism of the five pillars of the Indonesian Pancasila. Also, in 1957 two minarets were added and the mosque was renamed Masjid Baiturrahman.
* The term Moors generally refers to Muslims from North Africa.
Extracts from Masjid Baturrachman at Archnet
Research by Nimira Dewji
- Navroz is a time for renewal and reflection
- Fatimid craftsmen were the earliest to make large-scale decorative lustreware items
- Did you know that Ibn Sina’s “Canon of Medicine” was used as a standard medical textbook in European universities for 700 years?
- Rock crystal has been used to represent the visible and the invisible since ancient times
- Did you know that Aga Khan Development Network provides electricity to 10 million people in developing countries?
- Did you know that Aga Khan Foundation assists artisans in marginalised communities in Mozambique?
- Did you know that the Memons, the Chishti Sufis, and Bohras worship in jamatkhanas?
- The paisley motif, a Persian symbol of life and eternity
- Did you know that the Ismaili Centre, Burnaby was the first Silver Jubilee project?
- Did you know that the Blue Qur’an is considered a wonder of Islamic calligraphy?