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Heritage Sites

Mesjid Besar Baiturrahman

Baiturrahim Mosque, Ulee Lheue
Rumoh Aceh
Royal Mausoleum,
  Kampung Pande

Royal Mausoleum Complex,
  Kandang Meuh

Royal Mausoleum of
  Sultan Iskandar Muda

Pintho Khop
Kandang XII at Keraton Village
The War Cemetery
  of Kerkhof Peutjoet

Gate to Dutch Cemetery
Governor's House
High School Building
Former Telecommunications
  Building

Former Water Tower
Former Water Storage Building
Former Railway Station
Gedung Joeang (Juang),
  Keraton Compound

Old Dutch House in Blang
  Padang Area

Old Dutch House
  in Keraton Area

Bank Indonesia Building
Old Chinese Shophouses
Catholic Church
Proclamation Monument
Historical Aircraft Monument
  RI.001 Seulawah

Tjut Nyak Dhien House

 
 
 

 

Mesjid Besar Baiturrahman

The great mosque was built in 1612 during the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda, or, some say, even earlier in 1292 by Sultan Alaidin Mahmudsyah. The original mosque was razed to the ground in 1873 during the Dutch invasion. In March 1877, the East Indies Governor General offered to rebuild the grand mosque but construction only began more than two years later with the laying of the first stone by Tengku Qadhi Malikul Adil who became the first Imam. The mosque was finally completed in 1883.

Many Acehnese initially refused to pray at Baiturrahman, because it was built by Dutch infidels with ambitions to conquer Aceh, but today it is the pride of Banda Aceh. The mosque was designed by an Italian architect in a North Indian Moghul style, characterized by grand domes and minarets. The Baiturrahman is probably the prototype for many mosques in Indonesia and Malaysia - first introduced by the Dutch and British colonialists, Moghul Revival architecture is now embraced by the Muslim faithful, and has widely displaced the tiered-roof mosque vernacular.

Damage to minaret

The Baiturrahman Mosque initially featured only one dome and one minaret, but more domes and minarets were added in subsequent renovations in 1935, 1958 and 1982. Now it has seven domes and eight minarets, including one that is claimed to be the highest minaret in Banda Aceh. Today, the mosque has 32 pillars and covers and area of more than 1, 500 square metres.

When Banda Aceh was hit by tsunami on Dec. 26, many Banda Aceh took refuge in the mosque. The mosque also served as a temporary shelter for displaced persons and only reopened for prayers after two weeks. This mosque was saved from quake and tsunami but suffered some minor damage, while the 35-meter minaret by the main gate is now slightly tilted and cracked.

Damage to wall of mosque

 

Source: The Jakarta Post,
Banda Aceh, Aceh, January 20,
2005 by Ruslan

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A project by Lestari Heritage Network
incorporating the Asia & West Pacific Network for Urban Conservation (AWPNUC)