Huaisheng Mosque China, Guangzhou

Huaisheng Mosque

The Huaisheng Mosque, also known as the Lighthouse Mosque and the Great Mosque of Canton, is the main mosque of Guangzhou. Rebuilt many times over its history, it is traditionally thought to have been originally built over 1,300 years ago, which would make it one of the oldest mosques in the world.

In China, the most unusual feature of the mosque is its pointed 36-meter (118 ft) minaret, the Guangta or Kwangtah. Although this meant the "Plain Pagoda" in reference to its unadorned surface, it is also sometimes taken to mean "lighthouse" and gave the mosque its alternate name. Somewhat similar "minimalist" minarets can be seen outside of China, e.g. at the Khan's Mosque in Kasimov, Russia. The mosque was visited by Tim Severin's crew of the Sohar, that sailed into Canton from Muscat in July, 1981.