Friday, June 5, 2009

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque dominates the skyline in Bandar Seri Begawan, the capital of the Sultanate of Brunei. The mosque is classified as one of the most spectacular in the Asia Pacific and a major tourist attraction and landmark, completed in 1958.

Designed by an Italian architect, the mosque is constructed on an artificial lagoon near the banks of the Brunei River circled by a water village named Kampong Ayer. It also has a long bridge meandering across the lagoon to Kamong Ayer, and another marble bridge connecting to a structure in the water that resembles a ship which was once used for official state ceremonies.

It consists of marble minarets and golden domes with courtyards and fertile gardens filled with fountains, encircled by a plethora of trees and floral gardens. The main dome which is said to be the mosque’s most recognizable feature is covered in pure gold.

Standing at 171 feet (52 meters) high, the mosque can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan. The main minaret is the mosque’s tallest feature which incorporates a unique Renaissance and Italian architectural style. The minaret has a working and modern elevator which goes to the top of the structure, providing a panoramic view of the city.

The interior of the mosque boasts magnificent mosaic stained glass, many arches, semi-domes and marble columns.


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