Colors + Patterns at Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque
Before visiting Abu Dhabi, I kept coming across images of the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque. Each image I saw featured the mosque’s exterior: domes and towering minarets with gold plated embellishments, calming pools of azure water, an enormous tiled courtyard. Instagram post after post featured abaya-clad ladies striking a pose in front of one of the mosque’s ubiquitous archways. So while I was expecting to be blown away by the mosque’s exterior, I wasn’t quite ready to be as impressed with the inside. But “impressed” would be understating the elation and sheer awe I felt as we entered and explored the mosque’s interior.
The last time I was as moved by the interior of an edifice was when I gasped – I mean, literally lost my breath – upon walking into the Hagia Sofia in Istanbul. Given the fact that the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque also features Ottoman architecture, perhaps I should’ve been better prepared to be stunned. But I wasn’t.
The massive mosque which can accommodate over 40,000 worshippers, is literally a work of art that also combines Mamluk and Fatimid architectural styles. The construction represents Sheikh Zayed’s belief that nothing is impossible and that the greatest achievements start from the heart. It took the skill of thousands of workers to bring the sheikh’s vision to life using materials sourced from countries around the world including Greece, Austria, Italy, China, Germany, India, New Zealand, and not to mention the white marble found throughout from Macedonia.
Multi-colored marble, crowned columns, and a multitude of colors and patterns are evident everywhere you look throughout the mosque from the glasswork and mosaics to the carpets and chandeliers. The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque represents Islamic architecture and design at its finest, and I’m definitely a fan. Here, I’m sharing several photos from our visit in hopes that you’ll become a fan too.
*Headed to Abu Dhabi? A visit to the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is not to be missed. Click here for info to plan your visit.