The Great Mosque of Xi’an – China.Not only is the Great Mosque of Xi’an one of the most beautiful mosques in the world, it is also amongst the oldest. While it was founded in 742 in the Shaanxi province of China, it was built between 1368 and 1398 and renovated many times since then. This mosque does not have the traditional elements of mosque architecture such as domes or minarets. It is instead constructed with more traditional Chinese architectural elements.Credit: Yoshi (via Flickr)
Great Mosque of Herat, Aghanistan. In lapis lazuli (a precious gem), brick and stone, this large congregational mosque in the north-western city of Herat is quite simply astonishing. With foundations laid by Sultan Ghayas-ud-Din Ghori in 1200, it was extended, amended and repaired throughout subsequent eras, and took its current form in the 15th century, although it was damaged in the Anglo-Afghan wars in the 19th century.
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Umayyad Mosque, Syria. The Great Mosque of Damascus is easily one of the finest buildings in the Islamic world. Finished in 715 under the rule of the Umayyad Caliph al-Walīd I, it is based around a vast courtyard some 157m by 100 m in size. The Shrine of Saint John the Baptist (Prophet Yahya) is believed to contain the man’s head