Cecilla Albarran

Cecilla Albarran

Modified & Updated: 11 Oct 2023

Source: Middleeasteye.net

The Al-Umawiyyin Mosque, also known as the Umayyad Mosque, is a truly remarkable architectural masterpiece that holds deep historical and cultural significance. Located in Damascus, Syria, it has stood for centuries as a testament to the ingenuity and craftsmanship of its builders.

As one of the oldest and largest mosques in the world, the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque attracts visitors from all around the globe. Its rich history, stunning beauty, and unique features make it an unforgettable landmark that leaves visitors in awe.

In this article, we will uncover 14 unbelievable facts about the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque that will shed light on its grandeur and importance. From its iconic Roman columns to its exquisite architectural details, prepare to be amazed by these fascinating insights into one of the most significant landmarks in the Islamic world.

Table of Contents

The Oldest Mosque in Damascus

In the heart of Damascus, Syria, stands the magnificent Al-Umawiyyin Mosque, also known as the Umayyad Mosque. With a history that dates back to the 8th century, it is considered the oldest existing mosque in the city.

A Testament to Islamic Architecture

The Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is an architectural marvel, showcasing the impressive design and craftsmanship of the Islamic era. Its grandiose facade, intricate calligraphy, and stunning mosaic work make it a symbol of Islamic art and culture.

The Site of Former Pagan Temple

Believe it or not, before the mosque was constructed, the site was home to a pagan temple dedicated to the Phoenician god Hadad. The Islamic conquest of Damascus in the 7th century led to the conversion of the temple into a mosque.

The Great Mosque of Damascus

Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is often referred to as the Great Mosque of Damascus due to its historical significance and prominent position in the city. It has served as a central place of worship and a symbol of religious unity for centuries.

A Massive Prayer Hall

The mosque’s prayer hall is vast and can accommodate thousands of worshippers. Adorned with beautiful chandeliers and Persian carpets, it creates a serene and awe-inspiring atmosphere for those who come to pray.

The Iconic Dome of the Mosque

The most recognizable feature of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is its colossal golden dome. This architectural masterpiece dominates the skyline of Damascus, adding to the mosque’s grandeur and splendor.

The Shrine of John the Baptist

Within the mosque complex, visitors can find the Shrine of John the Baptist. It is believed to house the head of John the Baptist, which is an important relic for both Christians and Muslims.

An Oasis of Tranquility

Despite being located in a bustling city, the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque offers a peaceful sanctuary for prayer and contemplation. The serenity of its courtyard and the soothing sound of the fountains create an oasis-like atmosphere.

The Minaret of Jesus

One of the minarets of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is locally referred to as the “Minaret of Jesus.” According to local beliefs, it marks the spot where Jesus will descend at the end of time.

A Hub of Cultural Exchange

Throughout its history, the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque has been a center of intellectual and cultural exchange. Scholars, poets, and artists gathered here to share ideas and celebrate the rich heritage of the Islamic world.

A Treasure Trove of Islamic Art

The walls and ceilings of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque are adorned with breathtaking mosaics, intricate calligraphy, and colorful ceramic tiles. It serves as a testament to the craftsmanship and artistic brilliance of Islamic civilization.

A Historic Landmark

In recognition of its historical and architectural significance, the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque has been designated as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It stands as a living testament to the rich cultural heritage of Syria and the Muslim world.

A Place of Pilgrimage

Al-Umawiyyin Mosque attracts countless pilgrims from around the world who come to pay their respects and seek spiritual solace. It holds immense religious importance and is considered a sacred site by Muslims worldwide.

A Symbol of Resilience

Despite facing numerous challenges, including earthquakes and wars, the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque has stood tall for over a millennium. It serves as a symbol of resilience and the enduring power of faith.

These 14 unbelievable facts about Al-Umawiyyin Mosque only scratch the surface of its rich history and significance. With its remarkable architecture, cultural heritage, and spiritual aura, it continues to captivate visitors and inspire reverence. A visit to this grand mosque is a journey through time and a glimpse into the soul of Islam.


The Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is truly an architectural marvel with its breathtaking design and rich historical significance. From its ancient origins to its modern-day status as a prominent landmark, this mosque stands as a testament to the enduring legacy of Islamic culture and architectural excellence. Its stunning features, such as the minaret and ornate decorations, are a source of fascination for visitors from around the world.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or someone looking to immerse themselves in the spiritual atmosphere, a visit to the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque is an experience like no other. The mosque’s beauty and significance never cease to captivate and inspire, making it a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to its location.

So, don’t miss the opportunity to witness the grandeur of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque for yourself. Step into a world where history, religion, and architectural brilliance converge, and let yourself be enveloped in the awe-inspiring ambiance of this extraordinary landmark.


1. When was the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque built?

The Al-Umawiyyin Mosque was built in the 8th century during the Umayyad Caliphate.

2. How long did it take to construct the mosque?

It took approximately 6 years to complete the construction of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque.

3. What are some notable features of the mosque?

The mosque is renowned for its intricate architectural details, including the iconic minaret, expansive prayer hall, and beautiful dome.

4. Can visitors enter the mosque?

Yes, visitors are generally welcome to enter the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque, although certain areas may be reserved for prayer or restricted during religious ceremonies. It is advisable to dress modestly and respectfully when visiting religious sites.

5. Are there any guided tours available?

Yes, guided tours are often available for visitors who want to learn more about the history, architecture, and cultural significance of the Al-Umawiyyin Mosque. These tours provide valuable insights and enhance the overall experience of exploring the mosque.