Feb 4, 2009

The UAE’s Oldest House of Worship

The United Arab Emirates’ oldest house of worship may also be its smallest.

The Bidiya Mosque is believed to have been built in AD 640, but may have been built as far back as 1449 BC. Also known as the Ottoman Mosque the adobe-like structure is still active. Visitors often climb the hill under which the mosque sits to get a good view of the surrounding countryside from the remains of watchtowers.

Located near an ancient fishing village of the same name, a visit to the Bidiya Mosque is easily incorporated into a day trip to Fujairah. Bidiya is about a 90 minute drive from Dubai. Only worshippers are permitted to enter the mosque.

11 comments:

Anil said...

So perhaps it wasn't originally a mosque? (Since it may predate Islam and the Ottomans for that matter.)

Wendy said...

Anil,
Good point. I'd love to find out.

Kalyan said...

Earliest Mosques were built around 700 AD (around the same time as Islam came into the fore). I was a little surprised NOT to find any wikipedia page on Bidiya Mosque. In fact, google search returns very few results for Bidiya Mosque - just 934. if you find good information on this, you may well start a wiki page yourself.

Fly Girl said...

Well this looks really ancient, whatever the actual date is. Is it as low as it looks in the photo? It doesn't look as if you could hardly stand up in it.

Wendy said...

Kaylan,
Thanks. I also couldn't find much when I was checking facts for this.
I also changed the post title to oldest house of worship from mosque to be more accurate.

Hi Fly Girl, it is low but you can stand up as far as I could tell. A taller person may have to stoop down when passing through the door.

Lakshmi said...

I agree with Anil..wonder what it could be ..incidentally Ive seen a very small mosque in my hometown, Chennai- will post a pic sometime

bellamocha said...

Great pictures Wendy. I don't remember ever being in a mosque although I may have when living in India as a small girl. I do intend to though...India is on my list of places to go to next year.

Do you ever miss a place once you've left it? Not incl. NY, which is home.

Bella :)

Nomadic Matt said...

old is beautiful...

GMG said...

Hi Wendy! In 1449 BC, there were no mosques... definitely; neither churches; so the better we get is an old temple...

Blogtrotter waits for you in Rajastha, after an adventurous road trip... ;) Enjoy and have a great week!

Hobo ........ ........ ........ said...

I love to read such information about history, heritage.
Thankyou !

Wendy said...

Hi Lakshmi, I would love to see that photo.

Bella Mocha, I miss so many places all the time. India next year sounds great.

Matt, too bad people aren't viewed the same way.

Gil and Hobo, thanks as always for stopping by and Gil I'll stop by soon.