The Emin Mosque in Turpan

The famous Emin Mosque in Turpan was built in the second half of the eighteenth century (1777-1778, according to Wikipedia). The minaret is 44 meters high and is the tallest minaret in China. All of it is built of sun-dried mud bricks. Such bricks do not withstand water, so if there would be a real downpour with rain, the mosque would be destroyed. In other words, Turpan has not had a real downpour since at least the late eighteenth century!

The mosque is now a government-run museum, even if it is used for Friday prayers, so we could go in without observing any dress code (unlike in the Great mosque of Kashgar). The inside was impressive.

It has not rained properly in Turpan for more than two centuries, but there are often very strong winds blowing through the Taklamakan desert. In a recent such wind a wall in the mosque was blown down. Astonishing.


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