218 S Bridge Rd (subway station Chinatown)
The Masjid Jamae mosque, which is situated in Chinese Quarter, was the first mosque to be built in Singapore. Thanks to its shape, which is unconventional for Islamic architecture, it was given prestigious status as a national monument and entered into the list of the city-state’s main attractions.
The Masjid Jamae, also known as the Large Mosque, was founded by Tamil Muslims who came to Singapore in order to trade in 1826, similar to most other nations comprising the population. Over a relatively short time they managed to build three Muslim temples on the island and the Masjid Jamae was the first one of these. Four years later it was rebuilt and acquired an image that it has preserved until this day.
The first thing that catches the eye when you look at the mosque, is its unusual entrance that is framed with two octagonal, cupolas minarets, each topped with an onion-shaped dome. Each of the towers has seven tiers. Meanwhile, the main entrance’s facade is adorned with an imitation of miniature palace.
The distinctive feature of Masjid Jamae’s architecture is its eclecticism. The entrance gates to the temple have been executed in a style typical for Southern India, while the prayer rooms are decorated in Neo-Classical style for which the famous Singapore architect, the Irishman George Coleman, was renowned.