Friday, September 5, 2014

Grande Mosquée de Paris

Métro: Place Monge (line 7) or Censier Daubenton (line 4)
Address: 2 bis place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005 Paris
Hours:Saturday -Thursday 9:00 am- 12:00 pm and 2:00 pm-6:00 pm
Closed on Friday
Cost: 3 euros

Can I just be honest for a second? I don't know if you have seen A Mighty Heart (2007) or Black Hawk Down (2001)? Well I have and I have been traumatized ever since. So when my husband said he wanted to visit the Middle East, I about died. I know this is stupid and everyone that I know who has been there absolutely loved it. I say to that: good for them. Me? I belong to Paris.

But I also learned that if you want to save your marriage you need to compromise (honestly not much of a compromise because I really wanted to go) so I offered to visit the mosque of Paris. We went by a few times before and the people are always so friendly and welcoming. We started a few conversations on the street which NEVER happens in Paris. I am a Christian but I never felt like anything was imposed on me and talking about religions seems to be the norm there. I keep very fond memories of the people we have met at the mosque.

Obviously this is a place for worship so you will need to be respectful and you won't be able to visit the prayer rooms or go in on Friday. But you can walk around this gorgeous place and for a second feel like you have just traveled hundreds of miles to a small paradise. And unlike us, I wish your visit in on a sunny day. It makes a huge difference.


The decision to build the Mosque of Paris is made after World War I to honor the 70,000 Muslims who lost their life fighting for France. It is the very mosque built in France. It is inspired by the El Qaraouiyyîn mosque in Fez in Morocco which is one of the oldest in the world. All the beautiful decoration are realized by specialized craftsmen from North Africa. The mosque also is known as a Resistance center during WWII. Their mission was to save British paras and find a hiding spot for them. Later they also hide Jewish families and procured them with fake papers. (Thanks Wikipedia!)

The garden is a real delight. The tiles are just amazing. I am just in awe with all the details and craftsmanship that went into creating this place.

I really had a great time but a word of caution. Don't eat at the restaurant! We used the bathroom next to the kitchen to find gigantic cockroaches on the floor. Not so cool.

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