Cow Street Mosque

It’s an effort to reach and isn’t impressive visually, but if you have time on your hands or are interested in Chinese Cow Street Mosquemosques then the Cow Street Moscow might be worth visiting. Certainly, if you’ve seen the Great Mosque in Xian then you’ll find this one rather uninspiring. However, one bonus is that the staff here are very friendly. First constructed in 996AD, the mosque is constructed in the traditional design of Chinese temples. The key difference is that the entrance faces west towards Mecca, which may be slightly disorienting if you’ve been to a stack of south-facing Buddhist and Taoist temples. Covering an area of 6000 square meters, it is the largest mosque in Beijing. Cow Street Mosque was continually enlarged and renovated throughout the centuries, and was most recently given a thorough touch-up in 1979 so that it is currently in very good condition. The major building inside the mosque is the 600 square meter prayer hall, which is unfortunately only open to Muslims. The mosque also hosts tombs of a number of Islamic clerics from hundreds of years ago, along with stone steles with Arabic engravings.

Admission: ¥10. Open: 8:00-16:00.

Address: 88 Niu Jie.

Directions: The closest subway station is Caishikou. From there, head west along Guanganmennei Dajie and turn left into Niu Jie. It’s a good 15-20 minute walk all up so it might be better  to take a taxi. You can combine your visit with a trip to the Fayuan Temple (see the next page).

Show the taxi driver: 请带我去牛街礼拜寺,谢谢。地址:牛街131号。 (Please take me to Cow Street Mosque. Thank you.)