The Muslim Hui minority constitute one third of Yinchuan’s population and their influence is evident in everything from the city’s architecture, Arabic-Chinese road signs, cuisine and of course, number of mosques. Yinchuan offers a healthy mix of modern skyscrapers and traditional Chinese temples, but it’s the mosques of Yinchuan that catch many people’s attention, and remind visitors of Yinchuan’s significance as a gateway to Western Asia during the Silk Road era. Below, we introduce four of the most significant mosques in Yinchuan.
1) Nanguan Mosque
Nanguan Mosque (南关清真大寺) serves as a major activity center for religious activity among the Hui Chinese living in Yinchuan, and is also one of the most important landmarks of the city. During festivals or prayer time hundreds of locals can be seen entering the mosque to offer their respects to Allah. The mosque was originally built during the Ming Dynasty, and at that time was built under the influence of traditional Chinese architecture. In 1981, Nanguan got a makeover, and is now divided into two floors; with the top floor being a worship hall and the bottom featuring a temple, a bathroom and a reception. The mosque attracts around 50 tourists each day, however those not of the Islamic faith are not allowed to enter the worship hall.
Add: Yuhuangge Nanjie, Xingqing District, Yinchuan
Tel: 0951 4106 714
Opening hours: 8:30-17:00
Price: 10 RMB
Getting there: take bus 12, 17, 21, 28, 29, 43, 102, or 201 to Nanguan Mosque Station (南关清真寺站)
2) Xiguan Mosque
Xiguan Mosque (西关清真大寺) was originally built in the outskirts of Yinchuan, though given the city’s recent rapid development, it’s now officially counted as being part of the city proper. The mosque was originally built during the era of Qing Dynasty Emperor Kangxi, though got rebuilt in 1995 and is now divided into three sections featuring a reception and worship hall. As with many mosques across the world, Xiguan features its own amplification system in the style of a twisting staircase that allows the chants of worshippers to reverberate throughout the building.
Add: Tianyuan Xiang, Tanglai Neighbourhood, 46 Fenghuang Beijie, Xingqing District, Yinchuan
Tel: 0951 5028 344
Getting there: take bus 12 or 501 to Ningyi Datanglai Hospital Station (宁医大唐徕医院站)
3) Najiahu Mosque
If you’re interested in escaping the city, then Najiahu Mosque (纳家户清真寺) may be the perfect excuse. Located in Yinchuan’s Yongning County (永宁县), Najiahu is the oldest mosque in Ningxia and one of the biggest. During Eid al-Adha (also known as the Muslim Feast of the Sacrifice), you can be sure to see as many as 3,000 people gathering in the mosque to celebrate the festival. The structural design of the mosque offers an interesting fusion of Arabic and Han and Tang Dynasty styles, and is decorated with a wooden floor and over 500 Islamic rugs. In front of the mosque, visitors can lay their eyes on an impressive ten meter-high, 22 meter-wide carving of words from the Quran.
Add: Najiahu Village, 2 kilometers west of Yanghe Township, Yongning County, Yinchuan
Getting there: take bus 302 from Yinchuan Nanmen Square (南门广场) to County Government Station (县政府站), then take a taxi or walk to the mosque
4) Yinchuan Central Mosque
The Yinchuan Central Mosque (银川清真中寺) was built in 1931, but was recently renovated in 2000. During religion reforms in 1958, the mosque was kept open until it was later used as a factory, and is the only mosque in Yinchuan to have been completely preserved and protected during the Cultural Revolution. All the interior and exterior architecture is exactly the same as it was when it was first built, and now features a pond in the building which is full of flowers. The mosque currently occupies a space of over 2,000 square meters, and features a traditional Chinese architectural design.
Add: 12 Zhongsi Xiang, Jiefang Xijie, Xingqing District, Yinchuan
Tel: 0951 5066 720
Getting there: takes bus 1, 11, 12, 34, 35, 42, 49, 105, 106, 201 to Zhongyiyuan Station (中医院站)
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