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Xian Muslim Quarter

The Muslim Quarter is behind the Drum Tower. Muslim Quarter is one of the most famous tour attractions in Xian. The majority residents in Muslim Quater are Hui people. The Muslim Quarter is one of the four quarters of the ancient, walled Old City of Jerusalem. It covers 31 hectares (76 acres) of the northeastern sector of the Old City. The quarter is the largest and most populous and extends from the Lions' Gate in the east, along the northern wall of the Temple Mount in the south, to the Damascus Gate--Western Wall route in the west. The Via Dolorosa road starts in the quarter.

Dome of the Rock from the Cotton GateThe population of the Muslim Quarter is 22,000. Like the other three quarters of the Old City, the Muslim quarter had a mixed population of Jews as well as Muslims and Christians until the riots of 1929. Today 60 Jewish families live in the Muslim Quarter, and a few yeshivot are located there. The main one is Yeshivat Ateret Cohanim. Jewish landmarks within the quarter include the Kotel Katan or Little Western Wall, and the Western Wall Tunnels, which run below the neighborhood along the Western Wall.

On July 27, 2005, Israeli planners approved the construction of Jewish housing in the Muslim Quarter, a few meters from the al-Aqsa Mosque. It will contain thirty apartments on three dunums of land.

As foreign communities grew in size, they introduced their own customs and facilities. The 50,000 strong Muslim community that lives and works today in Xi'an traces its history to those Middle Eastern merchants who, after travelling the Fur Road, settled down here. Then, as now, the Muslim community perpetuated their culture by operating mosques and schools. So it is that the Great Mosque was originally constructed in the year 742. Today the Muslim community, which supports ten or so mosques, runs its own primary school, foods shops and restaurants. For over 1300 years, they have been an integral part of Xi'an's colourful daily life.

Edited by Athena Lee
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Xian Muslim Quarter