Sultan Mosque prayer hall

Photo by Public Domain

With its massive golden domes and huge prayer hall, Sultan Mosque is a must-see if you’re in the historic Kampong Gelam district.

Masjid Sultan, as it is also known, is a prominent mosque in Singapore and one of the country’s most impressive religious buildings.

Fit for a king

The mosque was built in 1824 for Sultan Hussein Shah, the first sultan of Singapore. Sir Stamford Raffles, the founder of Singapore, gave S$3,000 to the construction of a single-storey building with a double-tiered roof.

A hundred years later, the old mosque was in desperate need of repair. The present mosque as you see it today was designed by Denis Santry from Swan and Maclaren, Singapore’s oldest architectural firm, and rebuilt in 1932.

A little-known fact about the mosque’s reconstruction—North Bridge Road was actually forced to bend around the mosque as it was extended beyond Arab Street.

Glass base

While you’re there, inspect the onion-shaped domes. Each dome base is decorated with glass bottle ends, donated by lower-income Muslims during its construction so that all Muslims, not just the rich, could contribute.

Gazetted as a national monument in 1975, the mosque has long been a focal point for the Muslim community. If you’re there during Ramadan, the Muslim month of fasting, check out the night market in the area and its many food stalls.

And do hop on the mosque’s informative guided tours—guides can speak English, Malay, Chinese, and even Japanese.