Mosquee De Paris

The Paris Mosque built between 1922 and 1926 is a haven of peace and solitude. I wanted to break away from the typical sites in the city, so went venturing to this idyllic spot located in the 5th arrondissement. It is the largest mosque in France and the third largest in Europe. It was founded after World War I as a sign of France's gratefulness to the colonies's Muslim, 100,000 of whom died fighting against Germany.

Getting around the city isn't too bad given you have a decent map and an idea of how the arrondissements (administrative districts) are laid out. Paris is basically a ring city with each arrondissement winding its way spirally clockwise starting with the first one and going outwards to the 20th. The city is also blessed with wide boulevards, many of which parallel others, so cutting across them is also another efficient way of getting around.

The mosque is located a few hundred meters from the Institute De Arab, whose receptionist was helpful in pointing me to the right way as sadly its location on the map is hardly noticeable.

It was nice to be in a mosque again and seeing the familiar things such as a Mihrab (pulput for Friday sermons) and Minhab (direction of Mecca). I also heard a lot of Arab, not just from the recitation of the Quran but from men speaking it to each other. The architecture was classic Arab with mosiac tiles, fountains, and lots of trees in a peaceful courtyard. I took my time to offer a few prayers in the calm before walking out and imagined how interesting Ramadan must have been with its offerings of probably both immigrant and French flavors.

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