Mosques in Indonesia: 5 Magnificent Mosques You Shouldn't Miss

By Leo Galuh | 31, Aug, 2021
Mosques in Indonesia: 5 Magnificent Mosques You Shouldn't Miss

Indonesia has a large Muslim population, making it one of the world's most populous Muslim countries. The World Population Review estimates Indonesia's Muslim population at 229 million people in 2020, accounting for 87.2% of the total population.

Therefore, in Indonesia, you will find many mosques that have varying beauty and uniqueness.

Well, if you are visiting Indonesia on vacation, you must stop by the following mosques. The scenery will astonish you with its beauty, splendor, and uniqueness.


Istiqlal Mosque
Masjid Istiqlal Mosque Jakarta Indonesia

Image Credit: musnahterinjakCC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikipedia Commons

No one hasn't heard about the Istiqlal mosque, located in the Central Jakarta area near the National Monument.

It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, accommodating 200,000 worshipers. An architect named Frederich Silaban, a Christian, designed the Istiqlal mosque in a modern architectural style.

The floor and walls of the mosque, constructed in 1951, are covered in marble and decorated with geometric ornaments made of stainless steel.

In the mosque, every corner seems to have a special meaning.

The mosque has five floors, representing the five pillars of Islam. As for Istiqlal, it has only one tower to symbolize God as the Almighty. This tower is covered in marble, measuring 5 meters in diameter and 6.66 meters in height, which represents the number of verses in the Koran.

Meanwhile, there are seven gates at Istiqlal Mosque representing the seven layers of the sky according to the Koran.

In the main room of the mosque, there are also 12 sturdy pillars that represent the 12th day of Rabiul Awal, the day the Prophet Muhammad was born.

As for the dome, it has a diameter of 45 meters, which represents Indonesia's independence year, 1945.

Don't worry about people with disabilities. The door of Ar-Rahman, which is on the south side of the mosque, is easily accessible to people with disabilities and the elderly because it has a lift that can hold six people.

Another unique feature found at the Istiqlal Mosque area is a giant traditional drum that measures 3.5 meters in diameter and weighs more than two tons.

Supported on special wood with Arabic calligraphy and Javanese carvings, this drum is a striking piece to look at.

Get Directions and Learn more about the Istiqlal Mosque here


Baiturrahman Great Mosque
Masjid Baiturrahman Great Mosque Banda Aceh Indonesia

Image Credit: Misqal Novio Reeza on Unsplash  

The Baiturrahman Great Mosque is located in the Kampung Baru Village, Baiturrahman District, Banda Aceh.

A mosque in the style of Moghul (Indian) architecture has seven wooden domes, eight minarets, and 32 pillars. In the courtyard of the mosque, there is a large automatic umbrella that can be extended or retracted.

It is located on an area of four hectares and bears witness to the destruction wrought by the tsunami in 2004. The mosque still stands strong in spite of the tsunami damaging some parts of it.

When it comes to the history of the construction of Baiturrahman Aceh Grand Mosque, there are two versions. The mosque is said to have been founded in 1292 by Sultan Alauddin Johan Mahmudsyah. However, other sources claim that Sultan Iskandar Muda founded the mosque in 1612.

In the course of its journey, the Baiturrahman Grand Mosque was badly damaged by the Dutch during the attack on Koetaradja (Banda Aceh) on April 10, 1873.

A collapse of the mosque building sparked Acehnese resistance. They fought until they shed their last drops of blood to protect the mosque. Major General Johan Harmen Rudolf Köhler, the Dutch commander at the time, was killed in that battle on April 14, 1873.

The Dutch then rebuilt the mosque building under the supervision of General Van Der Heijden. The building of this mosque is part of a plan to reduce resistance by the Acehnese to Dutch rule.

Construction of Masjid Raya Baiturrahman Aceh lasted from 1879 to 1881 AD. The architect, de Bruchi, used the Moghul (Indian) style to design the new building.

In recent years, the mosque, located in the heart of Banda Aceh City, has been expanded multiple times. The first was in 1936.

A. P. H. Van Aken led the effort to build two domes at the left and right corners of the mosque. A second expansion of the mosque building took place between 1958-1965.

This second expansion added two domes and two towers on the west side (mihrab). Each dome represents one of the five elements in Pancasila (Indonesia's Five Principles).

Get Directions and Learn more about the Baiturrahman Great Mosque here


Al Irsyad Mosque
Masjid Al Irsyad Mosque Bandung Indonesia

Image Credit: Emilio Photoimagination on ArchDaily

On September 7, 2009, this modern mosque was built on a plot measuring one hectare on Jalan Parahyangan, km 2.7, in Kota Baru Parahyangan, Padalarang District, West Bandung Regency, and inaugurated in August 2010.

In an interesting twist, the architect of this building is Ridwan Kamil, a former mayor of Bandung who is now governor of West Java.

In terms of art and philosophy, the Al Irsyad Mosque building is quite impressive. It is also influenced by the concept of tawaf around the mosque and the shape of the dome-like in Mecca.

The exterior of the building has carved stones depicting the Creed.

As the black stones on the mosque's walls act as a means of air circulation.

At night, the light from the mosque will shine through the stone crevice and form the silhouette of the creed. So fabulous!

Then, let's have a peek inside the mosque.

As soon as you enter the main room, you will see a lot of square ornaments. Turn the light on, and you'll see an outline of Asmaul Husna, totaling 99.

As for the Mihrab, it is not the usual one.

A long open hallway narrows into a pool of water near the end of the path. Afterward, worshipers will have a direct view of the beautiful garden. The mosque can accommodate around 1,500 people.

The Al Irsyad Mosque offers several interesting spots for photography besides its use as a mosque. These spots will not interfere with the worship in the mosque, of course.

During the building of the Al Irsyad Mosque, IDR 7 billion was spent, and the mosque has received world awards.

There were nominations for the Archdaily's Best 5 World Buildings of The Year category for Religious Buildings and the BCI Asia's Green Leadership Awards.

Get Directions and Learn more about the Al-Irsyad Mosque here


99 Domes Mosque
Masjid 99 Domes Mosque Makassar City Indonesia

Image Credit: Idris Tajannang from Pixabay 

Makassar City, South Sulawesi province, has a unique mosque that travelers can visit. It is called 99 Dome Mosque where the location is right on the edge of Losari Beach.

It has been named after Allah's 99 names, or also known as the Asmaul Husna.

With its 72 x 45 meters building area, the mosque can accommodate 13 thousand people in three sections. Providing enough space for 3,880 worshippers in each prayer room.

While there is also a mezzanine room that can accommodate 1,005 worshipers. There is also a sacred courtyard that can hold 8,190 worshippers.

A mosque with dozens of colorful domes of various sizes appears striking, monumental, majestic, and elegant as its name implies.

If you wish to see the beauty of the Makassar 99 Dome Mosque, then you should not leave immediately after offering the Asr prayer. At sunset, you will see that beauty.

In this mosque, the original architecture will be combined with an orange-tinged touch. The dome looks majestic. The panorama is amazing too.

Considering its unique shape, the 99 Dome Makassar Mosque should be one of the 30 most unique mosques in the world. South Sulawesi's most famous mosque is also on the list of Indonesia's ten unique mosques.


Oesman Al-Khair Great Mosque
Masjid Oesman Al-Khair Great Mosque Kalimantan

Image Credit: @bee_balqis on Instagram

The mosque on Jalan Karang, Sutra Village, Sukadana District, North Kayong Regency, West Kalimantan, is not what you would expect.

The mosque floats above the sea and is surrounded by Gunung Palung National Park.

With an area of 50 x 50 meters, its architecture is similar to the floating mosque, Arrahman, in Jeddah.

In contrast, the interior of the mosque is made in Moroccan style. It can accommodate 3,000 people. The building's surroundings are painted white. There are calligraphy carvings in the mosque as well.

Getting to the mosque location will require you to travel at least 80 kilometers from Rahadi Oesman Airport or about 325 kilometers from Pontianak, the capital city of West Kalimantan province. You'll need six hours by sea from Pontianak.

Freelance journalist. Currently aggregating economic news for analytical news service dedicated to competition law and regulatory developments around the world. Former reporter of tvOne (Indonesian television news channel) and NHK (Japan Broadcasting Corporation).

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