Paris is so much more than the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and Notre Dame. After a few visits to Paris, and having seen all the major tourist attractions, I wanted to see more of the multicultural influences in Paris. Therefore, I decided to explore the Latin Quarter a bit more. I booked an apartment there, ate in a Moroccan restaurant, and I visited the Grande Mosquee de Paris. I’m so happy I did because it was an afternoon well spent. The Grand Mosque in Paris is gorgeous! It is only a 5 min walk from metro station Censier-Daubenton. There is no dress code, and except from the prayer space you can freely walk around and admire the beautiful spaces and garden.
The mosque was founded in 1926 as a token of gratitude, after World War I, to the Muslim tirailleurs from France’s colonial empire. It was built following the mudéjar style, and its minaret is 33 meters high. Large courtyard with columns in Spanish-Moorish style, fountains and emerald tiles and lush vegetation is a peaceful haven. There are many tropical plants, palms and even a small rose garden. Everything is symmetrical. In the middle there’s a fountain, a huge marble basin with water jet, used for ablutions of the faithful. Besides the beautiful tiles, also take in the impressive wooden carved doors, amazing craftmanship!
Tearoom and Café
On the backside of the Grande Mosquee, across from the entrance of the Jardin des Plantes, you’ll find The Café de la Mosquée de Paris. It’s a beautiful place with a peaceful garden where they serve wonderful traditional pastries and mint teas. The decor is a traditional North African setting, with cedar wood from Algeria, green tiles from Morocco and earthenware from Tunisia, with lots of cushions around to sit on. The cafe attracts a mixed clientele including tourists and students, which makes for one of the more unusual cafes in Paris. The cafe is open from 10am through to 11pm.