In order to pay tribute to the tens of thousands of Muslim who fought and died for France during the WWI, the decision to build a mosque in Paris materialized in 1922, finally.
“Finally”, because the first project to build a mosque in Paris actually dated back to 1842, but it experienced a lot of procrastination.
An enclosure in the Parisian Père Lachaise cemetery was dedicated in 1856 to Ottoman burials, but little used, the enclosure devoted to the building was shrunk in 1883 and the building itself gradually fell into disrepair.
In 1914, a larger-scale project was proposed, but WWI sounded the death knell for this project.
It was therefore not until 1922 that the first stone of the Grand Mosque of Paris was laid on the site of the former Pitié hospital.
The work was completed by Robert Fournez, Maurice Mantout and Charles Heubès, according to Maurice Tranchant de Lunel’s plans.
The building, which includes a 33-meter-high minaret, a prayer hall, a madrassa (Koranic school), a library, a conference room, a tea room, a hammam, a restaurant and a garden is Hispano-Moorish, strongly inspired by the el-Qaraouiyyîn mosque in Fez, Morocco and the Alhambra in Granada.
The Grand Mosque of Paris was inaugurated on July 15, 1926 in the presence of French President Gaston Doumergue and the Sultan of Morocco, Moulay Youssef.
September 16, 2022