Photo: Acheen Street Mosque's minaret.

Acheen Street Mosque

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Towering above the surrounding tightly packed shophouses and bungalows around Lebuh Acheh, the Acheen Street Mosque’s minaret betrays its presence in the otherwise hidden enclave.

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The small butter-coloured mosque was built at the turn of the 19th century by Syed Hussain Al-Aidid a wealthy spice trader of the Acehnese royal family who had settled in Penang. According to accounts, he was among other wealthy international traders who were invited to take up residence in Georgetown by Francis Light to strengthen Penang’s (and Britain’s) presence as a trading post to rival that of Sumatra.

A taste of butter-coloured Aceh in Penang. Photo taken in or around Acheen Street Mosque, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

A taste of butter-coloured Aceh in Penang. Photo: Sally Arnold

The mosque’s architecture survives largely in its original form with a truncated version of the pyramidical tiered roofs seen in mosques in Aceh, Melaka and elsewhere in the archipelago, and features an octagonal Chinese pagoda-style minaret.

The Moorish arcaded facade is an early 20th-century addition and the ugly corrugated metal awning over the veranda much more recent. Within the compound a row of bungalows housed Penang’s first Mufti, a madrasah and dwellings of the relatives of the founder, who himself now lies in a mausoleum beside the mosque.

Once know as a “Second Jeddah”. Photo taken in or around Acheen Street Mosque, Penang, Malaysia by Sally Arnold.

Once know as a “Second Jeddah”. Photo: Sally Arnold

Acheen Street Mosque is important historically sitting at the heart of Georgetown’s first Malay urban settlement within the surrounding lanes and alleyways. Here until the late-20th century when air travel became more affordable, the area served as an assembly point for multitudes of pilgrims from all over the archipelago on their way to Mecca via ship, bustling with pilgrim brokers and ticketing agencies, and was sometimes referred to as the “second ... Travelfish members only (Around 400 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Acheen Street Mosque
Jalan Lebuh Acheh, Georgetown

Location map for Acheen Street Mosque

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