Lighthouse Mosque




October 2009 • Canon 40D • Canon IXUS 100 IS

No. 56, Guangta Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou
(Take Guangzhou Subway Line 1 to Ximenkou Station.
Exit at Exit B, and then 500 meters to Huaisheng Mosque)

We were at the City of Guangzhou to catch an overnight train to Guilin to stay at Yangshuo. After lunch we had the afternoon to wonder around, so we decided to take the opportunity to visit the oldest mosque in China. The city of Guangzhou, in the south of China, played an important role as the main port for the sea silk road. It is the earliest place in China that was introduced to Islam by Arab traders.

When the Arab traders settled down in the city, the Huaisheng Mosque was the first of it‘s kind to be built during the Tang Dynasty (618–907). There has been a few rebuilds and renovations over the years but the minaret has stayed the same. The minaret is an extremely rare architectural style to be seen in China. The Mosque was constructed in memory of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (peace be upon him) hence the name of the Mosque ‘Huaisheng’ which means “remembering the saint”. To save time, we caught a taxi to the mosque.

Moon Tower

Once you walk through the entrance you are greeted by the Moon-observation Tower. Built in the typical Chinese pagoda style, it is used to observe the moon phases to confirm the start and end of Ramadan (month of fasting).

Prayer Hall




To the southwest of the mosque, the minaret stands. Sometimes called the Lighthouse because it resembles a lighthouse with its cylindrical shape. With the balcony tip at the top, it was the first structure of it kind in China.

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