New Mosque Brings Piece of Istanbul to Amsterdam

The Ottomans were able to reach a high level of architectural perfection between the fifteenth and sixteenth century. They mastered the art of building mosques. These mosques are mostly known for their spacious interior and wide domes, which had developed from the style of the Hagia Sophia and from the tall, narrow minarets with pointy roofs. This currently shapes the picture of Istanbul, thanks to one of the most famous architects: Sinan. He is without any doubt the greatest architect of the Ottoman Empire. His impressive mosques have kept inspiring architects centuries after his own death. Sinan’s work still commands respect.

The only Western European mosque with a classical Ottoman architecture

Amsterdam’s “Westermoskee” is also inspired by Istanbul’s historical mosques. Because of its Ottoman architecture, it is one of Europe’s most important building projects. It is most unique, since it fits with the surrounding buildings harmoniously. Even though the mosque is not finished yet, it is well visited by tourists, students, and the Dutch themselves. Which is well justified given the fact that everyone willing is able to see a piece of Istanbul in their own city.

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Building a mosque with such a historical character in a city like Amsterdam wasn’t easy, however. It has taken over 20 years to create this project. The construction started on April 4, 2013. At this moment, the exterior of the mosque is finished. Due to a minaret that sticks 137 feet into the air and a dome that is 82 feet high, we can call it Amsterdam’s tallest mosque. The construction of the interior is yet to complete to finish the mosque entirely.

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Hard work was needed to realize this mosque. Not only to bring a piece of Istanbul to Amsterdam, or so that it is no longer needed to fly to Turkey to take a picture with mosques on the background. This mosque will contribute to a multicultural society. Young people with an Islamic background will learn how to behave on their best in the Dutch society. In order to achieve this, the interior has to be finished as soon as possible, that’s why they are still gathering money. People who want to contribute can do this online.

Written by Sumeyye Copoglu

Sumeyye Copoglu

Sumeyye Copoglu is 23 years old and studies Islamic theology at the Islamic University of Rotterdam. She is an artist, with a passion for culture and travel.