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LOCAL TIME: 05:34 am | Tuesday, 20 August
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Turkish mosque, Nizamiye Turkish Masjid, Midrand

Turkish mosque, Nizamiye Turkish Masjid, Midrand

The biggest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere has been built right here in Midrand. This is not just any mosque, but is a faithfully replicated ¾-scale copy of the beautiful  500 year old Selimiye Mosque found in the city or Edirne. The mosque in Edirne, once capital of the old Turkish Ottoman Empire, was commissioned in the 15th century by the ruler, Sultan Selim II. Today it is regarded as the greatest building in Turkish Islamic history.

The mosque is now a local tourist attraction in Midrand, and it is not surprising. Not only does it have an elegant exterior with beautiful spires and doors, but the interior is even more impressive, with its colourful tiling and ornate domed ceilings. Turkish artists and artisans were brought to South Africa to work on the tiling, the intricate mosaics and painting of the interior and exterior. It took seven painters and 16 months to complete the murals. Other finishing materials like doors, tiles and windows were imported from Turkey.  The entire building took 30 months to put up, and offers a haven of serenity to the visitor.

Financed by Turkish property developer Ali Katircioglu, there is a mosque, school, exhibition hall, cemetery, clinic and bazaar which has a market, bakery, barber, bookshop, a carpet and ceramics store, and a Turkish restaurant. The project manager, Atasoy, said the school would be open to every member of the community, irrespective of their religious belief, and non-Muslims were welcome to register their children.

The Nizamiye Complex is located on the corner of Old Pretoria Road and Le Roux Avenue in Midrand, between Johannesburg and Pretoria, which can be accessed from the Allandale turn-off on the N1. You can also catch the Gautrain from Sandton or Pretoria to Midrand. Address: Corner of K101 & Le Roux Avenue, Midrand, Johannesburg, SA.

Should you wish to enjoy the free tour of about 45 minutes, please phone to make a booking.  Tel: +27 79 029 0488.

More info on the quaint town of Midrand More info on the Johannesburg area