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Xi’an and the Hui people …

The Great Mosque of Xi’an

It looks like a Chinese pavilion but it is actually the Great Mosque of Xi’an built in the 8th century and one of the oldest in China. Like many visitors I came to Xi’an to see the famous life size terracotta warriors made during the legendary reign of Qin Shi Huang first Emperor of China who united the country in the midst of the warring period of 1st century BC. But Xi’an one of China’s great ancient city is not only well preserved reputed especially for the amazing fortified walls as well as the magnificent Drum and Bell towers but also its delightful Muslim quarter – home to the Hui people. The Muslim quarter is laden with shops and food stalls with the people recognizable through their clothing. Most wear the traditional skull caps and the women with their scarves over their heads. Especially when night falls the streets are transformed into a blazing crowded world of budget style restaurants and food sellers offering traditional local Muslim snacks. But away from this busy and noisy area hidden among a small alley is the charming compound of the Great Mosque. Many visitors coming to Xi’an would probably bypass this place and head for the more famous attractions but this was too interesting for me to miss out. So I came early in the morning as to avoid the midday heat for a visit. It was a friendly welcome at the entrance of the great Mosque where visitors are asked to pay a small fee … The place feels like an oasis of tranquility. Set in a lovely garden the Great Mosque is constructed like a Chinese style building rather than the traditional Islamic domed structures and minarets. There is a school inside the compound where boys are placed to one side of the building and girls on the opposite side …

Attending the Koranic school (Madrasa) in the Great Mosque compound

By late afternoon time for prayer where a pageantry of the Hui community meets up in the prayer hall.

Preparing the evening prayer (maghrib) at the Great Mosque

And my eye caught this image …

And here are more images of the Great Mosque and the Hui Muslim community within the compound …

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19 comments on “Xi’an and the Hui people …

  1. Ellie at Emerald Pie
    June 4, 2012

    Wow! Fascinating.

    • Photo Media
      June 4, 2012

      Thank you, I truly enjoyed my visit at the Mosque…

  2. bwbears
    June 5, 2012

    it’s amazing how you captured the beautiful portraiture

    • Photo Media
      June 5, 2012

      Thank you … Actually I stayed hours waiting blending in with the people just to put them at ease in front of the camera and the natural lightning was perfect :-)

      • bwbears
        June 5, 2012

        The efforts are well rewarded! There is so much spirit in the kids’ eyes.

  3. RC
    June 5, 2012

    Tranquil is right. Your images really captured that feeling. Quite informative.

    • Photo Media
      June 6, 2012

      Thank you and indeed this is real haven in the midst of buzzing Xi’an :-)

  4. Travel Culture Food
    June 5, 2012

    this is soo beautiful, thanks for the post ;)

    • Photo Media
      June 6, 2012

      Thank you and glad you like. This is indeed a unique visit :-)

  5. danielandkellytravel
    June 6, 2012

    Great photos, loved the post!

    • Photo Media
      June 6, 2012

      Thank you for the nice comments and glad you enjoyed the post :-)

      • danielandkellytravel
        June 6, 2012

        I loved it! And I also loved visiting xi’an. One of my favourite places I saw in china :)

  6. dragonspeed
    June 8, 2012

    Lovely shots…. we simply passed through Xi’an so only had the opportunity for the “Chinese” things. This looks like a really interesting part of the city. I read one of your comments above.. people can really get put off by the presence of a camera, especially if you’re a big white guy with it, like me :) Nice work.

    • Photo Media
      June 8, 2012

      Thank you for the nice comments. Yes this is indeed a unique place, a bit hidden and away from tourists routes and just a touch of Chines … And looking Asian it was much easier to blend in with locals and get these good shots :-)

  7. Oli
    June 11, 2012

    Thank you for telling the story which I ignored, and for the beautiful pictures too.

    • Photo Media
      June 11, 2012

      Thank you !

  8. CanadianTravelBugs
    July 1, 2012

    Great shots… we went to Xi’an last October and yes we missed this little gem. We only had a few days, so had to do the warriors.

    • Photo Media
      July 1, 2012

      Thank you … A pity it is also worth a detour :-)

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This entry was posted on June 4, 2012 by in China, Photography, Travel, Xi'an and tagged , , , , , , , , .

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