Top 5 best Astonishing mosques in Indonesia by Philippe Robichon

1. Masjid Rahmatullah of Lampuuk


Mosques that survived the 2004 Tsunami. At least 27 mosques would have "survived" the tsunami of December 26, 2004. Among them, Masjid Rahmatullah of Lampuuk which is also called Masjid Turki. The photo below speaks for itself.

Megan Laurel Genat

Masjid Rahmatullah of Lampuuk

2. Masjid Amirul Mukminin


Amirul Mukminin Mosque, The only Floating Mosque in Indonesia. It has just given up its status of instagramable icon to Masjid 99 Kubah. It is located directly on the beach Losari. It is a recent mosque it was completed in 2022. Do not know of any other mosque on the water in the archipelago. It was built on the model of traditional houses on stilts of the Bugis tribes of Sulawesi. It is an attraction in the evening at sunset, when the beach of Losari is taken by storm by tourists and locals.

3. Masjid Istiqlal

Masjid Istiqlal the mosque of independence (Istiqlal meaning independence in Arabic). I'm not going to make friends, but I prefer it inside than outside. It is the largest mosque in Southeast Asia and the sixth largest mosque in the world in terms of worshipping capacity. Perlahan-lahan say the Indonesians. The committee for the construction of the Istiqlal Mosque, was founded in 1953.

Sukarno argued that a national mosque should be located near the most important square of the nation, near the Merdeka Palace. Sukarno also argued that the national mosque should be built near the Jakarta Cathedral and Immanuel Church, to symbolize religious harmony and tolerance as promoted in Pancasila.

The Sumatran Christian architect Friedrich Silaban, with his project "Divinity", won the project. The foundation stone was laid by Sukarno on August 24, 1961; [the construction took 17 years. President Suharto inaugurated it as the national mosque on February 22, 1978. The mosque underwent a major renovation at a cost of 35 million US dollars.

There is only one minaret here, 66.66 m high, which stands out from the main building and is known by the local community as the "manaruh (lighthouse)". Outside there is a bedug, a very large wooden drum used for the call to prayer, the largest in the archipelago, 3 meters long, 2 meters in diameter, weighing 2.30 tons, over 300 years old. This bedug was made from a red wood tree, the meranti of Kalimantan. The skin is that of a buffalo.

Note that a friendship tunnel (Silaturahmi Tunnel) connecting the Istiqlal Mosque and St. Mary of the Assumption Cathedral was built by the Indonesian authorities and was completed in September 2021. The mosque has seven entrances and the seven doors are named after Al-Asmaul-Husna, the names of God in Islam. Each door is named after one of the 99 names of Allah.

The simplicity, the sobriety, the stripping of the mosque is deliberate. Its architecture is resolutely modern in the style of the sixties. The interior design is minimalist, simple and uncluttered, with a minimum of geometric ornaments in stainless steel. The 12 columns are covered with stainless steel. The dome measures 45 meters in diameter, the pillars are 17 meters high and are spaced 8 meters apart, marking the date of the proclamation of Indonesia's independence on August 17, 1945. The mosque is built mainly of concrete. The walls and floor are covered with marble, from Tulung Agung, East Java quarries.



Masjid Istiqal interior Jakarta

4. Masjid Raya Baiturrahman Aceh


It's beautiful and that's all. I love the balance of the design. Masjid Raya Baiturrahman Aceh, the survivor and symbol of neo-Mogul architecture. This mosque through its history has survived tragedies such as the fire by the Dutch occupiers in 1873 and the tsunami in late 2004.

There are two versions regarding the history of the construction of this mosque. Some sources say that this mosque was founded in 1292 AD by Sultan Alauddin Johan Mahmudsyah. Other sources say that this mosque was founded by Sultan Iskandar Muda in 1612 AD.

Following the fire of 1873 the mosque was rebuilt from 1879 to 1881 by the Dutch colonial administration as a token of reconciliation. The mosque was originally designed by the Dutch architect Gerrit Bruins and the design was later adapted by L.P. Luijks. The design chosen is in the neo-Mogul style.

Characterized by large domes and minarets. Its architectural signature is built from hardwood shingles combined with tiles. It then undergoes several expansions, in 1936 when two domes were built on the right and left sides. Between 1958-1965, two domes and two minarets were added on the west side. These five domes are the symbols of the five elements of Pancasila.

Finally in 1992 two domes and five towers were added. Today, the mosque has 7 domes, 8 minarets and 32 pillars. When a tsunami wave of up to 21 meters hit the coast of Banda Aceh on December 26, 2004, the mosque was among the buildings that survived.

5. Masjid Tiban Malang

masjid tiban Malang detail
masjid tiban Malang
masjid tiban Malang entrance

Masjid Tiban Malang: A Historical and Cultural Icon of East Java

Malang, a city in East Java, Indonesia, is known for its rich history and cultural heritage. Among its many landmarks, Masjid Tiban stands out as a significant symbol of the city's Islamic tradition. Built over 400 years ago, the mosque has stood the test of time and remains a popular destination for locals and tourists alike.

Masjid Tiban, also known as Masjid Al-Mukhlisin, is located in Tiban Village, about 10 kilometers from the center of Malang. The mosque's unique architecture reflects the blend of Islamic and Javanese cultural influences that characterize the region. The mosque's walls are made of red bricks, and its roof is adorned with intricate carvings and designs, giving it a distinct and striking appearance.

According to local legend, Masjid Tiban was founded by Sunan Kalijaga, one of the nine Islamic saints in Java, in the 16th century. The mosque was originally built as a place of worship for the local villagers, who were predominantly farmers and traders. Over time, the mosque became a center of Islamic education, attracting students and scholars from all over Java.

Today, Masjid Tiban is not only a place of worship but also a cultural and educational center. The mosque hosts various religious and cultural events throughout the year, including Quranic recitation competitions, Islamic lectures, and traditional Javanese dance performances. The mosque's management also runs a pesantren, an Islamic boarding school, where students can learn Islamic teachings and practices.

In conclusion, Masjid Tiban is a historical and cultural icon of Malang and East Java. Its unique architecture and rich history reflect the region's Islamic and Javanese cultural heritage, making it a must-visit destination for anyone interested in Indonesian culture. Whether you are a student of Islamic studies, a history buff, or simply a curious traveler, Masjid Tiban offers a fascinating and educational glimpse into the past and present of Java.

Written by Sabrina Atmadjaya 


About abigail wuisan

Hi, i am Abigail. As an Indonesian professional who has been living in France for 6 years, I am happy and proud to share with you the Indonesian heritage and to increase your awareness of the wealth of Indonesia. I present you the best of the Best of Indonesia !