Location: Xiaoxilu Road, Shenhe District, Shenyang, PRC
Level of the scenic spot: A
As an Islamic architecture complex, South Mosque is situated on Xiaoxilu Road, Shenhe District. Originally built in 1627 and 1636, the mosque has undergone expansions and restorations from 1662 to 1722 and from 1796 to 1820. According to the Family Book of Tie (first name), “Our ancestor, Tiekui was appointed as a magistrate and titled General Xian and Dafu Guanglu (secondary government official) because of his remarkable military performance. He was keen on Religious business. And when he was rich enough, he funded the south mosque in an Islamic neighborhood, and expanded it”
The mosque yard covers an area of 6,116 square meters and a total construction area of 1,706 square meters. The mosque is built of wood and grey brick and is covered by grey tiles. As the center of the mosque courtyard, the Service Hall (also called General Hall) is surrounded by over sixty rooms such as the Hall of Lecture and the Hall of Scriptures Learning. All the sixty halls are scattered in and out of the three layers of the courtyard, which is a typical structure of ancient Chinese architecture.
The Hall of Service (General Hall)
The Hall of Service covers an area of 415 square meters, which is reasonably and delicately designed with carved beams and painted rafters. An eye-catching banner of the scriptures of the Korans is hanged at the front door. The hall is divided into two parts by an arch-shaped partition wall. The interior space is large and bright due to its milk white walls and lamps in both traditional Chinese and western styles. There are four pillars in the rear court, which is decorated with red wooden components, upturned eaves with hanging wind chimes.
The Wangyue Tower (Known As Yao Hall)
Closely located to the Hall of Service, Wangyue Tower has 3 stories and is 30m high. It covers 22.5 square meters, and has six windows and six ambulatories with upturned eaves. On each eave there stands a statue of animal hanging wind chimes. The tower, which is built in wooden structure, is supported by four wooden pillars. It is a perfect place for the Muslins to appreciate the moon during the Ramadan.
In the north courtyard, there are five north and five south lecture rooms of 110 square meters which are floored with granite. They were built in the year of 1755. The south lecture room is a conference room, while the north lecture room is the office of the imam. The five male bathing rooms were constructed during the reign of Emperor Qianlong in Qing Dynasty. The five female bathing rooms constructed in 1939, was built with surrounding walls and gates, forming a separate yard. Chuihuamen was constructed in 1796, following the court styles. The wood was engraved with flowers and fowls and the stones were carved with certain patterns. Other subsidiary buildings include dining hall, boiler house, bathing rooms, tea house and garage.
The light and elegant colors of the mosque make it simple and solemn. The layout, which is orderly and rational, helps to form a rich outline of the architectural complex.
When the mosque was originally built, it had only one service hall, six rooms in the north and south yards, and 4 lecture rooms in the outer yards. That, in total, is as small as five rooms! In 1902, a rear hall was constructed and a ten lecture rooms were renewed. In 1937, a female service hall, bathroom and house of the deceased were built. Thereafter, three fences were built up with round gates between them. Five new service halls were built behind the original one. Then a three-floor and 30-meter high Wangyue Tower and a storehouse were built up as well.
Since the liberation of Shenyang, the mosque has undergone several restorations. In 1980, three bathing rooms were built and the previous female bathing rooms and female service hall is reconstructed with newly-equipped boiler and heat. The mosque was listed as a municipal culture relic protection site in February, 1985.