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The Search For The Ancient Mosque

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you Finally, this evening ended my search for an ancient mosque that has remained hidden in the labyrinth of small alleyways in the 'old quarter' by the river for the past two weeks. My buddy in Singapore sent me on a search a few weeks ago, but no matter how many corners I took I just couldn't find the little bugger. This evening I was determined to find it so I donned the new walking boots and headed over towards the old river archway. I entered the bussing streets (and of course stopped for some 'street eats') and then entered the little maze of back alleys. I walked and walked and walked and found nothing that even resembled a mosque. Once again I put my tail between my legs and made my way to the main road. Its not often I can't find something I'm after as I spend so much time walking and exploring and usually come across most things by accident. But this bloody mosque mate, its taken me around two weeks to gave upon its ancient walls. Anyhow after giving up I headed back down one of the main roads and noticed a few people riding into a little alley I had never noticed. I only had five minutes before I had to meet 'English' for dinner so I entered the alley and found a most beautiful house with an awesome stone arch next to it. Looking down the lane I spotted a large white cross in the distance. Not a mosque but maybe I had found another old church. Without going any further I sadly retraced my steps and left the alley unexplored. I hate leaving things unexplored! BUGGER! After dinner at the 'Not So Japanese' place the three of us headed over to my little unexplored alley and entered it in darkness. There was enough light to see by so we headed in the direction of the large white cross I spotted earlier. Within twenty seconds to our left we came across a beautiful large ancient wall. There it was, the Mosque I had been searching for. It looked so beautiful in the darkness. Tomorrow I would return. We continued towards the large white cross and bugger me if it didn't belong to the same church in the 'old quarter' that we spent Christmas in which was across from the 'old church'. That was enough searching for one evening and we headed home. I happily told my buddy on MSN that I had finally found the mosque and he sent me some rather interesting information. Not a lot for now but enough to get an understanding as to the mosque's history etc. Ok, the mosque was built in 1374 AD so it is now almost 700 years old. Not as old as many other things in countries like China and Japan but coming from Australia, need I comment any further! Of course it has been restored and patched from time to time. It is one of three ancient mosques in Fujian province. There is another in Quanzhou, near Xiamen. Fujian is famous and popular with Arabs because of these old mosques. One of the early Royal Arab Muslims is buried in Quanzhou mosque. Today the Arabs still come to pay homage every year. Muslims from Malaysia visited this mosque last year and have some arrangement with the city government's 'Muslim Affairs Department' to promote Muslim tourism. So there you have it, Shaowu houses an ancient Mosque. It probably still stands and survived the 'Cultural Revolution' BECAUSE NO ONE COULD BLOODY FIND IT to tear it down. I can picture it now, I'm sure they knew it was there and everyone ran around the back streets for hours yelling and screaming lines from the lips of Chairman Mao to then give in and with their tails between their legs walked home in silence feeling a little silly for being so stupid. Tis kind of like a Monty Python skit. Anyhow, that's it for now...Beers N Noodles to you...shane PS: this was finished on the 9th after I returned to take several pictures. Sadly all doors were locked.

The Elusive Mosque Search

The Elusive Mosque Search


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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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