Living in compact community
in Xi'an, there are about 50,000 Moslems who believe
in Islam and have the largest population among
the minorities in Xi'an. Two mosques have been
built at this region where Huis reside, which
are called the East Great Mosque and the West
Great Mosque because of their locations--- one
in the east & the other in the west. Yet the
East Great Mosque is on a comparatively large
scale. The East Great Mosque introduced here is
located at Huajue Lane, the northwestern side
of the Drum Tower in the center of Xi'an.
It is recorded on the tablets inside
the Mosque at Huajue Lane that the Mosque here
was first built in 742 AD (the 1st year in the
regin of Emperor Tian Bao in the Tang Dynasty)
and was repaired in 1384 AD (the 17th year of
the regin of emperor Hong Wu in the Ming Dynasty).
The architecture of the mosque is in the Ming
style. The East Great Mosque can be divided into
4 big courtyards, covering an area of more than
12,000 square meters, and forming a series of
complete historic buildings. The main building
in the front yard is an eight-meter high wooden
memorial gateway with glazed, upturned eaves.
The stone tablet in the second courtyard recorded
the repair work in the Ming and Qing dynasties.
There is a "month tablet" carved in
Arabic in the western side of the courtyard. which
is the important reference of the calcuation of
the Hui calendar. A three-storeyed octagonal topmost
roof toward the central inspire terrace and tower
called "Retrospection Tower" is seen
standing in the center when you enter the third
courtyard, which is the place from where order
are sent to call the Moslems to come to worship.
The three-gates (called Lian San Men) paralleled
with the "Retrospection Tower" in the
west is the fourth courtyard, with the main buildings
of the Mosque clustering here. there is a pavilion
named "Yi Zhen" (the Pavilion of Phoenix
as well) standing inside the center of this courtyard,
with the six-gabled, upturned eaves adjoined by
three pavilions, and it is very beautiful in architecture.
Two words "Yi Zhen" written by Tie Xuan
in 1399 AD (the first year of Emperor Hui in the
Ming Dynasty) are hung on the "Yi Zhen Pavilion"
(or the Pavilion of Phoenix). "The Stele
on the Repairing of the Mosque" is stored
and kept inside this courtyard, which is of the
first year of Emperor Tiao Bao. Across the fish
pond---Chinese flowering crabapple pond, walking
up the stairs, passing the stone gate, coming
to the platform, a large-scaled main hall is seen,
which is seven-room wide and nine-room long, covering
an area of about 1,3000 square meters, and can
house more than a thousand worshipers each time.
The hall consists of as the front corridor, the
Prayer Hall and the rear courtroom. The horizontal
inscribed board absolving other has been hung
in the hall, which was bestowed by Zhu Li, Emperor
Cheng Zu in the Ming Dynasty in 1405 to imam at
that time, Sayidiha Morutin of Arab. The celling,
the walls of the hall are decorated with patterens
of painted trailingplants, which can be regarded
as the art treasures of Islam in China.
Thanks to the rigorous arrangement
of the Mosque, and the special style & features
of each courtyard as well as its art treasures,
the Mosque was highly praised by Han Suyin, a
British Chinese author, and regarded as "An
excellent and outstanding ancient mosque"
after her visit to the mosque. Nowadays, the Mosque
at Huajue Lane is not only the place where the
Huis worship, but also the opening and visiting
place to hostile Muslim and Arabic State leaders.
Xi'an Travel Attractions
of Stone Steles