Tuesday, 28 October 2008

A religious morning

This morning we went to see the two of the most important landmarks in Brunei, the Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque and the Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque.

We started out with the beautiful Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque in Bandar city. We had dressed appropriately in long trousers and long-sleeved shirts, as you should, but it was actually unnecessary since we got robes to put on at the entrance anyway.
This is the mosque that celebrated 50 years this year, and is known as one of the most beautiful mosques ever built.

As usual by now, we weren't allowed to take any pictures inside the mosque but we walked around the outside and took some nice shots.

On three sides the mosque is surrounded by an artificial lagoon, at the center of which is this beautiful replica of a 16th century Royal barge; used previously for religious ceremonies such as the Koran reading competition.

We were actually not allowed to move around too much inside the mosque either, so the visit was pretty quick.

We then decided to go and see the other mosque as well, the one we usually call the "Big mosque" or the "Blue mosque". It has a sea-blue roof and shimmering golden domes - and it's the biggest mosque in South-East Asia.
The Jame'Asr Hassanil Bolkiah Mosque was built in commemoration of the Sultan's 25 years as ruler of the country and was officially opened in 1994. The structure is absolutely grand, the largest prayer room fits 3000+ men!
Not only the mosque is magnificent, but it's surrounded as well by a lovely park full of fountains and flower beds.

We had a very nice morning visiting these beautiful mosques AND the normal warm and sunny weather is back too, it's all good!

I must explain one thing though:
I haven't done any sightseeing or visited any "tourist spots" previously during our time here in Brunei, for this reason - I knew we were going to have a few guests and I was going to do it all now, and probably again and again. So I saved it and now I have seen more in ten days than in the past 15 months - and this blog has turned in to a proper "travelblog" for a while! :)


Mia said...

Wow, vilka foton! Vad kul att få sightseea med föräldrarna "första gången" istället för att traggla grejer du sett en massa gånger innan.

Härligt att ni hade fint väder också.

Åh, skulle ha velat sitta på din axel och fota den vackra moskén.

Maria said...

Boel, you're one up from me on this as I have never been to either! We've been missing you at the hash. See you soon.