Ideal Time: 1-2 hours
Open Time: Saturday - Thursday: 10:00 AM - 12:00 PM & 2:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Friday: 2:30 PM - 4:00 PM
The mosque remains Closed for prayers at 12:30 PM - 2:00 PM & 4:00 PM - 5:00 PM, and fully, on Sundays & Public Holidays.
Cost: No entry fee
Majestically standing in the historic district of Kampong Glam, Sultan Mosque is one of the most important and beautiful mosques in Singapore. Also called Masjid Sultan, the history of this monument building goes back to 1824. In that year, the mosque was built for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore, with the help of a grant from Sir Raffles, the founder of Singapore. The Sultan Mosque is built in Indo-Saracenic Revival style of architecture and boasts a series of magnificent golden domes. These enormous golden domes top off the prayer hall can house up to 5000 people at the same time. The base of these domes is decorated with glass bottle ends, which is said to be the result of donations made by poor Muslims during the construction of the mosque.
Sultan Hussein Shah of Johor signed an alliance with the East India Company in 1824 to establish a British trading port on the island. They agreed to pay a yearly allowance to the Sultan and his kin and to recognise Kampong Glam as the royal family's asset. To this, Sir Stamford Raffles gave 3000 Spanish Dollars for the construction of the Sultan Mosque. Back then, the mosque bore an appearance similar to that of traditional Southeast Asian mosques- it was single storeyed brick-structure with a two-tiered pitched roof.
Around a hundred years later, in 1924, the mosque was in a dire state and desperately needed a renovation. At this point, an Irish architect by the name of Denis Santry from the local architectural firm of Swan & Maclaren was commissioned for the project. A fundraising had also been initiated during which the poor Muslims donated glass bottles, which now make the bottom of the domes of Sultan Mosque. It is also said that in the past, Sultan Mosque was used as a stoppage for Muslim pilgrims on the way to Mecca, for their sacred Haj journey.
Sultan Mosque is built in Indo-Saracenic Revival style of architecture. This style combines the aesthetic of European design while also incorporating traditional Indian and Islamic elements in it. Easily recognisable with its golden onion-shaped domes topping off the eastern and western ends of the prayer hall, one of the domes caps the main entrance, while the other crowns the mausoleum where Sultan Alauddin Alam Shah (the grandson of Sultan Hussein Shah) and other members of the royal family are buried.
A crescent moon and a star are present on both the domes- symbols that are often associated with Islam. The base of each dome is lined with a belt of glass bottles, which were once donated by the poor as their contributions to the mosque's construction. Rectangular in plan, the main prayer hall, which is also in the same orientation with that in Mecca, can hold up to 5,000 worshippers. The mihrab, which is a niche on a wall inside the prayer hall indicates the direction of Mecca and is framed by a lancet-shaped arch and decorated with scroll motifs, leaves, flowers, curling tendrils, and classical vines. The numerous onion-shaped windows on both levels allow the interior to be well ventilated.
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The nearest bus stop here, are North Bridge Rd, Victoria Street and Beach Road. The nearest MRT (Mass Rapid Transit) Stations are Bugis MRT Station and Jalan Besar MRT Station, from both of which the mosque is a ten-minute walk.
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