Vision 2030

Photos: Nine historical mosques in Saudi Arabia’s Mecca, Medina to be renovated

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Nine historical mosques in Mecca and Medina will be restored as part of the Mohammed bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques under Vision 2030.

The Saudi Press Agency reported that the places of worship will be renovated without losing their historical architecture while also prolonging their life span. The mosques were affected by the changing climate and weather conditions over the decades, while some were abandoned.

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Historical mosques in Medina “gain their importance from their close connection to al-Sira al-Nabawiyah (Prophetic biography) and the several sites that are related to the Islamic era, such as AlUla governorate that houses several archaeological sites,” SPA reported.


A historical mosque in Mecca that will undergo renovations in line with the Mohammed bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques. (SPA)

Al-Baiah Mosque, built by the Abbasid Caliph Abu Jafar al-Mansour near Jamrat al-Aqaba at Mina, was the first targeted mosques to be developed in Mecca during the second phase of the project.

The mosque has a capacity for 68 worshippers.

Abu Inbeh Mosque in Harat al-Sham, was built more than 900 years ago. While its pre-renovation area stood at 339.98 square, after modifications, the new area was reduced to 335.31 square meters with a capacity to hold 357 worshippers, down from a capacity of 360 worshippers.

The 700-year-old al-Khadr Mosque in the al-Balad neighborhood, only 66 kilometers from the Grand Holy Mosque in Mecca, now stands at 355.09 square meters with a capacity of 355 worshippers.

Al-Fath Mosque in al-Jamoum Governorate is a place of worship where Prophet Mohammed is known to have prayed in the al-Fath (conquest) year.

“The mosque was neglected, destroyed and damaged over the past centuries until it was renovated in 1419 Hijri,” SPA reported adding that its area will increase from 455.77 square meters to 553.50 square meters, while its capacity will increase from 218 to 333.

At Thaqif center in al-Taif, the al-Jubail Mosque, which was built more than 300 years ago, will see its post-renovation area at 310 square meters while maintaining its current capacity of 45 worshippers.


A historical mosque in Medina that will undergo renovations in line with the Mohammed bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques. (SPA)

Bani Haram Mosques, situated 1.68 kilometers away from the Prophet’s Holy Mosque, will aim to “match the changes in the mosque between old and new eras,” SPA reported.

Prophet Mohammed is said to have prayed at this location.

The 266.42 square meter-area of the mosque will increase by 10 square meters after renovation with a total capacity for 172 worshipers.

Al-Itham Mosque, situated near the Mousa bin Nusair Historical Castle between AlUla and Hajrah, also dates to the era of Prophet Mohammed who reportedly identified the direction of prayer, known as al-Qiblah in Arabic, while on his way to the ‘Expedition of Tabuk’ in the ninth Hijri year.

The mosque is situated on a 773.34 square meter plot and will accommodate 580 worshippers.

In the town of Kheif al-Huzami town in Wadi al-Safra, the Kheif al-Huzami Mosque, also known as the Prince Radwan Mosque, was built by the Egyptian Hajj minister Radwan al-Faqari in the middle of the 11th Hijri century.

As part of the renovation, its total area will increase from 527.94 square meters to 603.35 square meters and its capacity will increase from 150 to 180 worshippers.

The historical Castle Mosque, also known as Hamad bin Samihah Mosque after the ruler of the town dates back over 100 years.

It is located in the center of the historical Castle neighborhood at al-Hanakieh town, SPA reported.

The mosque currently stands at 181.75 square meters, before the start of renovations. This will be increased to 263.55 square meters and be able to hold 171 worshippers.

The Project

A total of 30 mosques across Saudi Arabia are part of the second phase of the Mohammed bin Salman Project for Developing Historical Mosques.

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman inaugurated the launch of the second phase of refurbishing and restoring 30 historical mosques across 13 regions in the Kingdom in July.

Of these 30 mosques, six are in the capital Riyadh, five in Mecca, four in Medina, three in the Asir region, two in the eastern province, two in al-Jouf, two in Jazan, one in the northern borders region, one in Tabuk, one in al-Baha, one in Najran, one in Hail, and one in al-Qassim.

Companies specialized in restoring historical buildings have been designated to undertake the task, with emphasis on involving Saudi engineers to “preserve the original identity of each mosque,” SPA reported then.

The renovation project was announced in 2018 and has been tasked with preserving and restoring 130 mosques located throughout the Kingdom.

During the first phase of the project, 30 mosques were restored at a cost of more than $13.3 million (SAR 50 million). The oldest mosque restored in the first phase was 1,432 years old.

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