Grande Mosque of Paris


 

There are many “unusual” buildings in Paris when one dares to venture beyond the more than beaten paths of the city (I’ll never say it enough, when you visit Paris – or any other place on Earth for that matter – don’t stick to the guidebook, the plan, the famous things and so on, venture beyond that, go discover things by yourself). One of them is the Grande Mosque of Paris.

Located right next to the Jardin des Plantes, in the 5th arrondissement (the exact address is 6, rue Georges-Desplas), it is unique for many reasons.

 

Grande Mosque of Paris - 01

 

The first mosque built in France, it was founded in the wake of World War One as a tribute to all the 70,000 Muslim soldiers from the French colonies who died on the French battlefields. It was also one of the first symbols of France’s nascent multiculturalism. Built in mudéjar style (that is European Muslim style that originated during the Middle Ages when Spain was mostly Muslim), it was inaugurated in 1926.

 

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the 33 meters high Minaret

 

Its decorations and gardens are inspired by the Al-Qarawiyyin Mosque in Fes, Morocco (one of the oldest mosques in the world).

 

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It is comprised of several sections including a prayer room, a library, study rooms, conference rooms, gardens, a Turkish bath and a restaurant/café.

 

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All rooms are accessible to visitors with the exception of the prayer room (if you’re Muslim and want to pray, you obviously can access it too).

 

Grande Mosque of Paris - 05

 

It is open every day but Fridays, there’s a small fee to enter (I forgot how much, but it’s cheap) and you can have guided visits (only in French I believe).

 

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Here are a few more glimpses of the Mosque:

 

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Note that I have never tried the restaurant/café, but I’ve heard it’s delicious. It serves North African meals, sweets and tea and it’s a great place to have a relaxing time during your visit of the 5th arrondissement (however, it’s not exactly cheap if I remember the prices).

 

Grande Mosque of Paris - 09

 

In any case, if you want to discover Paris in more details than the usual spots, the Grande Mosque is not to be missed in my opinion.

 

 


About David Billa

David was born and raised in the French South West. After a few years in the US and a few more in Paris, he finally settled down in Japan. He blogs here about his various experiences and travels, with an emphasis on his home country, France.

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5 thoughts on “Grande Mosque of Paris

  • Laura

    This is one of my favorite places in Paris. The restaurant is indeed wonderful with the added bonus being it is open on Sundays. In the summer be prepared to share your cous cous with the sparrows that fly freely throughout the place. They are actually very entertaining little beggars.

  • Susan Walter

    I don’t remember the café being expensive. It is a great place for an authentique mint tea and some Turkish style biscuits for afternoon tea (the sparrows like them even better than the couscous). It’s calm and cool in the summer. I was amused that there is a beauty centre there too — I’d love to go to the mosque to have my legs sugared or my eyebrows threaded !

    • David Post author

      Well, expensive is always relative, but I remember than back in the days couscous was about 30€ while it was about 10€ in my (then) neighborhood – in the 10th arrondissement.

  • Aude

    I recommend the café for mint tea and Morrocan pastries – it’s not expensive and very pleasant, especially when the weather is nice.

    Also, the hamman is one of the best deals in Paris. No frills, but beautiful place with steam rooms, cool pools, cheap massages and black soap scrubs. Just check as there are male and female days (and don’t go if nude or semi-nude people bother you. You can keep your bathing suit on though).