The Masjid Al Akbar Surabaya, more familiarly known as the Grand Mosque of Surabaya, is one of the biggest mosques in South East Asia. With its unique and beautiful architecture, it is not surprising to know that many local and foreign tourists come to see the mosque in its entire splendor.
The Masjid Al Akbar is found along the Surabya-Sidoarjo Highway that connects Surabaya to the Juanda Airport. The most imposing component of the mosque is its remarkably teal-colored large dome and four smaller dome-shaped Limasan. The mosque is also equipped with a 99 meter high tower that stands among the domes. The mosque’s most unique feature is its large dome, which looks somewhat like a half egg with a height of 27 meters and 1.5 layers. The mosque towers high above the surrounding skyline, making it a true sight to behold. With its striking features and even bigger façade, it is then not hard to find Masjid Al Akbar from afar.
The National Mosque of Al Akbar Surabaya or MAS was established on August 4, 1995 based on the idea of the then mayor of Surabaya, H. Soenarto Soemoprawiro. The first stone was laid by then President H. Tri Sutrisno. Unfortunately, due to the monetary crisis at the time, construction was temporarily halted. It was only in 1999 when the mosque was built again. By 2001, the Grand Mosque was finally finished, with its inauguration held by President K.H. Abdurrahman Wahid.
The mosque compound and its supporting structures cover an area of 22,300 square meters with a length of 147 meters and a width of 128 meters. The mosque can accommodate up to 25,000 people at a time. The entrance of the main room is another striking feature due to its grandeur and its gold and blue designs. The mosaic, the tiles, the majestic hall and the minaret all remain equally arresting from the visual aspect.
The MAS continues to be an active place of worship and many Muslims head to the mosque as early as daybreak. During the holy month of Ramadan, thousands of pilgrims head to the mosque to receive free takjil and rice. The Grand Mosque makes it a point to provide food to break the fast each day during the month of Ramadan. Visitors should then expect thousands of people sitting on the floor of the mosque for Ramadan to offer their prayers.
Visitors of the mosque can not only marvel at its grand setting from afar but they can also take an elevator to the top of the minaret. Once there, travelers are rewarded with a spectacular view of the cityscape that makes perfect opportunities for photos. Just outside the mosque is a marketplace that sells a great range of items from food to drinks, to household supplies and even clothing.
The mosque blends both modern and traditional motifs, making it a sight to behold not only for its size but also because of its architecture. The Masjid Al Akbar Surabaya is truly an eye-catching mosque that remains a structure too pleasing to the eyes not to visit.