Although not as grand as some of the newer mosques in Malaysia, Masjid Jamek or the Friday mosque in Kuala Lumpur, has always been one of my favourite buildings. Dwarved by skyscrapers to the back, and surrounded on all sides, Masjid Jamek is like an oasis in the city.
When I used to live in Kuala Lumpur, I passed by the mosque every day on my way to work. But I have never actually been inside to see it. Maybe one day, I will. But this mosque is best appreciated from afar.
Completed in 1907 and officially opened two years later, the mosque was built on former Malay burial grounds, and was the main place of worship for Kuala Lumpur’s muslim population until the national mosque was built in 1965. The architect of the mosque was AB Hubback, a name that you will hear quite often on tours of the city, as he was also the architect of many of the city’s finest heritage buildings. With a combination of several different architectural styles like Mughal, Moorish and Indo-saracenic, the mosque is unlike any that you will see in Malaysia. The central dome is 21.3m (70 feet) high, and the minarets are slightly higher at 26.8m (88 feet).
The best place to see the mosque is from the Market Street bridge (the road linking Dataran Merdeka and Market Square). Here, you can see the mosque’s location at the confluence of the Gombak and Selangor rivers, the birthplace of Kuala Lumpur (the city’s name means muddy confluence, and you can see why from the photo).
My ratings: ****
My favourite mosque in Kuala Lumpur
Saturday-Thursday 9am-12.30pm, 2.30pm-4pm
Entrance fee: free
Visitors to the mosque must be dressed in appropriate clothing. Robes and headscarves can be borrowed from the desk at the mosque’s entrance gate.
The nearest subway is LRT’s Msjid Jamek station. It is within walking distance of Dataran Merdeka and Chinatown