Mosque of Rome

Coordinates: 41°56′5.17″N 12°29′42.8″E / 41.9347694°N 12.495222°E / 41.9347694; 12.495222
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Mosque of Rome
Moschea di Roma
LeadershipMuhammad Hassan, Abdulghaffar (Chief Imam and Khateeb)
Abdullah Ridwan (Chairperson)
LocationParioli, Rome, Italy
Mosque of Rome is located in Rome
Mosque of Rome
Shown within Rome
Geographic coordinates41°56′5.17″N 12°29′42.8″E / 41.9347694°N 12.495222°E / 41.9347694; 12.495222
Architect(s)Paolo Portoghesi, Vittorio Gigliotti, Sami Mousawi, Nino Tozzo
Construction cost€40 million
Capacity12,000 worshipers
Minaret height43 m

The Mosque of Rome (Italian: Moschea di Roma), situated in Parioli, Rome, Italy, is the largest mosque in the Western world in terms of land area.[1] It has an area of 30,000 m2 (320,000 sq ft) and can accommodate more than 12,000 people. The building is located in the Acqua Acetosa area, at the foot of the Parioli Mounts, north of the city.[2] It is also the seat of the Italian Islamic Cultural Centre (Italian: Centro Culturale Islamico d'Italia).

In addition to being a meeting place for religious activities, it provides cultural and social services variously connecting Muslims together. It also holds teachings, wedding ceremonies, funeral services, exegesis, exhibitions, conventions, and other events, despite being located in an area with relatively few Muslims.


The mosque was jointly founded by the exiled Prince Muhammad Hasan of Afghanistan and his wife, Princess Razia[3] and was financed by Fahad of Saudi Arabia, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques as well as by some other states of the Muslim world, including Bangladesh ruled by President Hussain Muhammad Ershad. The project was designed and directed by Paolo Portoghesi, Vittorio Gigliotti and Sami Mousawi. The opening ceremony was led by Pope John Paul II.

Its planning took more than ten years: the Roman City Council donated the land in 1974, but the first stone was laid only in 1984, in the presence of then President of the Italian Republic Sandro Pertini, with its inauguration on 21 June 1995.

There was some opposition to the building of a mosque but much of this dissipated when Pope John Paul II gave his blessing for the project. One issue that had to be agreed was the height of the minaret and its effect on the Rome skyline. In the end, the issue was resolved by shortening the height of the minaret slightly to be below that of the dome of St Peter's by approximately one meter (3.3 ft).


The main hall

The structure is intended to be integrated into the surrounding green area, with a mix of modern structural design and omnipresent curves. Lights and shades are blended in a manner intended to create a meditative climate, and the choice of materials, like travertino and cotto, evoke traditional Roman architectural styles. The interior decor is mainly made of glazed tiles with light colors, with the recurrent Qur'anic theme "God is Light", which has been subject of controversy.

The interiors are decorated with mosaics creating more optical effects and the floor is covered by a Persian carpet with geometrical patterns as well. The main prayer area can accommodate up to 2,500 worshipers. Above this are galleries that are reserved for female worshipers. The main prayer hall is topped by a central dome over 20 m (66 ft) in diameter, which is surrounded by 16 smaller domes. The complex also includes an educational area with classroom and a library, a conference centre with a large auditorium, and an area where exhibitions are held.

The outcome is an architecture made of repetitious designs and geometric patterns, where an important role is played by the light aimed to create a meditative atmosphere and various tricks of light as well.

The mosque contains several palm-shaped columns, which represent the connection between God and the single devotee.


The exterior of the mosque from a front-view.

The construction of the Mosque of Rome played a vital part during the 1990s as the religion had compounded throughout the world. Its growth to the western section of the world was one of the reasons the mosque was built in the first place. An abundance of Muslims in Rome and countries surrounding it had finally received a holy sanctuary. The design of the mosque is precise as it holds nearly 2,500 people in the prayer area. Architects Paolo and Sami decided to add another small private prayer room holding up to 150 worshippers. They would proceed to add classrooms/libraries for educational purposes as well as an auditorium for important conferences regarding business/events for the mosque. To top all of this included in the Mosque are two residential complex's, one for the Imam to live in, and the other for visitors coming to live the experience of the largest mosque in Europe. The scale of this mosque is about 28,000 m2 (300,000 sq ft) and is filled with beautiful mosaics and calligraphy, held by large pillars on the outside of the mosque which are measured around 80 m (260 ft). Southwest of the prayer hall is where the Minaret is located while the prayer hall itself is about 8 m (26 ft) above the ground level.[4] The prayer hall is topped by one central dome which has a diameter of more than 8 m (26 ft) and is surrounded by sixteen smaller domes all around the mosque. While designing the mosque, its construction was split into two parts one being the prayer hall which is if not the most important room in the building and the other part fulfils all the other functions from mosque (classrooms, auditorium, wudu area, etc.) The second part of the mosque was built underneath the prayer hall and resembles an "H" shape. For the women in this mosque, they have their own prayer section which is about a one-fourth of men's prayer hall and is also below them downstairs.


The cost of the mosque ranges from 40 to 50 million euros after all construction/material wages. The estate in which the mosque is located was granted by the city in Rome. Other Muslim countries played a vital role in terms of moral support and helped financed the mosque itself. Moroccan and Turkish government stepped in taking incentive constructing the main prayer hall along with the small prayer section located downstairs. Algeria, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Brunei, Egypt, Indonesia, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Libya, Malaysia, Mauritania, Oman, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Sudan, Tunisia, and Yemen. All these countries above were contributors to making the largest mosque in Europe with Saudi Arabia being the front-runner making major contributions of nearly 20 million euros. To put into perspective the amount of money needed for the project, it costs a little over $32,000 per square meter or $3,000 per square foot.[citation needed]

The pillars of the mosque right before entering.


The current Imam of the mosque is the Sheikh Salah Ramadan Elsayed, Al-Azhar University graduate and former Democratic Party. Former Deputy Khalid Chaouki was president of the Cultural Centre between 2017 and 2019. Former Imams include:

  • 1983–1993: Muhammad Nur al-Din Isma'il
  • 1993–2006: Mahmud Hammad Shwayta
  • 2007–2010: Ala' al-Din Muhammad Isma'il al-Ghobashi
  • 2010–2013: Ahmed Al-Saqqa
  • 2013–2016: Muhammad Hassan

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Grundmann, Stefan, ed. (1996). The Architecture of Rome: an architectural history in 402 individual presentations. Stuttgart-Fellbach: Axel Menges. p. 384. ISBN 3-930698-60-9.
  2. ^ Portoghesi 2002.
  3. ^ "Mosque of Rome - My Halal Life". My Halal Life. 25 March 2018. Archived from the original on 26 March 2018. Retrieved 25 March 2018.
  4. ^ Salama, Ashraf (2001). "Mosque & Islamic Cultural Centre". Retrieved 7 December 2021.

Further reading[edit]

  • Portoghesi, Paolo (2002). La moschea di Roma: Paolo Portoghesi (in Italian). Preface by Marco Casamonti; texts by Alessandra Coppa; photos by Moreno Maggi. Milan: Federico Motta. ISBN 88-7179-375-7.

External links[edit]