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“Beautiful Mosque”

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddin Mosque
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Night Tour in Brunei
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Brunei Capital City and Water Village Shore Excursion
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Full Day City and Water Village Tour with Lunch in Brunei
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Owner description: This magnificent mosque sits at the very heart of the capital city and the country's Islamic faith. Built in 1958 and named after the 28th Sultan Of Brunei, it is one of the most impressive mosques in South-East Asia. Set amid its own lagoon, the mosque seems to be floating, surrounded by lush greenery and floral gardens, while its glittering dome, covered in real gold, soars above the skyline. Featuring luminous stained glass windows, floors of gleaming Italian marble, walls of Shanghai granite, chandeliers from Britain and Carpets from Saudi Arabia, the mosque brings together the world's best materials in a tour de force of architectural beauty and spiritual ambience. A marble bridge across the lagoon brings you to a replica of a 16th century Royal Barge, which used to host religious ceremonies, like Quran reading competitions. At night, the mosque is illuminated, making it a vision to be seen. Opening Hours : Sun-Wed, 8am until 5:30pm, EXCEPT at Prayer times Closed : Thurs-Fri Shoes are to be removed before entering. Dress appropriately For Men : No shorts, No Sleeveless ( wear long pants) For Women : No singlets, No shorts, must cover leg ( wear Long pants)
Reviewed 1 July 2014

The Omar Ali Saifuddin mosque is beautiful and worth a visit if you're in Brunei. I walked to it from my hotel on a couple of occasions to get pictures of it. It's especially picturesque at night or at dusk.

Thank Dave C
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 29 June 2014

We enjoyed our visit to the mosque and it looked lovely at night. The staff and also people we spoke to outside the mosque were lovely and welcoming.

Thank JulesbSouthLondon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 29 June 2014

Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque is considered by connoisseurs to be one of the most beautiful mosques of South East Asia. It is named after Omar Ali Saifuddien III, the 28th Sultan of Brunei (builder of modern Brunei, and late father of the current Sultan) who also planned and carried out its construction during his reign.

A symbol of Brunei's state religion of Islam, the mosque dominates the skyline of the capital city Bandar Seri Begawan. The mosque is located just across Yayasan Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah shopping complex on the one side, and Taman Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien, a public park on the other.

Built between 1954 and 1958, Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien brings together the best features of Indian Mughal and Italian styles of architecture. The building plans were done by the Chartered Architects firm of Booty and Edwards as per the design made by the Italian architect Cavaliere Rudolfo Nolli. It is said that architect Nolli based his drawings on an early design prepared by His Majesty Omar Ali Saifuddien III himself, and drawn with the assistance of Awang Besar Sagap, a PWD draughtsman.

The mosque's design was innovative and traditional at the same time, as it married the Mughal style with the European-Italian Renaissance style of architecture. Sixty years ago when construction of this mosque began, the construction costs were estimated at a stupendous $8 to $9 million. Once complete, this enormous, white and gold building became the main landmark of the capital of Brunei.

An interesting sidelight is that before the Second World War, even though there were a number of other mosques built in the Brunei countryside, the only mosque in the capital city was the very modest and simple Masjid Pekan Brunei built during the era of Sultan Mohammad Jamalul Alam II, the 26th Sultan. Hence prior to the completion of Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien in 1958, there really was no mosque worthy of the capital city, then known as Pekan Brunei.

The main dome of Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien covered in pure gold (3.3 million pieces of Venetian gold mosaic went into covering the dome we are told!) is the mosque's most recognizable feature. At 52 metres, the main dome can be seen from virtually anywhere in Bandar Seri Begawan. We were told that by edict of the Sultan no other building in Brunei is allowed to exceed this height. Apart from the main dome, the mosque is embellished with marble minarets and smaller gold covered domes.

The prayer hall with magnificent arched tinted glass windows, beautiful carvings and marble columns can accommodate over 3,000 people! No expense has been spared on the lavish interiors of the mosque. The best of material was brought in from all corners of the world - the finest marble from Italy for the floors, arches and walls, granite from China, crystal chandeliers and stained glass crafted in England and rich, ornate prayer carpets from Saudi Arabia!

The mosque situated on 5 acres is surrounded by an artificial lagoon on the banks of the Brunei River at Kampong Ayer (the "village in the water") - the lagoon serves as a reflecting pool for the mosque. A bridge goes across this lagoon to Kampong Ayer.

Another marble bridge leads to a graceful, richly decorated, beautifully coloured ceremonial stone boat in the lagoon, which is a replica of a 16th Century 'mahligai' (royal barge). Completed in 1967, this replica of the barge was built to commemorate the 1,400th anniversary of Nuzul Al-Quran (the coming down of the Quran) - we understand it is used to stage Quran reading competitions. This royal barge replica now forms a single architectural ensemble with the main structure of the mosque.

The courtyard of the Sultan Omar Ali Saifuddien Mosque with its elegantly paved pathways, is studded with beautiful trees and flowering plants. The serenity of the lagoon serves as a beautiful counterpoint to the mosque's grounds.

In fact this mosque is a little surreal - it is so picture perfect that it looks like a painting! The surreal effect is even more heightened when the lights come on at night - then bathed in yellow and green light, the mosque quite literally shines like a jewel with highlights reflecting off the waters of the lagoon cocooning it.

Visitors need to remove their footwear before entering the mosque and ensure due consideration for those at prayer by maintaining respectful silence. Women should cover their heads - both men and women are expected to dress modestly and conservatively. Robes are provided at the mosque to be worn by all visitors. Photography is not allowed within the mosque's interiors.

Visiting hours at the Masjid Omar Ali Saifuddien mosque for non-Muslims are:
Saturday through Wednesday: Interiors - 0830-1200 hrs, 1330-1500 hrs, 1630-1730 hrs
Friday: Interiors - 1630-1700 hrs
Thursdays: Closed to non-Muslims
All days: Exterior compound is open 0800-2030 hrs daily except at prayer times

Thank TMenon
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 27 June 2014

This is one of the oldest mosques in Brunei made in marbles. What makes the mosque special is its setting. The mosque is located along side the water village and with a picturesque background and the water body, the mosque is one of the famous and most visited landmarks in Brunei. The cement boat is another attraction at the place, It gives a great space to sit and enjoy the place.

1  Thank Alex F
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 June 2014

One of the most beautiful mosque, major landmark and tourist attraction in Brunei. It is easy to recognised by the golden covered main dome.

Thank Nadzrah
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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