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Guangzhou Huaisheng Mosque

Location: No. 56, Guangta Road, Yuexiu District, Guangzhou, Guangdong Province

The Great Mosque of Guangzhou, known also as Huaisheng Mosque (Memorial of the Holy Prophet) or the Guangta Mosque (Light Tower Mosque), is thought to be the earliest surviving mosque in China and has the earliest freestanding minaret in China. Manuscripts from 1206 claim that the mosque was built by an uncle of the Prophet, Abi Waqqas, on the first Muslim mission to China in the 630s. However, it is more certain that a mosque was first built here during the Tang Dynasty, or in the early years of the Song Dynasty. The mosque was entirely rebuilt in 1350 during the Yuan dynasty under the rule of Zhizheng (1341-1368), and rebuilt again in 1695 under Emperor Kangzi of the Qing dynasty, after being destroyed in a fire. The Huaisheng Light Tower, the mosque's unique namesake minaret, was built at an earlier period. Like its contemporaries at Quanzhou, Hangzhou and Yangzhou, the Great Mosque of Guangzhou is notable for its integration of the local Han building tradition with imported Arab styles.

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