Despite not being the most touristic location in its area, Paris’s Grand Mosque is worth visiting ! Located in the “Latin Quarter” of Paris, its detailed architecture stands out and catches the eye. Don’t hesitate to set foot in this breathtaking sacred building.
What We Liked
- The gorgeous mosaics
- The peaceful energy of the place
- The instructive cultural experience
And by the way, know that you can also prolong your time at the Grand Mosque by visiting its businesses, located on site. There is an outdoor tea room, a restaurant, and even a steam room (for women only).
However, even if those premises are as beautifully decorated as the rest of the Mosque, we can’t really recommend them, due to some recurring bad reviews (bad hygiene, rude staff).
What Is the Grand Mosque of Paris?
Origin of the Grand Mosque
In 1920, after many much hesitations, the project of a Mosque for the Muslims living in Paris finally started. It was decided to build said Mosque on the former site of a Parisian hospital.
In 1922, the first stone was laid, and so began its construction, which ended in 1926. At its completion, the Mosque was inaugurated by the French President, and Morroco’s Sultan.
Various Architectural Inspirations
Just like the Muslim community in France, the Grand Mosque’s architectural inspirations come from a variety of origins. Its minaret, for instance, is almost a copy of the Zitouna Mosque’s minaret, located in Tunis, Tunisia.
The decoration of the building, on the other hand, is the work of Moroccan artists, who were inspired by the “El Quaraouiyyîn” of Fès, Mosque, located in Morroco. This influence is essentially noticeable on the zelliges, which are fine enameled terracotta mosaics, covering the walls of the Mosque.
The rest of this religious edifice’s architecture takes its roots in the Iberian style, with parts being very similar to pieces of some Andalusian monuments.
The twin columns and their beautiful emerald tiles, for example, will surely remind you of the Alhambra in Granada.
Role and Functions
When it was first announced, the Grand Mosque of Paris was presented as a way of thanking the Muslims who had fought for France during the First World War. The aim was also to be more welcoming to the Muslim community, which was poorly represented in France.
Today, this religious edifice is above all a high place of worship for the Muslims of France. As the oldest French mosque in France, its representative role has become essential for the inclusion of Islam among the country’s religions.
How to Get to the Grand Mosque of Paris
Adresse: 2 place du Puits-de-l’ermite, 75005.
To get to the Grand Mosque of Paris, we recommend you to use public transports. B
us lines 67 and 89 will bring you as close as possible to the entrance.
- Bus 67, 89, and 24 stop Buffon-Mosquée (650 ft from the main entrance)
- Metro 7, station Place Monge (about 820 ft away)
You can also find enclosed parking near the Mosque, such as the Paripark car parks, but they fill up very quickly due to the area’s high density of touristic attractions.
Visiting the Grand Mosque of Paris
When to Visit the Grand Mosque?
The Grand Mosque of Paris is even more beautiful in spring. The sunlight makes the white walls shine, the gardens are in bloom … Ideally, we recommend a visit in May, on a day with clear weather: the minaret will look even more radiant with a blue sky as its background.
All the more, May is a good month to enjoy the good weather while avoiding the influx of tourists, which intensifies between mid-June and September.
The Grand Mosque can be visited every day of the week, except Fridays and during religious holidays (whose dates can be found here).
Opening hours: from 9am to 12pm and from 2pm to 6pm,
Our advice: Try to get there late in the morning, around 10:30am.
This schedule may allow you to take a look at the prayer rooms before the arrival of the worshippers. Indeed, these rooms are not accessible to visitors during the prayers, in order not to disturb the proceedings.
Is A Guided Tour Recommended?
Sadly, yes. The Grand Mosque of Paris is rich in history and culture, but if you want to grasp all its subtleties, you will need a guide. The problem is, there is no English guided tour available (that we know of).
Moreover, you will not find any explanatory panels for visitors, as you can find in other touristic places. Maybe to compensate for this lack of information, the Grand Mosque of Paris offers guided tours without any extra charge, which you can try out if you know a tiny bit of French.
With the Grand Mosque of Paris: these guided tours are accessible with just a regular entrance ticket. However, they’re quite popular, and it is common to end up lost in a large group, which is not ideal.
- Duration: about 1h45
- Price: entrance fee (3€)
- Click here for more information (website in French)
With Paris Capitale Historique: The visit includes a tour accompanied by a tourist guide, who will take the time to teach you about the history of the Grand Mosque. You will also be given some explanations on the details of the monument’s architecture and its fine decorations.
- Duration: 1 hour and a half to 2 hours
- Price: 6€.
- Click here for more information (website in French)
Things to Know Before You Go There
As it can be expected when visiting any place of worship, plan to dress modestly.
Even in the hot summer, a long dress or wide trousers will be preferable (gentlemen included).
For both men and women, try to avoid sleeveless T-shirts.
If you don’t have any fitting clothing option, the Mosque does lend scarves to cover your shoulders at the entrance.
Please note that you should also respect the calm of the Mosque, and keep a discreet attitude to avoid disturbing the serenity of the place.
Good to know: some arrangements exist to facilitate the access to people with reduced mobility.
What to See In The Grand Mosque?
Sadly, some elements cannot be visited, such as the interior of the minaret, or the prayer rooms.
While these restrictions may be disappointing for some visitors, they’re necessary to ensure that the worshippers can practice their faith peacefully.
The Central Garden
This large courtyard, covered with green and turquoise tiles is undoubtedly one of the most photogenic places in the Mosque.
Around the gorgeous pink marble fountains, you can observe a variety of Mediterranean plants such as palm trees, cypresses, and orange trees.
Patios, Gardens, and Fountains
Within the Grand Mosque, you can find a few other patios, all of which are exquisitely decorated.
In the center of the edifice, there is an even bigger covered patio, with the most beautiful mosaics of this Mosque.
The final touch to this elegant decoration is a large marble basin in the middle of the room.
Around this courtyard, you can discover other small ornamental gardens, less extravagant than the central garden but just as charming.
You can rest there for a minute or so under olive trees, vines, roses, and more.
The Grand Mosque’s library mainly contains volumes of the Encyclopedia of Islam, along with many Korans.
Most of these were donated by worshippers, and among them, you can even find some antique Korans.
One of them, protected by a glass box, is dated back to the early 18th century.
You can also enjoy the peace and quiet there. Don’t forget to look up, to see the delicately carved ceilings.
Sure, you can not visit it or see the view at the top of this 110 ft high tower, but nothing prevents you from admiring its exterior architecture.
Take some time during your visit to find the best view of this minaret covered with superb mosaics, which overlooks the entire building.
Tea House and Restaurant of the Mosque of Paris
Entrance : 39 rue de Geoffroy St Hilaire
After visiting the site, you will have the opportunity to relax in the tea house of the Grand Mosque.
Get cozy in the courtyard, which is just as beautifully decorated as the mosque’s patios.
By the fountain or under the shadow of a tree, take the time to enjoy your sweet mint tea.
And to make this well-deserved break even better, why not let yourself be tempted by a few oriental pastries? (Beware, these delicious little cakes are very sweet!)
Budget: Mint tea 2,50€.
Set of 3 Pastries 7€ (2,50€ each)
The Grand Mosque of Paris also includes a restaurant, called “Aux portes de l’Orient” (At the Orient’s doors). Here, you can essentially enjoy North African specialties: lamb or chicken tagines, different couscous recipes, and grilled meat.
If you’re not very fond of meat, you can still get your fill with a vegetarian couscous, for a very reasonable price (11€). The restaurant also offers a children’s menu (10€), with a classic chicken-and-fries combo.
While the staff seems to have a bad reputation, the chef is often complimented for his cooking. And if all else fails, you can still enjoy the exquisite decoration of the restaurant: the carved beechwood arcades which run through the restaurant are a good part of its
Budget: Couscous du Chef, 22€.
Opening hours: Restaurant and Tea Room open 7/7 from noon to midnight.
See the full menu here (in French)
How to Buy Your Tickets to Visit the Mosque?
Tickets are to be purchased at the entrance of the building.
Our advice: choose your time carefully to avoid queues.
Regular tickets :
- Full price: 3€
- Discounted price: 2€ for children, for students
- Group price (starting at 10 people): 2€ per person (free for group supervisors)
- Free (accessible with a regular ticket).
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