National Mosque of Malaysia in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

PHOTO: National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara) in Kuala Lumpur

National Mosque in Kuala Lumpur

I was hot, tired, and sweaty after a day of exploring the Colonial Walk along the Gombak River in central Kuala Lumpur. I could have hopped on the Metro, but the city’s historic Railway Station, with its lacy onion domes and turrets, was on the way to my hotel, so I set off on foot. The main road I was following, Jalan Kinabalu, suddenly became flooded with hundreds of men walking in the opposite direction. I dodged and wove through the oncoming masses, wondering what on earth was going on. Around the next corner the tip of a tall spire came into view and I realized what was all the foot traffic was about. That spire topped the National Mosque of Malaysia, and the men were leaving after a prayer session.

Rather than continuing on to the train station, I climbed the stairs to get a better look at the mosque. I circled around to the front for a view of the entire 240-foot high, 16-point concrete spire that soared skyward from the central minaret. The main roof is designed to resemble an open umbrella, while the minaret and its spire mimic a folded umbrella. The unique architectural design masks its true function; the folding plates of the roof allowed the mosque to incorporate an immense gathering space in the main hall. It can accommodate up to 15,000 worshipers, and I believe I met every one of them on Jalan Kinabalu that afternoon.

2 Comments on “PHOTO: National Mosque of Malaysia (Masjid Negara) in Kuala Lumpur

  1. Absolutely eye-popping, Barb. We have a new appreciation for mosques after being in Oman for 6 weeks. So many, and a few biggies too here in Nizwa, as well as one of the biggest mosques on earth in Muscat.

    • Hi Ryan: I toured the one in Muscat and it was gorgeous. But the thing I liked best abut it was the “women’s room” at the end of the tour, where local women fed me fresh dates and mint tea and encouraged me to ask absolutely any questions I had. It was a fascinating and informative hour.

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