Indonesian mosques are on very few travellers itineraries, but many of the old ones have a great deal of charm. They show the locals trying to accommodate Islamic liturgical demands within the confines of traditional Indonesian architectural forms. This process resulted in some of the most original and unusual looking mosques outside the Middle East.
This mosque, dating from the 1720s, is a particularly fine example of this process. Demonstrating both the piety of the Sultan of Palembang and his burgeoning wealth from trade with Arabs (who didn't want to deal with Dutch infidels), Mesjid Agung, or The Great Mosque, is a beautiful synthesis of Chinese, Javanese and Arabic influences. The restoration from 1987 was very sympathetic and the building has been well-maintained since.
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