The Cipaganti Mosque is popularly known as the Masjid Cipaganti to the Indonesians. It was built in 1933 on the northern side of the city of Bandung. It was carefully constructed in a European residential neighborhood and was the only mosque to be built there. Dutch architect Professor Kemal Wolff Schomaker designed the building as he incorporated European architecture with elements of ethnic Javanese and touches of Arabic influence into the mosque. The grand masterpiece’s making was well-documented and can now be seen today.
The mosque’s fairly angular and straight architecture is what makes it stand out from the rest. The mosque’s exterior is a clear example of a combination of Western and Eastern architecture. Its sleek European design coupled with the horses on its roof triangle that give it an Oriental touch is what makes it a great combination of the two different cultures. There are numerous shady trees that frame the mosque, making it an incredible sight to behold from afar. Although the mosque has been extended and has been altered throughout the years, its central facade still remains true to its original structure.
Inside the famous mosque is the main prayer room with four pillars in a beautiful green color. The walls on the other hand are adorned with a rich shade of blue decor. The combination of the green and navy blue colors gives the room its exuberant style clearly taken from European architectural inspiration. Another interesting aspect would be its chandeliers, which hang majestically in the middle of the main prayer room, typical of many European-style light fixtures. The touch of Javanese culture is seen on the wall carvings while Arab calligraphy decorates the mosque’s interior.
Today, the mosque is surrounded by a busy crowd along the streets of Cipaganti. Despite this, the ambiance of the mosque tends to remain relatively calm. Because Muslims are expected to pray at least five times a day, the mosque is expected to be filled by people that come and go all day. By late afternoon, see several groups of Bandung mothers gossip their way through the hours as they wait for their children to finish studying Koran at the mosque.
Unlike many other mosques that do not allow non-Muslims to enter such scared structures, the Cipaganti Mosque welcomes tourists to the sacred space and beautiful interiors. The mosque is open daily but visitors are only permitted inside during non-prayer times. No entrance fee is required. Because you are visiting a sacred structure to the Muslim people, make sure to dress modestly. Like all mosques around the world, it is necessary to remove your shoes at the entrance so it might be wise to bring warm socks when visiting the mosque during cold weather. Finally, be quiet and respectful at all times.
You can feel the intense city life along the hectic street of Cipiganti but solemnly take in the peaceful aura provided by the Cipaganti Mosque in Bandung. With the Muslim-dominated community of Bandung, visit the place of worship and prayer and get to see how devoted to their beliefs the Bandung locals can get.