Sunday, October 07, 2007

The Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque

One of the most spectacular mosques in the whole of Asia is the Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddin located in our neighbor’s capital Bandar Seri Begawan in Brunei. It is so spectacular that it is visible from any part of the city and its’ golden dome will mesmerize your eyes even if you don’t intend to look.

The awesome building was built and named after Sultan Bolkiah’s (the present monarch) father which was the 28th Sultan of Brunei. The name of the capital city was also named after him.*you don't believe me? - here!*

Come nighttime... this beautiful mosque transforms into an almost heavenly sight as the halogen lights hits its exterior walls. The dome, which is covered in pure gold, seems to be more brilliant and its green-lit minarets dominate the city’s skyline.

If you want to see what’s inside, you have to cross a marble bridge because the mosque is in the middle of an artificial lake. The grounds on the shores of the lake are full grand fountains and floral gardens. The words “too-good-to-be-true” is absolutely an understatement, believe me.

It is said that almost every part of this royal mosque was shipped from other countries – marbles from Italy for its floors, walls, columns & arches; crystal chandeliers and hand-made stained glass from England; carpets from Saudi Arabia and many others. The structure was finished in 1958 at the cost of $5 million dollars – that’s almost 50 years ago! Imagine how much it will cost to build it today.

When visiting this awesome mosque, be respectful. Take off your shoes when entering and women should keep shoulders covered. Do not walk in front of someone praying.

Visiting hours: Sunday-Wednesday 8am-12pm, 1pm-3.30pm, 4.30pm-5.30pm. On Fridays: 4.30pm to 5.30pm only. Please remember that it is closed to non-Muslims on Thursdays.

The Masjid Sultan Omar Saifuddin -- Pride of Southeast Asia.


--Photo credit: Liz Barry

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EoNe said...


Thank you for sharing. Do you find peace and serenity in the mosque ? Am I right to say, we will find peace in any worship places that we enter..and how I wish this world like this :)

silent reader said...

The people who built this are Filipino contractors and architects...

Mariani of Italy said...

To silent reader, Wow! You are amazing! Do you really have to reiterate the people who built this place?

Instead of enjoying the beauty of this mosque which is the essence of the blog post, you comment on something else?

Are Filipinos really this hungry for recognition?

OMG! Amazing!

riain said...

@ Mariani well I think its not a bad thing to say. After all, the humble hands of these people were able to make such a magnificent structure. I dont find anything wrong with that. and mind you, this is an ASEAN blog.

Italians elsewhere always claim alot of stuff for their own. Not that it is a bad thing but I dont see anything wrong with that at all.

Morgan H. said...

you guys are fighting here!!! don't do this. please make appropriate comments on the posts.

you don't really read the posts, do you? you just came in here to fight?!!!

*morgan for bisean*

Anonymous said...

The mosque was designed by Italian architect and completed in 1958. Most of the workers who built the mosque were from Malaysia.

Carlos Javier said...

I agree with Anonymous. Back in 1958 it still wasn't Philippine government policy to export our workers.

Not to be argumentative, but I believe "silent reader" was mistakenly referring to H.M. Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah's 1788-room Istana Nurul Iman Palace. Said to be the largest residence in the world, it is even bigger than the entire Stato della Citta del Vaticano in Rome.

Now THAT is the building in Brunei Darussalam that was designed by a Filipino, the architect Leandro V. Locsin.

Cheers BISEAN! More power to your blog! :)

Reyville of Simply Manila said...

This is AMAZING! I'm proud of this Southeast Asian treasure.

Bruneian said...

I've calculated it to be worth around US$28-US$118 million to date but the truth is... Something which has brought us closer to God is priceless


..."AWesome, the mosque is place where I really want to visit since I was child

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