The Huaisheng Mosque

The Huaisheng Mosque is located at 56 Guangta Lu(south of Zhong Shan Lu) and is reputed to be the longest-established mosque in China.

Iron gates bar the entrance, but inside the archway high up on the right-hand side is a button which the visitor should press to gain entry. You will be ushered through a small pavilion into a courtyard surrounded by white walls and enclosing a number of shade tees. On the far side is the Prayer Room with modern Arabic scr p n the walls Towering over the site is the 120-fool-high minaret. The original mosque is said to have been established in A.D.627 by an uncle of Mohammed, but the present buildings are of recent construction and have little architectural interest.

The minaret is a gray cement -rendered building with an inner staircase leading up to the traditional balcony near the top; there are 153 steps. From the balcony there is an excellent view of some of the major sites of Guangzhou: to the north is the Pagoda of the Six Banyan Trees; beyond the pagoda is the concrete tower of the Yue Xiu, and beyond, the radio ower on the hill in the Yue Xiu Park; just below the radio tower you will note a blue-tiled roof which belongs to the Sun Yatsen monument ( actually a theater capable of seating over 5,000 people); to the right of that in the Northeast is the 33-story Bai Yun Hotel.

If you walk around the old Roman Cxatholic Cathedral. Nearby is the Gaungzhou Binguan (hotel) located next to the Exhibition Building, which used to house the Guangzhou Fair exhibites before new facilities were built opposite the Dong Fang Hotel. Closer in, you will be able to observe the roof of the old Confucian Temple, which became the first Peasant Movement Institute established in China ; very close to the minaret is the big bell tower. The balcony also allows you to observe the buildings in the grounds of the mosque, and there is a good view of the courtyard of the temple and the school, which is used for the education of the Moslem-Chinese children.

There is a small tower rising from the balcony; about 30 feet high, it is accessible by an internal spiral staircase and reveals a definite lean.