Washington D.C. Architecture – Islamic Center

Happy new year everyone! I hope you had a lovely New Year’s Eve and I pray that this coming year be full of blessings for all.

My first post this year will be the continuation of my recent D.C. trips which really opened up my eyes to new architecture in the area. On the same day we saw the Washington National Cathedral, we also came to The Islamic Center. It is located on Embassy Row on Massachusetts Ave.DC Architecture Islamic Center

The original reason for its existence was that in 1944 the Turkish ambassador had died and there was no mosque for his funeral. After support from the diplomatic community and the Muslim community across the nation, it was completed in 1957. DC Architecture Islamic Center DC Architecture Islamic Center DC Architecture Islamic Center

This structure was designed by an Italian architect Mario Rossi who sought inspiration from 15th century Mamluk Egypt. The entrance is covered in beautiful horseshoe arches (that I could not get enough of). This style traditionally has an open courtyard but because of the climate in D.C., the courtyard is covered with a clerestory dome.DC Architecture Islamic Center

I loved the blue on the exterior, it was a beautiful contrast against the lighter stone.DC Architecture Islamic Center DC Architecture Islamic Center

The interior furnishings of this mosque were acquired from various nations. The mihrab is tiled in a style from Ottoman Turkey, the chandelier is from Egypt and the carpets are from Iran.DC Architecture Islamic Center DC Architecture Islamic Center

Everything is so beautiful and has so much detail. The only thing I did not like about the mosque was the lack of natural light inside (there was some, but not a lot). As a lover of sunshine, I would have liked to see it more of it shining inside. It was beautiful nonetheless and ended up being a great place for us to stop and do our afternoon prayers.DC Architecture Islamic Center DC Architecture Islamic Center

I love finding new architecture in areas I’ve been plenty of times. It keeps me motivated to continue to search for more places.

Is there anything in particular you like to search for when you go to cities?



  1. great pictures! I love the contrast of blue and light stone. I had no idea that those arches are called horseshoe arches 😀

    • tayonthemove Reply

      Thank you! I learn some new stuff too every time I research these architectural beauties. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Just returned from a trip to Tunisia and I was absolutely stunned by the architecture, tiles and beautiful courtyards. Thanks for sharing this architectural gem!

    • tayonthemove Reply

      Tunisia sounds amazing, thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  3. I loved DC!! That blue is absolutely stunning!! I didn’t realise it had such beautiful architecture.

    • tayonthemove Reply

      Yea, me either! Glad you enjoyed the post and thanks for stopping by! 🙂

    • tayonthemove Reply

      Thank you, I know I never knew of its existence until this visit myself! Thasks for stopping by Patricia! 🙂

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