Photo: The beautiful dome.

Istiqlal Mosque

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Built as the National Mosque during Indonesia’s post-independence fervour for establishing an identity on the international stage, modernist Istiqlal Mosque is an imposing marble-clad, concrete and steel example of International Style architecture and reputedly the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, able to accommodate 200,000 worshippers.

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The location follows Javanese town planing traditions that the masjid agung (grand mosque) should be positioned near the kraton (Sultan’s palace) facing the alun-alun (city square), the “Sultan’s palace” in this case being Istana Merdeka, the presidential palace. As a symbol of the principals of Pancasila (Indonesia’s philosophical foundation) which includes a vision for a multi-faith tolerant society, it is perhaps not an accident that the mosque sits between Jakarta’s Catholic Cathedral and the Protestant Immanuel Church (although it is significantly larger than both).

An imposing building. Photo taken in or around Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia by Sally Arnold.

An imposing building. Photo: Sally Arnold

Istiqlal mosque was designed by eminent Indonesian architect Friedrich Silaban, who later designed Monas, Indonesia’s National Monument, among other important institutional projects and again highlighting the sentiments of an inclusive society, he was a Batak Christian from North Sumatra. As with Monas, the project began under Sukarno, Indonesian’s first president, but wasn’t completed until 17 years later in 1978 when his successor Suharto was in the ... Travelfish members only (Around 500 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Istiqlal Mosque
Jalan Katedral, Jakarta

Location map for Istiqlal Mosque

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