The Old Friday Mosque – also called the Male Hukuru Misikiy – is one of the oldest and most spectacular mosques you’ll find in the Maldives. Considered to be a hallmark of sea-culture architecture, this impressive construction is well worth committing a day trip to if you’re vacationing in the islands.
The mosque is found in the capital of Male, opposite to the Medhuziyaaraiy tomb – another important historical location. Being so centrally located in the capital means that the mosque is quite easy to visit – many a luxury hotel in Maldives are just a few minutes away, like Velassaru Maldives for one.
The Old Friday Mosque was built in 1658 over a previously constructed mosque. The ruler Iskandar decided to expand upon the previous building as it simply couldn’t hold the increasing number of Islamic devotees.
The most interesting fact about the mosque is what it was built with. Coral stone is the main building block of the structure, a resource that is found in abundance throughout the Maldives. The interior of the mosque is decorated with intricate carvings and the floor is ornamented with massive carpets. Of particular note is a carved panel that dates back to the 13th century and depicts the introduction of Islam to the Maldives.
A World Heritage Site
The Old Friday Mosque was recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008, owing mainly to its being a symbol of island-centric architecture. UNESCO would go onto state that the architecture, artistry, and construction displayed by the mosque is an excellent example of the skill and heritage of the Maldivian people.