Photo: Within the main prayer room.

National Mosque

Our rating:

While Masjid Jamek is a far more interesting mosque and certainly more pleasing to the eye, Kuala Lumpur’s National Mosque (Masjid Negara), is worth a look if you’re planning on a visit to the nearby Islamic Arts Museum.





Built on the site of a church which had stood there since the early 20th century, the mosque was opened in 1965, and has a capacity of 15,000 worshippers—it is the largest mosque in Kuala Lumpur. A renovation in 1987 added a layer of bling to the interior appearance, or in words of our guide made it “more exciting”.

Think coconut palms. Photo taken in or around National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

Think coconut palms. Photo: Stuart McDonald

The design is quite curious, with the central roof intended to bring an open umbrella to mind while the minaret is said to be a closed umbrella—umbrellas apparently used as a symbol of the tropics. The roof also has a folded concrete appearance from a distance, it certainly isn’t the most attractive part of the mosque, but this design did allow for a larger area within for prayers, without the need for support pillars.

Sticking with the tropical theme, the many pillars spread across the open galleries surrounding the central prayer chamber are said to have been modelled on coconut palm plantations (we guess oil palm plantations would not have allowed for the high roof which keeps the worshippers cool), and the water features around the chamber signify, you guessed it, the many bodies of water in monsoonal Malaysia.

The Heroes’s tombs. Photo taken in or around National Mosque, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia by Stuart McDonald.

The Heroes’s tombs. Photo: Stuart McDonald

Only Muslims are allowed into the actual prayer chamber, but tourists are otherwise welcome and there are quite cheery volunteer guides on site to tell you some of the history of the site and answer any questions about Islam you may have.

Behind the main prayer hall you’ll find the Makam Pahlawan (Heroes’ Tomb) where you can see the tombs of some Malaysian Muslim leaders, all sheltered under a similar, though far smaller, ... please log in to read the rest of this story.


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National Mosque
Jalan Lembah Perdana, Kuala Lumpur

Location map for National Mosque

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