The Silk Road Sights

Great Mosque (Xī'ān Dà Qīngzhēnsì)

  • 30 Huajue Xiang Map It
  • Xian
  • Religious Building/Site/Shrine

Published 02/08/2016

Fodor's Review

This lushly landscaped mosque with four graceful courtyards may have been established as early as AD 742, during the Tang Dynasty, but the remaining buildings date mostly from the 18th century. Amazingly, it was left standing during the Cultural Revolution. Stone tablets mark the various pavilions, often bearing inscriptions in both Chinese and Arabic. Look above the doors and gates: there are some remarkable designs, including three-dimensional Arabic script that makes the stone look as malleable as cake frosting. Non-Muslims are not allowed in the prayer hall, as the mosque is still an active place of worship. At times local Muslim couples dressed to the nines in brightly colored traditional garb come to take wedding pictures. The place is a bit hard to find, but wandering the Muslim Quarter surrounding the Mosque is a treat, particularly for foodies. The bustling streets are the center of the city's Hui (Chinese Muslim) community. Navigate narrow streets and alleys filled with

endless knick knack and food stalls. Spicy mutton kebabs and chicken wings grilling on coal spits, piles of walnuts, chilli powder, dates and other dried foods and vendors squeezing out pomegrante juice are staples along the way. Step into any well-populated restaurants and try anything from cold sesame noodles to pan-fried dumplings to yang rou pao mo, the local speciality of crumbled bread in a rich lamb broth. To get to the Mosque, after passing through the Drum Tower, follow a small curving market street called Huajue Xiang on the left. (You'll see an English sign posted on a brick wall next to the street's entrance reading "Great Mosque.") When you reach a small intersection, the mosque's entrance is on the left.

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Sight Information

Address:

30 Huajue Xiang, Xian, Shaanxi, 710004, China

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Sight Details:

  • Y25
  • May–Sept., daily 8–7; Oct.–Apr., daily 8–5

Published 02/08/2016

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Nov 27, 2016

Check out Muslim Snack Street as well!

Xian’s Muslim Quarter is a fantastic place for those seeking visual delights as well as gastronomical ones. The streets are lined with street vendors selling different snacks and food. Everything from flatbreads to skewered meat can be purchased here. My personal favorite thing was a super spicy fried tofu dish. There are a few street performers as well as artists who all try to earn a living from the throngs of locals and foreigners who wander

the street in search of delectable treats. Just as a side note, it is worth knowing that if you travel in a group you should try to stay together, no matter how impossible that may seem. At the very worst case, agree to meet back at a certain point at a certain time in case anyone gets lost. The street is a single-way affair, but there are left turns and right turns that lead to streets that sell almost identical things which makes it very easy to lose your bearings if directions are not your forte.

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