With its bright white walls and majestic black domes, the 130-year old grand mosque is a magnificent site. It was here that hundreds of people sought refuge during the 204 tsunami that flattened most of the landscape of the city. The tsunami was so damaging, it demolished any structures, old and new, along the way of the tearing swell. This is a fact that gives significance to the Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman in the city of Banda Aceh. It is more than just a masterpiece of Islamic architecture in the nation, its survival from the tsunami is viewed by many residents as a direct intervention from the divine.

Royal scripture has it that the mosque was firstly built from wood in 1612 under the reign of Sultan Iskandar Muda. Some say that it was built even earlier in 1292 by Sultan Alaidin Mahmudsyah. During the Aceh war in 1873, the mosque was burnt to the ground. Realizing the value and its importance to the people of Aceh, in 1879, Major General Vander acting as current military general, rebuilt the mosque as it was once promised by Governor General Van Lansberge in 1877. Two more domes were added by the Dutch in 1936 and another two by the Indonesian government in 1957.

The Grand Mosque of Baiturrahman is located in the center of the city of Banda Aceh. Characterized by a 35-meter tower, 7 grand domes and 7 minarets, the Baiturrahman is probably the prototype for many mosques in Indonesia and Malaysian peninsula; supersede the layered roofed-style mosque.


Nearest Destination

The Aceh Tsunami Museum is located on Jalan Iskandar Muda Street, Banda Aceh, and is open daily (except Friday) from 10.00-12.00 noon, and 15.00-17.00 West Indonesia Time. The Museum building has adopted the traditional raised Aceh House, while at the same time it resembles a ship with its protruding funnel. Stepping inside, one will find a narrow corridor with water flowing from either side accompanied by a scary rumbling sounds,reminding of the devastations made by the 2004 tsunami. The Museum also features an electronic simulation of the Indian Ocean earthquake, pictures of the casualties, and stories and testimonies of survivors. Building the museum had cost about IDR70 billion, and consists of 2 floors. The first floor is an open space area which serves as reminder of the tsunami disaster...