Temple of Heaven

Temple of Heaven – Brilliant World Heritage Site

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About Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is the best place in Beijing to explore the traditional royal sacrificial culture of ancient China. At the same time, it is a pleasant place for leisure stay of walking or sightseeing, also for exploration of local culture.

Type: World Heritage Site, Historic Sites, Parks, Sights & Landmarks
Best Seasons: Spring/Autumn
Recommended Visiting Time: 1~2 hours
Opening Hours: Apr to Oct: 06:00 ~ 20:00 / Nov to Mar: 06:30 ~ 21:00
Tickets: ¥15 / Nov to Mar: ¥10
Address: Tiantan Road, Dongcheng District, Beijing 100050, China


Brief Impression about Temple of Heaven – Facts

The Temple of Heaven (天坛) is one of the most brilliant ancient architectures in China. It is also an outstanding masterpiece of classic imperial buildings throughout Chinese history. The site was firstly built in 1420 by Yongle Emperor (永乐皇帝), then expanded by the subsequent emperors of both Ming and Qing Dynasty, and had served as the holy place for emperors to pay homage to Heaven and to pray for a year of rich harvest.

Compared with all other sacrificial sites in the world, the Temple of Heaven is the largest not only in the size and scale, but also the forms and traditions. In 1998, the UNESCO listed the Temple of Heaven in the World Heritage Sites List with description as “a masterpiece of architecture and landscape design which simply and graphically illustrates a cosmogony of great importance for the evolution of one of the world’s great civilizations…”

Location & Transportation


Where is the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is located in the central area of Beijing City which is also the attraction-gathering region. The famous Forbidden City (Palace Museum) and Tiananmen Square are conveniently situated at the northwest of Temple of Heave within short walking distance.

  • 6 km from Forbidden City
  • 5 km from Tiananmen Square
  • 21 km from Summer Palace
  • 75 km from Badaling Great Wall
  • 6.5 km from Jingshan Park

Transfer to/around Temple Heaven

The visit of Temple of Heaven takes about 1~2 hours, so it is usually recommended to tour with other sites in Beijing city, such as the Tiananmen Square, Forbidden City, Summer Palace or Hutongs as a full day tour package which has covered convenient and private transfer to and around the Temple of Heaven.

Subway and public buses are also available for independent travelers. You can take subway Line 5, and exist at Tiantan Dongmen Station which is only several minutes’ walking away from the East Gate of Temple of Heaven. Many buses pass by the park, including 120, 17, 2, 35, 36, 504, 53, etc.

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Temple of Heaven Location Map

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Temple of Heaven in Qing Dynasty

Architectural Art, Layout & Geomantic Omen


Layout

The Temple of Heaven is featured in precise structure, peculiar design and magnificent decoration. Covering more than 267 hectares (660 acres), the Temple of Heaven is the general reference of Huanqiu Altar (圜丘) and Qigu Altar(祈谷) which locate separately at an axle path from south to north – Danbi Bridge (丹陛桥). The most important building of Huanqiu Altar is Huangqiongyu Pavillion (皇穹宇). Qigu Altar has Qinian Pavilion (祈年殿), Huangqian Pavilion (皇乾殿) and Qinian Gate (祈年门), etc.

Ancient Chinese mythology believed the Heaven is circle and the Earth is square, which is fully embodied in the design of Temple Heaven. Two long-sketching cordons of wall surrounded the temple complex. The southern outer wall was built like a taller semi-circular representing Heaven. While the northern wall is shorter, rectangular, stands for the Earth. Both the Huanqiu Altar and Qigu Altar are round, and stand on two square yards.

The brilliant artisans of Qing Dynasty built supernatural sites – Echo Wall, Three-Sound Stone, and Conversation Stone according to the science of acoustics.

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Layout of Temple of Heaven

Architectural Art, Layout & Geomantic Omen


Important Buildings in the Park

Qinian Hall (Hall of Prayer for Good Harvests) is most magnificent building in the Temple of Heaven. It is a wooden triple-gable circular pavilion which is 38 meters high with a three-level marble stone base. The ancient emperors prayed for good harvests here. There are 28 pillars propping up the hall. The inner 4 pillars are large, and stand for four seasons. The middle 12 pillars represent the twelve months. The outer 12 pillars indicate 12 periods of a day.

Huangqiongyu Hall (The Imperial Vault of Heaven) is smaller with only one circular gable and one level of marble stone base compared with Qinian Hall. It is the place to enshrine the worshiping tablets of Gods. Inside the hall are pillars and vault decorated by beautiful paintings and carvings. Outside is a circular wall – Echo Wall which can transmit sounds over long distances.

Huanqiu Altar (The Circular Mound Altar) is an empty circular platform with three levels of marble stones. Vivid dragons were carved on the stones to stand for the emperors. The number nine stands for power as well as the emperors in ancient China. You will surprisedly find the balusters and steps are either the sacred number nine or its multiples. In the ancient time, the emperors burn the offerings for Heaven in a stove on the platform.

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Inside Qinian Hall

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Huangqiongyu Hall

Local Folk & Activities

The Temple of Heaven is divided into two parts – public park area and tourist area. The public area now serves as an entertaining and morning exercise place for locals, and is open from early morning to later night. People living near usually like to take exercise or take part in folk activities in the park, such as running, cycling, playing Tai Chi. You can spare some time to stroll leisurely in the park to get involved in the interested activities, or just experience the peaceful atmosphere of local people’s living.

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Local Acitivities in Temple of Heaven

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Temple of Heaven Tourist Map

Sacrificial Culture of Temple of Heaven


In the ancient China, the emperors attached great importance on the sacrifice to the Heaven because they are believed to be the son of Heaven. They ruled the county on behalf of Heaven.

To show their respect and gratefulness to the Heaven, the emperors of Ming and Qing Dynasties moved from Forbidden City to encamp in the Temple of Heaven with their retunes twice a year. The emperor would pray to Heaven for good harvests on the altar. Grand ceremony must be held perfectly, because the smallest mistake would bring bad luck for the whole nation in the next years.

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Sacrificial Ceremony in Temple of Heaven

Useful Tips


Best time to go – seasonal advice – Different views in different season

March to May and September to November is the best time to visit the Temple of Heaven. But actually the Temple of Heaven is suitable for travel all year around. You can see the blooming lilac during the middle April. In summer days, the whole park is decorated by flourishing green trees. The cool autumn is the best season when the sky is clear and blue. Winter is cold, but you can get rid of the crowds, and focus on exploring the fabulous architectures.

Ticket & Fee

Apr to Oct: ¥35 / Nov to Mar: ¥30

Notes: Note: the price include both the entrance fee and tickets for sites for Qigu Altar and Huanqiu Altar(¥20), Sacrificial Music Hall and Fast Palace (¥10).

Tour Guide Service

Independent travelers can rent the self-service audio guide device at the four gates of Temple of Heaven (Chinese, Cantonese, English, French, German, Spanish, Japanese, and Korean). You can also hire a personal tour guide in the park to get more detailed explanation.

Source: chinadiscovery

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Forbidden City

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Forbidden City is a palace complex in central Beijing, China. The former seat of Imperial Chinese Dragon Throne from the Ming dynasty to the end of the Qing dynasty—the years 1420 to 1912, it now houses the Palace Museum. The Forbidden City served as the home of emperors and their households as well as the ceremonial and political center of Chinese government for almost 500 years.

Constructed from 1406 to 1420, the complex consists of 980 buildings and covers 72 ha (over 180 acres). The palace exemplifies traditional Chinese palatial architecture, and has influenced cultural and architectural developments in East Asia and elsewhere. The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987, and is listed by UNESCO as the largest collection of preserved ancient wooden structures in the world.

Since 1925 the Forbidden City has been under the charge of the Palace Museum, whose extensive collection of artwork and artefacts were built upon the imperial collections of the Ming and Qing dynasties. Part of the museum’s former collection is now in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. Both museums descend from the same institution, but were split after the Chinese Civil War. Since 2012, the Forbidden City has seen an average of 15 million visitors annually, and had 16 million visitors in 2016.

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Contents
1 Name
2 History
3 Description
3.1 Walls and gates
3.2 Outer Court or the Southern Section
3.3 Inner Court or the Northern Section
3.4 Religion
3.5 Surroundings
3.6 Symbolism
4 Collections
5 Influence

Name


The common English name “Forbidden City” is a translation of the Chinese name Zijin Cheng (Chinese: 紫禁城; pinyin: Zíjinchéng; literally: “Purple Forbidden City“). The name Zijin Cheng first formally appeared in 1576. Another English name of similar origin is “Forbidden Palace”.

The name “Zijin Cheng” is a name with significance on many levels. Zi, or “Purple”, refers to the North Star, which in ancient China was called the Ziwei Star, and in traditional Chinese astrology was the heavenly abode of the Celestial Emperor. The surrounding celestial region, the Ziwei Enclosure (Chinese: 紫微垣; pinyin: Zǐwēiyuán), was the realm of the Celestial Emperor and his family. The Forbidden City, as the residence of the terrestrial emperor, was its earthly counterpart. Jin, or “Forbidden”, referred to the fact that no one could enter or leave the palace without the emperor’s permission. Cheng means a city.

Today, the site is most commonly known in Chinese as Gùgōng (故宫), which means the “Former Palace”. The museum which is based in these buildings is known as the “Palace Museum” (Chinese: 故宫博物院; pinyin: Gùgōng Bówùyùan).

History


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The Forbidden City as depicted in a Ming dynasty painting

When Hongwu Emperor’s son Zhu Di became the Yongle Emperor, he moved the capital from Nanjing to Beijing, and construction began in 1406 on what would become the Forbidden City.

Construction lasted 14 years and required more than a million workers. Material used include whole logs of precious Phoebe zhennan wood (Chinese: 楠木; pinyin: nánmù) found in the jungles of south-western China, and large blocks of marble from quarries near Beijing. The floors of major halls were paved with “golden bricks” (Chinese: 金砖; pinyin: jīnzhuān), specially baked paving bricks from Suzhou.

From 1420 to 1644, the Forbidden City was the seat of the Ming dynasty. In April 1644, it was captured by rebel forces led by Li Zicheng, who proclaimed himself emperor of the Shun dynasty. He soon fled before the combined armies of former Ming general Wu Sangui and Manchu forces, setting fire to parts of the Forbidden City in the process.

By October, the Manchus had achieved supremacy in northern China, and a ceremony was held at the Forbidden City to proclaim the young Shunzhi Emperor as ruler of all China under the Qing dynasty. The Qing rulers changed the names on some of the principal buildings, to emphasise “Harmony” rather than “Supremacy”, made the name plates bilingual (Chinese and Manchu), and introduced Shamanist elements to the palace.

In 1860, during the Second Opium War, Anglo-French forces took control of the Forbidden City and occupied it until the end of the war. In 1900 Empress Dowager Cixi fled from the Forbidden City during the Boxer Rebellion, leaving it to be occupied by forces of the treaty powers until the following year.

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The East Glorious Gate under renovation as part of the 16-year restoration process

After being the home of 24 emperors – 14 of the Ming dynasty and 10 of the Qing dynasty – the Forbidden City ceased being the political centre of China in 1912 with the abdication of Puyi, the last Emperor of China. Under an agreement with the new Republic of China government, Puyi remained in the Inner Court, while the Outer Court was given over to public use, until he was evicted after a coup in 1924. The Palace Museum was then established in the Forbidden City in 1925. In 1933, the Japanese invasion of China forced the evacuation of the national treasures in the Forbidden City. Part of the collection was returned at the end of World War II, but the other part was evacuated to Taiwan in 1948 under orders by Chiang Kai-shek, whose Kuomintang was losing the Chinese Civil War. This relatively small but high quality collection was kept in storage until 1965, when it again became public, as the core of the National Palace Museum in Taipei.

After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in 1949, some damage was done to the Forbidden City as the country was swept up in revolutionary zeal. During the Cultural Revolution, however, further destruction was prevented when Premier Zhou Enlai sent an army battalion to guard the city.

The Forbidden City was declared a World Heritage Site in 1987 by UNESCO as the “Imperial Palace of the Ming and Qing Dynasties”, due to its significant place in the development of Chinese architecture and culture. It is currently administered by the Palace Museum, which is carrying out a sixteen-year restoration project to repair and restore all buildings in the Forbidden City to their pre-1912 state.

In recent years, the presence of commercial enterprises in the Forbidden City has become controversial. A Starbucks store that opened in 2000 sparked objections and eventually closed on 13 July 2007. Chinese media also took notice of a pair of souvenir shops that refused to admit Chinese citizens in order to price-gouge foreign customers in 2006.

On November 8, 2017, President of the United States Donald Trump was the first US President to be granted a state dinner in the Forbidden City since the founding of the People’s Republic of China.

Description


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The Forbidden City viewed from Jingshan Hill

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The Forbidden City is a rectangle, with 961 metres (3,153 ft) from north to south and 753 metres (2,470 ft) from east to west. It consists of 980 surviving buildings with 8,886 bays of rooms. A common myth states that there are 9,999 rooms including antechambers, based on oral tradition, and it is not supported by survey evidence. The Forbidden City was designed to be the centre of the ancient, walled city of Beijing. It is enclosed in a larger, walled area called the Imperial City. The Imperial City is, in turn, enclosed by the Inner City; to its south lies the Outer City.

The Forbidden City remains important in the civic scheme of Beijing. The central north–south axis remains the central axis of Beijing. This axis extends to the south through Tiananmen gate to Tiananmen Square, the ceremonial centre of the People’s Republic of China, and on to Yongdingmen. To the north, it extends through Jingshan Hill to the Bell and Drum Towers. This axis is not exactly aligned north–south, but is tilted by slightly more than two degrees. Researchers now believe that the axis was designed in the Yuan dynasty to be aligned with Xanadu, the other capital of their empire.

Walls and Gates

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The Meridian Gate, front entrance to the Forbidden City, with two protruding wings

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The northwest corner tower

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The Gate of Supreme Harmony

The Forbidden City is surrounded by a 7.9 metres (26 ft) high city wall and a 6 metres (20 ft) deep by 52 metres (171 ft) wide moat. The walls are 8.62 metres (28.3 ft) wide at the base, tapering to 6.66 metres (21.9 ft) at the top. These walls served as both defensive walls and retaining walls for the palace. They were constructed with a rammed earth core, and surfaced with three layers of specially baked bricks on both sides, with the interstices filled with mortar.

At the four corners of the wall sit towers (E) with intricate roofs boasting 72 ridges, reproducing the Pavilion of Prince Teng and the Yellow Crane Pavilion as they appeared in Song dynasty paintings. These towers are the most visible parts of the palace to commoners outside the walls, and much folklore is attached to them. According to one legend, artisans could not put a corner tower back together after it was dismantled for renovations in the early Qing dynasty, and it was only rebuilt after the intervention of carpenter-immortal Lu Ban.

The wall is pierced by a gate on each side. At the southern end is the main Meridian Gate (A). To the north is the Gate of Divine Might (B), which faces Jingshan Park. The east and west gates are called the “East Glorious Gate” (D) and “West Glorious Gate” (C). All gates in the Forbidden City are decorated with a nine-by-nine array of golden door nails, except for the East Glorious Gate, which has only eight rows.

The Meridian Gate has two protruding wings forming three sides of a square (Wumen, or Meridian Gate, Square) before it. The gate has five gateways. The central gateway is part of the Imperial Way, a stone flagged path that forms the central axis of the Forbidden City and the ancient city of Beijing itself, and leads all the way from the Gate of China in the south to Jingshan in the north. Only the Emperor may walk or ride on the Imperial Way, except for the Empress on the occasion of her wedding, and successful students after the Imperial Examination.

Outer Court or the Southern Section

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The Hall of Supreme Harmony

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The name plate on the Hall of Supreme Harmony

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The throne in the Hall of Preserving Harmony

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The Hall of Central Harmony (foreground) and the Hall of Preserving Harmony

Traditionally, the Forbidden City is divided into two parts. The Outer Court (外朝) or Front Court (前朝) includes the southern sections, and was used for ceremonial purposes. The Inner Court (内廷) or Back Palace (后宫) includes the northern sections, and was the residence of the Emperor and his family, and was used for day-to-day affairs of state. (The approximate dividing line shown as red dash in the plan above.) Generally, the Forbidden City has three vertical axes. The most important buildings are situated on the central north–south axis.

Entering from the Meridian Gate, one encounters a large square, pierced by the meandering Inner Golden Water River, which is crossed by five bridges. Beyond the square stands the Gate of Supreme Harmony (F). Behind that is the Hall of Supreme Harmony Square. A three-tiered white marble terrace rises from this square. Three halls stand on top of this terrace, the focus of the palace complex. From the south, these are the Hall of Supreme Harmony (太和殿), the Hall of Central Harmony (中和殿), and the Hall of Preserving Harmony (保和殿).

The Hall of Supreme Harmony (G) is the largest, and rises some 30 metres (98 ft) above the level of the surrounding square. It is the ceremonial centre of imperial power, and the largest surviving wooden structure in China. It is nine bays wide and five bays deep, the numbers 9 and 5 being symbolically connected to the majesty of the Emperor. Set into the ceiling at the centre of the hall is an intricate caisson decorated with a coiled dragon, from the mouth of which issues a chandelier-like set of metal balls, called the “Xuanyuan Mirror”. In the Ming dynasty, the Emperor held court here to discuss affairs of state. During the Qing dynasty, as Emperors held court far more frequently, a less ceremonious location was used instead, and the Hall of Supreme Harmony was only used for ceremonial purposes, such as coronations, investitures, and imperial weddings.

The Hall of Central Harmony is a smaller, square hall, used by the Emperor to prepare and rest before and during ceremonies. Behind it, the Hall of Preserving Harmony, was used for rehearsing ceremonies, and was also the site of the final stage of the Imperial examination. All three halls feature imperial thrones, the largest and most elaborate one being that in the Hall of Supreme Harmony.

At the centre of the ramps leading up to the terraces from the northern and southern sides are ceremonial ramps, part of the Imperial Way, featuring elaborate and symbolic bas-relief carvings. The northern ramp, behind the Hall of Preserving Harmony, is carved from a single piece of stone 16.57 metres (54.4 ft) long, 3.07 metres (10.1 ft) wide, and 1.7 metres (5.6 ft) thick. It weighs some 200 tonnes and is the largest such carving in China. The southern ramp, in front of the Hall of Supreme Harmony, is even longer, but is made from two stone slabs joined together – the joint was ingeniously hidden using overlapping bas-relief carvings, and was only discovered when weathering widened the gap in the 20th century.

In the south west and south east of the Outer Court are the halls of Military Eminence (H) and Literary Glory (J). The former was used at various times for the Emperor to receive ministers and hold court, and later housed the Palace’s own printing house. The latter was used for ceremonial lectures by highly regarded Confucian scholars, and later became the office of the Grand Secretariat. A copy of the Siku Quanshu was stored there. To the north-east are the Southern Three Places (南三所) (K), which was the residence of the Crown Prince.

Inner Court or the Northern Section

The Inner Court is separated from the Outer Court by an oblong courtyard lying orthogonal to the City’s main axis. It was the home of the Emperor and his family. In the Qing dynasty, the Emperor lived and worked almost exclusively in the Inner Court, with the Outer Court used only for ceremonial purposes.

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The Palace of Heavenly Purity

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Water spouts drain rainwater from upper level platforms on which the principal halls are built.

At the centre of the Inner Court is another set of three halls (L). From the south, these are the Palace of Heavenly Purity (乾清宮), Hall of Union, and the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. Smaller than the Outer Court halls, the three halls of the Inner Court were the official residences of the Emperor and the Empress. The Emperor, representing Yang and the Heavens, would occupy the Palace of Heavenly Purity. The Empress, representing Yin and the Earth, would occupy the Palace of Earthly Tranquility. In between them was the Hall of Union, where the Yin and Yang mixed to produce harmony.

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The throne in the Palace of Heavenly Purity

The Palace of Heavenly Purity is a double-eaved building, and set on a single-level white marble platform. It is connected to the Gate of Heavenly Purity to its south by a raised walkway. In the Ming dynasty, it was the residence of the Emperor. However, beginning from the Yongzheng Emperor of the Qing dynasty, the Emperor lived instead at the smaller Hall of Mental Cultivation (N) to the west, out of respect to the memory of the Kangxi Emperor. The Palace of Heavenly Purity then became the Emperor’s audience hall. A caisson is set into the roof, featuring a coiled dragon. Above the throne hangs a tablet reading “Justice and Honour” (Chinese: 正大光明; pinyin: zhèngdàguāngmíng).

The Palace of Earthly Tranquility (坤寧宮) is a double-eaved building, 9 bays wide and 3 bays deep. In the Ming dynasty, it was the residence of the Empress. In the Qing dynasty, large portions of the Palace were converted for Shamanist worship by the new Manchu rulers. From the reign of the Yongzheng Emperor, the Empress moved out of the Palace. However, two rooms in the Palace of Earthly Harmony were retained for use on the Emperor’s wedding night.

Between these two palaces is the Hall of Union, which is square in shape with a pyramidal roof. Stored here are the 25 Imperial Seals of the Qing dynasty, as well as other ceremonial items.

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The Nine Dragons Screen in front of the Palace of Tranquil Longevity

Behind these three halls lies the Imperial Garden (M). Relatively small, and compact in design, the garden nevertheless contains several elaborate landscaping features. To the north of the garden is the Gate of Divine Might.

Directly to the west is the Hall of Mental Cultivation (N). Originally a minor palace, this became the de facto residence and office of the Emperor starting from Yongzheng. In the last decades of the Qing dynasty, empresses dowager, including Cixi, held court from the eastern partition of the hall. Located around the Hall of Mental Cultivation are the offices of the Grand Council and other key government bodies.

The north-eastern section of the Inner Court is taken up by the Palace of Tranquil Longevity (寧壽宮) (O), a complex built by the Qianlong Emperor in anticipation of his retirement. It mirrors the set-up of the Forbidden City proper and features an “outer court”, an “inner court”, and gardens and temples. The entrance to the Palace of Tranquil Longevity is marked by a glazed-tile Nine Dragons Screen. This section of the Forbidden City is being restored in a partnership between the Palace Museum and the World Monuments Fund, a long-term project expected to finish in 2017.

Religion

Religion was an important part of life for the imperial court. In the Qing dynasty, the Palace of Earthly Harmony became a place of Manchu Shamanist ceremony. At the same time, the native Chinese Taoist religion continued to have an important role throughout the Ming and Qing dynasties. There were two Taoist shrines, one in the imperial garden and another in the central area of the Inner Court.

Another prevalent form of religion in the Qing dynasty palace was Buddhism. A number of temples and shrines were scattered throughout the Inner Court, including that of Tibetan Buddhism or Lamaism. Buddhist iconography also proliferated in the interior decorations of many buildings. Of these, the Pavilion of the Rain of Flowers is one of the most important. It housed a large number of Buddhist statues, icons, and mandalas, placed in ritualistic arrangements.

Surroundings

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Location of the Forbidden City in the historic centre of Beijing

The Forbidden City is surrounded on three sides by imperial gardens. To the north is Jingshan Park, also known as Prospect Hill, an artificial hill created from the soil excavated to build the moat and from nearby lakes.

To the west lies Zhongnanhai, a former royal garden centred on two connected lakes, which now serves as the central headquarters for the Communist Party of China and the State Council of the People’s Republic of China. To the north-west lies Beihai Park, also centred on a lake connected to the southern two, and a popular royal park.

To the south of the Forbidden City were two important shrines – the Imperial Shrine of Family or the Imperial Ancestral Temple (Chinese: 太廟; pinyin: Tàimiào) and the Imperial Shrine of State or Beijing Shejitan (Chinese: 社稷壇; pinyin: Shèjìtán), where the Emperor would venerate the spirits of his ancestors and the spirit of the nation, respectively. Today, these are the Beijing Labouring People’s Cultural Hall and Zhongshan Park (commemorating Sun Yat-sen) respectively.

To the south, two nearly identical gatehouses stand along the main axis. They are the Upright Gate (Chinese: 端门; pinyin: Duānmén) and the more famous Tiananmen Gate, which is decorated with a portrait of Mao Zedong in the centre and two placards to the left and right: “Long Live the People’s Republic of China” and “Long live the Great Unity of the World’s Peoples”. The Tiananmen Gate connects the Forbidden City precinct with the modern, symbolic centre of the Chinese state, Tiananmen Square.

While development is now tightly controlled in the vicinity of the Forbidden City, throughout the past century uncontrolled and sometimes politically motivated demolition and reconstruction has changed the character of the areas surrounding the Forbidden City. Since 2000, the Beijing municipal government has worked to evict governmental and military institutions occupying some historical buildings, and has established a park around the remaining parts of the Imperial City wall. In 2004, an ordinance relating to building height and planning restriction was renewed to establish the Imperial City area and the northern city area as a buffer zone for the Forbidden City. In 2005, the Imperial City and Beihai (as an extension item to the Summer Palace) were included in the shortlist for the next World Heritage Site in Beijing.

Symbolism

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Imperial roof decoration of the highest status on the roof ridge of the Hall of Supreme Harmony

The design of the Forbidden City, from its overall layout to the smallest detail, was meticulously planned to reflect philosophical and religious principles, and above all to symbolise the majesty of Imperial power. Some noted examples of symbolic designs include:

  • Yellow is the color of the Emperor. Thus almost all roofs in the Forbidden City bear yellow glazed tiles. There are only two exceptions. The library at the Pavilion of Literary Profundity (文渊阁) had black tiles because black was associated with water, and thus fire-prevention. Similarly, the Crown Prince’s residences have green tiles because green was associated with wood, and thus growth.
  • The main halls of the Outer and Inner courts are all arranged in groups of three – the shape of the Qian triagram, representing Heaven. The residences of the Inner Court on the other hand are arranged in groups of six – the shape of the Kun triagram, representing the Earth.
  • The sloping ridges of building roofs are decorated with a line of statuettes led by a man riding a phoenix and followed by an imperial dragon. The number of statuettes represents the status of the building – a minor building might have 3 or 5.
  • The Hall of Supreme Harmony has 10, the only building in the country to be permitted this in Imperial times. As a result, its 10th statuette, called a “Hangshi”, or “ranked tenth” (Chinese: 行十; pinyin: Hángshí), is also unique in the Forbidden City.
    The layout of buildings follows ancient customs laid down in the Classic of Rites. Thus, ancestral temples are in front of the palace. Storage areas are placed in the front part of the palace complex, and residences in the back.

Collections


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Palace Museum exhibits on display in the corridor connecting the Hall of Literary Glory and the Hall of Main Respect

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Two Qing dynasty “blue porcelain” wares

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A blue and white porcelain vase with cloud and dragon designs, marked with the word “Longevity” (寿), Jiajing period of Ming dynasty

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Bathing Horses (section) by Zhao Mengfu (1254–1322)

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Equestrian painting of the Qianlong Emperor (r. 1735–1796) by Giuseppe Castiglione

The collections of the Palace Museum are based on the Qing imperial collection. According to the results of a 1925 audit, some 1.17 million pieces of art were stored in the Forbidden City. In addition, the imperial libraries housed a large collection of rare books and historical documents, including government documents of the Ming and Qing dynasties.

From 1933, the threat of Japanese invasion forced the evacuation of the most important parts of the Museum’s collection. After the end of World War II, this collection was returned to Nanjing. However, with the Communists’ victory imminent in the Chinese Civil War, the Nationalist government decided to ship the pick of this collection to Taiwan. Of the 13,491 boxes of evacuated artefacts, 2,972 boxes are now housed in the National Palace Museum in Taipei. More than 8,000 boxes were returned to Beijing, but 2,221 boxes remain today in storage under the charge of the Nanjing Museum.

After 1949, the Museum conducted a new audit as well as a thorough search of the Forbidden City, uncovering a number of important items. In addition, the government moved items from other museums around the country to replenish the Palace Museum’s collection. It also purchased and received donations from the public.

Today, there are over a million rare and valuable works of art in the permanent collection of the Palace Museum, including paintings, ceramics, seals, steles, sculptures, inscribed wares, bronze wares, enamel objects, etc. A new inventory of the Museum’s collections was conducted between 2004 and 2010. Subsequently, the Palace Museum was shown to hold a total of 1,807,558 artefacts and includes 1,684,490 items designated as nationally protected “valuable cultural relics.” At the end of 2016, the Palace Museum held a press conference, announcing that 55,132 previously unlisted items had been discovered in an inventory check carried out from 2014 to 2016. The total number of items in the Palace Museum collection is presently at 1,862,690 objects.

Ceramics

The Palace Museum holds 340,000 pieces of ceramics and porcelain. These include imperial collections from the Tang dynasty and the Song dynasty, as well as pieces commissioned by the Palace, and, sometimes, by the Emperor personally. The Palace Museum holds about 320,000 pieces of porcelain from the imperial collection. The rest are almost all held in the National Palace Museum in Taipei and the Nanjing Museum.

Painting

The Palace Museum holds close to 50,000 paintings. Of these, more than 400 date from before the Yuan dynasty (1271–1368). This is the largest such collection in China. The collection is based on the palace collection in the Ming and Qing dynasties. The personal interest of Emperors such as Qianlong meant that the palace held one of the most important collections of paintings in Chinese history. However, a significant portion of this collection was lost over the years. After his abdication, Puyi transferred paintings out of the palace, and many of these were subsequently lost or destroyed. In 1948, many of the works were moved to Taiwan. The collection has subsequently been replenished, through donations, purchases, and transfers from other museums.

Bronzeware

The Palace Museum’s bronze collection dates from the early Shang dynasty. Of the almost 10,000 pieces held, about 1,600 are inscribed items from the pre-Qin period (to 221 BC). A significant part of the collection is ceremonial bronzeware from the imperial court.

Timepieces

The Palace Museum has one of the largest collections of mechanical timepieces of the 18th and 19th centuries in the world, with more than 1,000 pieces. The collection contains both Chinese- and foreign-made pieces. Chinese pieces came from the palace’s own workshops, Guangzhou (Canton) and Suzhou (Suchow). Foreign pieces came from countries including Britain, France, Switzerland, the United States and Japan. Of these, the largest portion come from Britain.

Jade

Jade has a unique place in Chinese culture. The Museum’s collection, mostly derived from the imperial collection, includes some 30,000 pieces. The pre-Yuan dynasty part of the collection includes several pieces famed throughout history, as well as artefacts from more recent archaeological discoveries. The earliest pieces date from the Neolithic period. Ming dynasty and Qing dynasty pieces, on the other hand, include both items for palace use, as well as tribute items from around the Empire and beyond.

Palace Artefacts

In addition to works of art, a large proportion of the Museum’s collection consists of the artefacts of the imperial court. This includes items used by the imperial family and the palace in daily life, as well as various ceremonial and bureaucratic items important to government administration. This comprehensive collection preserves the daily life and ceremonial protocols of the imperial era.

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In the East Glorious Gate

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In the West Wing of the Meridian Gate

Influence


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A gilded lion in front of the Palace of Tranquil Longevity

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Glazed building decoration

The Forbidden City, the culmination of the two-thousand-year development of classical Chinese and East Asian architecture, has been influential in the subsequent development of Chinese architecture, as well as providing inspiration for many artistic works. Some specific examples include:

Depiction in art, film, literature and popular culture

The Forbidden City has served as the scene to many works of fiction. In recent years, it has been depicted in films and television series. Some notable examples include:

  • The Forbidden City (1918), a fiction film about a Chinese emperor and an American.
    The Last Emperor (1987), a biographical film about Puyi, was the first feature film ever authorised by the government of the People’s Republic of China to be filmed in the Forbidden City.
  • Forbidden City Cop (1996) a Hong Kong wuxia comedy film about an imperial secret agent
  • Marco Polo a joint NBC and RAI TV miniseries broadcast in the early 1980s, was filmed inside the Forbidden City. Note, however, that the present Forbidden City did not exist in the Yuan dynasty, when Marco Polo met Kublai Khan.
  • The 2003 real-time strategy game Rise of Nations depicts the Forbidden City as one of the great wonders of the world; in terms of game mechanics, it functions identically to a major city and provides additional resources to the player.

Live Performance concert venue

The Forbidden City has also served as a performance venue. However, its use for this purpose is strictly limited, due to the heavy impact of equipment and performance on the ancient structures. Almost all performances said to be “in the Forbidden City” are held outside the palace walls.

  • In 1997, Greek-born composer and keyboardist Yanni performed a live concert in front of the Forbidden City the first modern Western artist to perform at the historic Chinese site. The concert was recorded and later released as part of the Tribute album.
  • Giacomo Puccini’s opera, Turandot, the story of a Chinese princess, was performed at the Imperial Shrine just outside the Forbidden City for the first time in 1998.
  • In 2001, the Three Tenors, Plácido Domingo and José Carreras and Luciano Pavarotti, sang in front of Forbidden City main gate as one of their performances.
  • In 2004, the French musician Jean Michel Jarre performed a live concert in front of the Forbidden City, accompanied by 260 musicians, as part of the “Year of France in China” festivities.

Great Wall of China

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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The Great Wall of China is a series of fortifications made of stone, brick, tamped earth, wood, and other materials, generally built along an east-to-west line across the historical northern borders of China to protect the Chinese states and empires against the raids and invasions of the various nomadic groups of the Eurasian Steppe. Several walls were being built as early as the 7th century BC; these, later joined together and made bigger and stronger, are collectively referred to as the Great Wall. Especially famous is the wall built in 220–206 BC by Qin Shi Huang, the first Emperor of China. Little of that wall remains. The Great Wall has been rebuilt, maintained, and enhanced over various dynasties; the majority of the existing wall is from the Ming Dynasty (1368–1644).

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Apart from defense, other purposes of the Great Wall have included border controls, allowing the imposition of duties on goods transported along the Silk Road, regulation or encouragement of trade and the control of immigration and emigration. Furthermore, the defensive characteristics of the Great Wall were enhanced by the construction of watch towers, troop barracks, garrison stations, signaling capabilities through the means of smoke or fire, and the fact that the path of the Great Wall also served as a transportation corridor.

The Great Wall stretches from Dandong in the east to Lop Lake in the west, along an arc that roughly delineates the southern edge of Inner Mongolia. A comprehensive archaeological survey, using advanced technologies, has concluded that the Ming walls measure 8,850 km (5,500 mi). This is made up of 6,259 km (3,889 mi) sections of actual wall, 359 km (223 mi) of trenches and 2,232 km (1,387 mi) of natural defensive barriers such as hills and rivers. Another archaeological survey found that the entire wall with all of its branches measure out to be 21,196 km (13,171 mi). Today, the Great Wall is generally recognized as one of the most impressive architectural feats in history.

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Contents
1 Names
2 History
2.1 Early walls
2.2 Ming era
2.3 Foreign accounts
3 Course
4 Characteristics
5 Condition
6 Visibility from space
6.1 From the Moon
6.2 From low Earth orbit
7 Gallery

Names


The collection of fortifications known as the Great Wall of China has historically had a number of different names in both Chinese and English.

In Chinese histories, the term “Long Wall(s)” (長城, changcheng) appears in Sima Qian’s Records of the Grand Historian, where it referred to both the separate great walls built between and north of the Warring States and to the more unified construction of the First Emperor. The Chinese character 城 is a phono-semantic compound of the “place” or “earth” radical 土 and 成, whose Old Chinese pronunciation has been reconstructed as *deŋ. It originally referred to the rampart which surrounded traditional Chinese cities and was used by extension for these walls around their respective states; today, however, it is much more often the Chinese word for “city”.

The longer Chinese name “Ten-Thousand Mile Long Wall” (萬里長城, Wanli Changcheng) came from Sima Qian’s description of it in the Records, though he did not name the walls as such. The ad 493 Book of Song quotes the frontier general Tan Daoji referring to “the long wall of 10,000 miles”, closer to the modern name, but the name rarely features in pre-modern times otherwise. The traditional Chinese mile (里, lǐ) was an often irregular distance that was intended to show the length of a standard village and varied with terrain but was usually standardized at distances around a third of an English mile (540 m). Since China’s metrication in 1930, it has been exactly equivalent to 500 metres or 1,600 feet, which would make the wall’s name describe a distance of 5,000 km (3,100 mi). However, this use of “ten-thousand” (wàn) is figurative in a similar manner to the Greek and English myriad and simply means “innumerable” or “immeasurable”.

Because of the wall’s association with the First Emperor’s supposed tyranny, the Chinese dynasties after Qin usually avoided referring to their own additions to the wall by the name “Long Wall”. Instead, various terms were used in medieval records, including “frontier(s)” (塞, sāi), “rampart(s)” (垣, yuán), “barrier(s)” (障, zhàng), “the outer fortresses” (外堡, wàibǎo), and “the border wall(s)” (t 邊牆, s 边墙, biānqiáng). Poetic and informal names for the wall included “the Purple Frontier” (紫塞, Zǐsāi) and “the Earth Dragon” (t 土龍, s 土龙, Tǔlóng). Only during the Qing period did “Long Wall” become the catch-all term to refer to the many border walls regardless of their location or dynastic origin, equivalent to the English “Great Wall”.

The current English name evolved from accounts of “the Chinese wall” from early modern European travelers. By the 19th century, “The Great Wall of China” had become standard in English, French, and German, although other European languages continued to refer to it as “the Chinese wall”.

History


Early walls

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The Great Wall of the Qin

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The Great Wall of the Han

The Chinese were already familiar with the techniques of wall-building by the time of the Spring and Autumn period between the 8th and 5th centuries BC. During this time and the subsequent Warring States period, the states of Qin, Wei, Zhao, Qi, Yan, and Zhongshan all constructed extensive fortifications to defend their own borders. Built to withstand the attack of small arms such as swords and spears, these walls were made mostly by stamping earth and gravel between board frames.

King Zheng of Qin conquered the last of his opponents and unified China as the First Emperor of the Qin dynasty (“Qin Shi Huang”) in 221 BC. Intending to impose centralized rule and prevent the resurgence of feudal lords, he ordered the destruction of the sections of the walls that divided his empire among the former states. To position the empire against the Xiongnu people from the north, however, he ordered the building of new walls to connect the remaining fortifications along the empire’s northern frontier. Transporting the large quantity of materials required for construction was difficult, so builders always tried to use local resources. Stones from the mountains were used over mountain ranges, while rammed earth was used for construction in the plains. There are no surviving historical records indicating the exact length and course of the Qin walls. Most of the ancient walls have eroded away over the centuries, and very few sections remain today. The human cost of the construction is unknown, but it has been estimated by some authors that hundreds of thousands, if not up to a million, workers died building the Qin wall. Later, the Han, the Sui, and the Northern dynasties all repaired, rebuilt, or expanded sections of the Great Wall at great cost to defend themselves against northern invaders. The Tang and Song dynasties did not undertake any significant effort in the region. The Liao, Jin, and Yuan dynasties, who ruled Northern China throughout most of the 10th–13th centuries, constructed defensive walls in the 12th century but those were located much to the north of the Great Wall as we know it, within China’s province of Inner Mongolia and in Mongolia itself.

Ming Era

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The extent of the Ming Empire and its walls

The Great Wall concept was revived again under the Ming in the 14th century, and following the Ming army’s defeat by the Oirats in the Battle of Tumu. The Ming had failed to gain a clear upper hand over the Mongolian tribes after successive battles, and the long-drawn conflict was taking a toll on the empire. The Ming adopted a new strategy to keep the nomadic tribes out by constructing walls along the northern border of China. Acknowledging the Mongol control established in the Ordos Desert, the wall followed the desert’s southern edge instead of incorporating the bend of the Yellow River.

Unlike the earlier fortifications, the Ming construction was stronger and more elaborate due to the use of bricks and stone instead of rammed earth. Up to 25,000 watchtowers are estimated to have been constructed on the wall. As Mongol raids continued periodically over the years, the Ming devoted considerable resources to repair and reinforce the walls. Sections near the Ming capital of Beijing were especially strong. Qi Jiguang between 1567 and 1570 also repaired and reinforced the wall, faced sections of the ram-earth wall with bricks and constructed 1,200 watchtowers from Shanhaiguan Pass to Changping to warn of approaching Mongol raiders. During the 1440s–1460s, the Ming also built a so-called “Liaodong Wall”. Similar in function to the Great Wall (whose extension, in a sense, it was), but more basic in construction, the Liaodong Wall enclosed the agricultural heartland of the Liaodong province, protecting it against potential incursions by Jurched-Mongol Oriyanghan from the northwest and the Jianzhou Jurchens from the north. While stones and tiles were used in some parts of the Liaodong Wall, most of it was in fact simply an earth dike with moats on both sides.

Towards the end of the Ming, the Great Wall helped defend the empire against the Manchu invasions that began around 1600. Even after the loss of all of Liaodong, the Ming army held the heavily fortified Shanhai Pass, preventing the Manchus from conquering the Chinese heartland. The Manchus were finally able to cross the Great Wall in 1644, after Beijing had already fallen to Li Zicheng’s rebels. Before this time, the Manchus had crossed the Great Wall multiple times to raid, but this time it was for conquest. The gates at Shanhai Pass were opened on May 25 by the commanding Ming general, Wu Sangui, who formed an alliance with the Manchus, hoping to use the Manchus to expel the rebels from Beijing. The Manchus quickly seized Beijing, and eventually defeated both the rebel-founded Shun dynasty and the remaining Ming resistance, establishing the Qing dynasty rule over all of China.

Under Qing rule, China’s borders extended beyond the walls and Mongolia was annexed into the empire, so constructions on the Great Wall were discontinued. On the other hand, the so-called Willow Palisade, following a line similar to that of the Ming Liaodong Wall, was constructed by the Qing rulers in Manchuria. Its purpose, however, was not defense but rather migration control.

Foreign accounts

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Part of the Great Wall of China (April 1853, X, p. 41)

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The Great Wall in 1907

None of the Europeans who visited Yuan China or Mongolia, such as Marco Polo, Giovanni da Pian del Carpine, William of Rubruck, Giovanni de’ Marignolli and Odoric of Pordenone, mentioned the Great Wall.

The North African traveler Ibn Battuta, who also visited China during the Yuan dynasty ca. 1346, had heard about China’s Great Wall, possibly before he had arrived in China. He wrote that the wall is “sixty days’ travel” from Zeitun (modern Quanzhou) in his travelogue Gift to Those Who Contemplate the Wonders of Cities and the Marvels of Travelling. He associated it with the legend of the wall mentioned in the Qur’an, which Dhul-Qarnayn (commonly associated with Alexander the Great) was said to have erected to protect people near the land of the rising sun from the savages of Gog and Magog. However, Ibn Battuta could find no one who had either seen it or knew of anyone who had seen it, suggesting that although there were remnants of the wall at that time, they weren’t significant.

Soon after Europeans reached Ming China by ship in the early 16th century, accounts of the Great Wall started to circulate in Europe, even though no European was to see it for another century. Possibly one of the earliest European descriptions of the wall and of its significance for the defense of the country against the “Tartars” (i.e. Mongols), may be the one contained in João de Barros’s 1563 Asia. Other early accounts in Western sources include those of Gaspar da Cruz, Bento de Goes, Matteo Ricci, and Bishop Juan González de Mendoza. In 1559, in his work “A Treatise of China and the Adjoyning Regions,” Gaspar da Cruz offers an early discussion of the Great Wall. Perhaps the first recorded instance of a European actually entering China via the Great Wall came in 1605, when the Portuguese Jesuit brother Bento de Góis reached the northwestern Jiayu Pass from India. Early European accounts were mostly modest and empirical, closely mirroring contemporary Chinese understanding of the Wall, although later they slid into hyperbole, including the erroneous but ubiquitous claim that the Ming Walls were the same ones that were built by the First Emperor in the 3rd century BC.

When China opened its borders to foreign merchants and visitors after its defeat in the First and Second Opium Wars, the Great Wall became a main attraction for tourists. The travelogues of the later 19th century further enhanced the reputation and the mythology of the Great Wall, such that in the 20th century, a persistent misconception exists about the Great Wall of China being visible from the Moon or even Mars.

Course


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The main sections of the Great Wall that are still standing today

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An area of the sections of the Great Wall at Jinshanling

Although a formal definition of what constitutes a “Great Wall” has not been agreed upon, making the full course of the Great Wall difficult to describe in its entirety, the course of the main Great Wall line following Ming constructions can be charted.

The Jiayu Pass, located in Gansu province, is the western terminus of the Ming Great Wall. Although Han fortifications such as Yumen Pass and the Yang Pass exist further west, the extant walls leading to those passes are difficult to trace. From Jiayu Pass the wall travels discontinuously down the Hexi Corridor and into the deserts of Ningxia, where it enters the western edge of the Yellow River loop at Yinchuan. Here the first major walls erected during the Ming dynasty cuts through the Ordos Desert to the eastern edge of the Yellow River loop. There at Piantou Pass (t 偏頭關, s 偏头关, Piāntóuguān) in Xinzhou, Shanxi province, the Great Wall splits in two with the “Outer Great Wall” (t 外長城, s 外长城, Wài Chǎngchéng) extending along the Inner Mongolia border with Shanxi into Hebei province, and the “inner Great Wall” (t 內長城, s 內长城, Nèi Chǎngchéng) running southeast from Piantou Pass for some 400 km (250 mi), passing through important passes like the Pingxing Pass and Yanmen Pass before joining the Outer Great Wall at Sihaiye (四海冶, Sìhǎiyě), in Beijing’s Yanqing County.

The sections of the Great Wall around Beijing municipality are especially famous: they were frequently renovated and are regularly visited by tourists today. The Badaling Great Wall near Zhangjiakou is the most famous stretch of the Wall, for this is the first section to be opened to the public in the People’s Republic of China, as well as the showpiece stretch for foreign dignitaries. South of Badaling is the Juyong Pass; when used by the Chinese to protect their land, this section of the wall had many guards to defend China’s capital Beijing. Made of stone and bricks from the hills, this portion of the Great Wall is 7.8 m (25 ft 7 in) high and 5 m (16 ft 5 in) wide.

One of the most striking sections of the Ming Great Wall is where it climbs extremely steep slopes in Jinshanling. There it runs 11 km (7 mi) long, ranges from 5 to 8 m (16 ft 5 in to 26 ft 3 in) in height, and 6 m (19 ft 8 in) across the bottom, narrowing up to 5 m (16 ft 5 in) across the top. Wangjinglou (t 望京樓, s 望京楼, Wàngjīng Lóu) is one of Jinshanling’s 67 watchtowers, 980 m (3,220 ft) above sea level. Southeast of Jinshanling is the Mutianyu Great Wall which winds along lofty, cragged mountains from the southeast to the northwest for 2.25 km (1.40 mi). It is connected with Juyongguan Pass to the west and Gubeikou to the east. This section was one of the first to be renovated following the turmoil of the Cultural Revolution.

At the edge of the Bohai Gulf is Shanhai Pass, considered the traditional end of the Great Wall and the “First Pass Under Heaven”. The part of the wall inside Shanhai Pass that meets the sea is named the “Old Dragon Head”. 3 km (2 mi) north of Shanhai Pass is Jiaoshan Great Wall (焦山長城), the site of the first mountain of the Great Wall. 15 km (9 mi) northeast from Shanhaiguan is Jiumenkou (t 九門口, s 九门口, Jiǔménkǒu), which is the only portion of the wall that was built as a bridge. Beyond Jiumenkou, an offshoot known as the Liaodong Wall continues through Liaoning province and terminates at the Hushan Great Wall, in the city of Dandong near the North Korean border.

In 2009, 180 km of previously unknown sections of the wall concealed by hills, trenches and rivers were discovered with the help of infrared range finders and GPS devices. In March and April 2015 nine sections with a total length of more than 10 km (6 mi), believed to be part of the Great Wall, were discovered along the border of Ningxia autonomous region and Gansu province.

Characteristics


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The Great Wall at Mutianyu, near Beijing

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Great Wall of China in tourist season

Before the use of bricks, the Great Wall was mainly built from rammed earth, stones, and wood. During the Ming, however, bricks were heavily used in many areas of the wall, as were materials such as tiles, lime, and stone. The size and weight of the bricks made them easier to work with than earth and stone, so construction quickened. Additionally, bricks could bear more weight and endure better than rammed earth. Stone can hold under its own weight better than brick, but is more difficult to use. Consequently, stones cut in rectangular shapes were used for the foundation, inner and outer brims, and gateways of the wall. Battlements line the uppermost portion of the vast majority of the wall, with defensive gaps a little over 30 cm (12 in) tall, and about 23 cm (9.1 in) wide. From the parapets, guards could survey the surrounding land. Communication between the army units along the length of the Great Wall, including the ability to call reinforcements and warn garrisons of enemy movements, was of high importance. Signal towers were built upon hill tops or other high points along the wall for their visibility. Wooden gates could be used as a trap against those going through. Barracks, stables, and armories were built near the wall’s inner surface.

Condition


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A more rural portion of the Great Wall that stretches throughout the mountains, here seen in slight disrepair

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The Great Wall of China at Badaling

While portions north of Beijing and near tourist centers have been preserved and even extensively renovated, in many other locations the Wall is in disrepair. Those parts might serve as a village playground or a source of stones to rebuild houses and roads. Sections of the Wall are also prone to graffiti and vandalism, while inscribed bricks were pilfered and sold on the market for up to 50 renminbi. Parts have been destroyed because the Wall is in the way of construction. A 2012 report by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage states that 22% of the Ming Great Wall has disappeared, while 1,961 km (1,219 mi) of wall have vanished. More than 60 km (37 mi) of the wall in Gansu province may disappear in the next 20 years, due to erosion from sandstorms. In some places, the height of the wall has been reduced from more than 5 m (16 ft 5 in) to less than 2 m (6 ft 7 in). Various square lookout towers that characterize the most famous images of the wall have disappeared. Many western sections of the wall are constructed from mud, rather than brick and stone, and thus are more susceptible to erosion. In 2014 a portion of the wall near the border of Liaoning and Hebei province was repaired with concrete. The work has been much criticized.

Visibility from space


From the Moon

One of the earliest known references to the myth that the Great Wall can be seen from the moon appears in a letter written in 1754 by the English antiquary William Stukeley. Stukeley wrote that, “This mighty wall of four score miles km] in length is only exceeded by the Chinese Wall, which makes a considerable figure upon the terrestrial globe, and may be discerned at the Moon.” The claim was also mentioned by Henry Norman in 1895 where he states “besides its age it enjoys the reputation of being the only work of human hands on the globe visible from the Moon.” The issue of “canals” on Mars was prominent in the late 19th century and may have led to the belief that long, thin objects were visible from space. The claim that the Great Wall is visible from the moon also appears in 1932’s Ripley’s Believe It or Not! strip and in Richard Halliburton’s 1938 book Second Book of Marvels.

The claim the Great Wall is visible from the moon has been debunked many times, but is still ingrained in popular culture. The wall is a maximum 9.1 m (29 ft 10 in) wide, and is about the same color as the soil surrounding it. Based on the optics of resolving power (distance versus the width of the iris: a few millimeters for the human eye, meters for large telescopes) only an object of reasonable contrast to its surroundings which is 110 km (70 mi) or more in diameter (1 arc-minute) would be visible to the unaided eye from the Moon, whose average distance from Earth is 384,393 km (238,851 mi). The apparent width of the Great Wall from the Moon is the same as that of a human hair viewed from 3 km (2 mi) away. To see the wall from the Moon would require spatial resolution 17,000 times better than normal (20/20) vision. Unsurprisingly, no lunar astronaut has ever claimed to have seen the Great Wall from the Moon.

From low Earth orbit

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A satellite image of a section of the Great Wall in northern Shanxi, running diagonally from lower left to upper right and not to be confused with the more prominent river running from upper left to lower right. The region pictured is 12 km × 12 km (7 mi × 7 mi).

A more controversial question is whether the Wall is visible from low Earth orbit (an altitude of as little as 160 km (100 mi)). NASA claims that it is barely visible, and only under nearly perfect conditions; it is no more conspicuous than many other man-made objects. Other authors have argued that due to limitations of the optics of the eye and the spacing of photoreceptors on the retina, it is impossible to see the wall with the naked eye, even from low orbit, and would require visual acuity of 20/3 (7.7 times better than normal).

Astronaut William Pogue thought he had seen it from Skylab but discovered he was actually looking at the Grand Canal of China near Beijing. He spotted the Great Wall with binoculars, but said that “it wasn’t visible to the unaided eye.” U.S. Senator Jake Garn claimed to be able to see the Great Wall with the naked eye from a space shuttle orbit in the early 1980s, but his claim has been disputed by several U.S. astronauts. Veteran U.S. astronaut Gene Cernan has stated: “At Earth orbit of 100 to 200 miles 160 to 320 km] high, the Great Wall of China is, indeed, visible to the naked eye.” Ed Lu, Expedition 7 Science Officer aboard the International Space Station, adds that, “it’s less visible than a lot of other objects. And you have to know where to look.”

In 2001, Neil Armstrong stated about the view from Apollo 11: “I do not believe that, at least with my eyes, there would be any man-made object that I could see. I have not yet found somebody who has told me they’ve seen the Wall of China from Earth orbit. … I’ve asked various people, particularly Shuttle guys, that have been many orbits around China in the daytime, and the ones I’ve talked to didn’t see it.”

In October 2003, Chinese astronaut Yang Liwei stated that he had not been able to see the Great Wall of China. In response, the European Space Agency (ESA) issued a press release reporting that from an orbit between 160 and 320 km (100 and 200 mi), the Great Wall is visible to the naked eye, even though the ISS is in low Earth orbit, not space. In an attempt to further clarify things, the ESA published a picture of a part of the “Great Wall” photographed from low orbit. However, in a press release a week later, they acknowledged that the “Great Wall” in the picture was actually a river.

Leroy Chiao, a Chinese-American astronaut, took a photograph from the International Space Station that shows the wall. It was so indistinct that the photographer was not certain he had actually captured it. Based on the photograph, the China Daily later reported that the Great Wall can be seen from ‘space’ with the naked eye, under favorable viewing conditions, if one knows exactly where to look. However, the resolution of a camera can be much higher than the human visual system, and the optics much better, rendering photographic evidence irrelevant to the issue of whether it is visible to the naked eye.

Gallery


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Masjid Istiqlal

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Masjid Istiqlal adalah masjid nasional negara Republik Indonesia yang terletak di pusat ibukota Jakarta. Masjid Istiqlal merupakan masjid terbesar di Asia Tenggara. Pembangunan masjid ini diprakarsai oleh Presiden Republik Indonesia saat itu, Ir. Soekarno di mana pemancangan batu pertama, sebagai tanda dimulainya pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal dilakukan oleh Ir. Soekarno pada tanggal 24 Agustus 1951. Arsitek Masjid Istiqlal adalah Frederich Silaban, seorang Kristen Protestan.

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Lokasi kompleks masjid ini berada di bekas Taman Wilhelmina, di timur laut lapangan Medan Merdeka yang ditengahnya berdiri Monumen Nasional (Monas). Di seberang timur masjid ini berdiri Gereja Katedral Jakarta. Bangunan utama masjid ini terdiri dari lima lantai dan satu lantai dasar. Masjid ini memiliki gaya arsitektur modern dengan dinding dan lantai berlapis marmer, dihiasi ornamen geometrik dari baja antikarat. Bangunan utama masjid dimahkotai satu kubah besar berdiameter 45 meter yang ditopang 12 tiang besar. Menara tunggal setinggi total 96,66 meter menjulang di sudut selatan selasar masjid. Masjid ini mampu menampung lebih dari dua ratus ribu jamaah.

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Selain digunakan sebagai aktivitas ibadah umat Islam, masjid ini juga digunakan sebagai kantor berbagai organisasi Islam di Indonesia, aktivitas sosial, dan kegiatan umum. Masjid ini juga menjadi salah satu daya tarik wisata yang terkenal di Jakarta. Kebanyakan wisatawan yang berkunjung umumnya wisatawan domestik, dan sebagian wisatawan asing yang beragama Islam. Masyarakat non-Muslim juga dapat berkunjung ke masjid ini setelah sebelumnya mendapat pembekalan informasi mengenai Islam dan Masjid Istiqlal, meskipun demikian bagian yang boleh dikunjungi kaum non-Muslim terbatas dan harus didampingi pemandu.

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Pada tiap hari besar Islam seperti Ramadhan, Idul Fitri, Idul Adha, Tahun Baru Hijriyah, Maulid Nabi Muhammad dan Isra dan Mi’raj, Presiden Republik Indonesia selalu mengadakan kegiatan keagamaan di masjid ini yang disiarkan secara langsung melalui televisi nasional (TVRI) dan sebagian televisi swasta.

Nama Masjid

Masjid Istiqlal merupakan masjid negara Indonesia, yaitu masjid yang mewakili umat muslim Indonesia. Karena menyandang status terhormat ini maka masjid ini harus dapat menjadi kebanggaan bangsa Indonesia sekaligus menggambarkan semangat perjuangan dalam meraih kemerdekaan. Masjid ini dibangun sebagai ungkapan dan wujud dari rasa syukur bangsa Indonesia yang mayoritas beragama Islam, atas berkat dan rahmat Allah SWT yang telah menganugerahkan nikmat kemerdekaan, terbebas dari cengkraman penjajah. Karena itulah masjid ini dinamakan “Istiqlal” yang dalam bahasa Arab berarti “Merdeka“.

Sejarah

Setelah perang kemerdekaan Indonesia, mulai berkembang gagasan besar untuk mendirikan masjid nasional. Ide pembangunan masjid tercetus setelah empat tahun proklamasi kemerdekaan. Gagasan pembangunan masjid kenegaraan ini sejalan dengan tradisi bangsa Indonesia yang sejak zaman kerajaan purba pernah membangun bangunan monumental keagamaan yang melambangkan kejayaan negara. Misalnya pada zaman kerajaan Hindu-Buddha bangsa Indonesia telah berjaya membangun candi Borobudur dan Prambanan. Karena itulah pada masa kemerdekaan Indonesia terbit gagasan membangun masjid agung yang megah dan pantas menyandang predikat sebagai masjid negara berpenduduk muslim terbesar di dunia.

Perencanaan

Pada tahun 1950, KH. Wahid Hasyim yang waktu itu menjabat sebagai Menteri Agama Republik Indonesia dan H. Anwar Tjokroaminoto dari Partai Syarikat Islam mengadakan pertemuan dengan sejumlah tokoh Islam di Deca Park, sebuah gedung pertemuan di jalan Merdeka Utara, tidak jauh dari Istana Merdeka. Pertemuan dipimpin oleh KH. Taufiqurrahman, yang membahas rencana pembangunan masjid. Gedung pertemuan yang bersebelahan dengan Istana Merdeka itu, kini tinggal sejarah. Deca Park dan beberapa gedung lainnya tergusur saat proyek pembangunan Monumen Nasional (Monas) dimulai.

Masjid tersebut disepakati akan diberi nama Istiqlal. Secara harfiah, kata Istiqlal berasal dari bahasa Arab yang berarti: kebebasan, lepas atau kemerdekaan, yang secara istilah menggambarkan rasa syukur kepada Allah SWT atas limpahan rahmat berupa kemerdekaan bangsa.

Pada pertemuan di gedung Deca Park tersebut, secara mufakat disepakati H. Anwar Tjokroaminoto sebagai ketua Yayasan Masjid Istiqlal. Dia juga ditunjuk secara mufakat sebagai ketua panitia pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal meskipun dia terlambat hadir karena baru kembali ke tanah air setelah bertugas sebagai delegasi Indonesia ke Jepang membicarakan masalah pampasan perang saat itu.

Pada tahun 1953, Panita Pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal, melaporkan rencana pembangunan masjid itu kepada kepala negara. Presiden Soekarno menyambut baik rencana tersebut, bahkan akan membantu sepenuhnya pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal. Kemudian Yayasan Masjid Istiqlal disahkan dihadapan notaris Elisa Pondag pada tanggal 7 Desember 1954.

Presiden Soekarno mulai aktif dalam proyek pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal sejak dia ditunjuk sebagai Ketua Dewan Juri dalam Sayembara maket Masjid Istiqlal yang diumumkan melalui surat kabar dan media lainnya pada tanggal 22 Februari 1955. Melalui pengumuman tersebut, para arsitek baik perorangan maupun kelembagaan diundang untuk turut serta dalam sayembara itu.

Terjadi perbedaan pendapat mengenai rencana lokasi pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal. Ir. H. Mohammad Hatta (Wakil Presiden RI) berpendapat bahwa lokasi yang paling tepat untuk pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal tersebut adalah di Jl. Moh. Husni Thamrin yang kini menjadi lokasi Hotel Indonesia. Dengan pertimbangan lokasi tersebut berada di lingkungan masyarakat Muslim dan waktu itu belum ada bangunan di atasnya.

Sementara itu, Ir. Soekarno (Presiden RI saat) mengusulkan lokasi pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal di Taman Wilhelmina, yang di dalamnya terdapat reruntuhan benteng Belanda dan dikelilingi oleh bangunan-bangunan pemerintah dan pusat-pusat perdagangan serta dekat dengan Istana Merdeka. Hal ini sesuai dengan simbol kekuasaan kraton di Jawa dan daerah-daerah di Indonesia bahwa masjid harus selalu berdekatan dengan kraton atau dekat dengan alun-alun, dan Taman Medan Merdeka dianggap sebagai alun-alun Ibu Kota Jakarta. Selain itu Soekarno juga menghendaki masjid negara Indonesia ini berdampingan dengan Gereja Katedral Jakarta untuk melambangkan semangat persaudaraan, persatuan dan toleransi beragama sesuai Pancasila.

Pendapat H. Moh. Hatta tersebut akan lebih hemat karena tidak akan mengeluarkan biaya untuk penggusuran bangunan-bangunan yang ada di atas dan di sekitar lokasi. Namun, setelah dilakukan musyawarah, akhirnya ditetapkan lokasi pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal di Taman Wilhelmina. Untuk memberi tempat bagi masjid ini, bekas benteng Belanda yaitu benteng Prins Frederick yang dibangun pada tahun 1837 dibongkar.

Sayembara Rancang Bangun Masjid

Dewan Juri sayembara rancang bangun Masjid Istiqlal, terdiri dari para Arsitek dan Ulama terkenal. Susunan Dewan Juri adalah Presiden Soekarno sebagai ketua, dengan anggotanya Ir. Roeseno, Ir. Djuanda, Ir. Suwardi, Ir. R. Ukar Bratakusumah, Rd. Soeratmoko, H. Abdul Malik Karim Amrullah (HAMKA), H. Abu Bakar Aceh, dan Oemar Husein Amin.

Sayembara berlangsung mulai tanggal 22 Februari 1955 sampai dengan 30 Mei 1955. Sambutan masyarakat sangat menggembirakan, tergambar dari banyaknya peminat hingga mencapai 30 peserta. Dari jumlah tersebut, terdapat 27 peserta yang menyerahkan sketsa dan maketnya, dan hanya 22 peserta yang memenuhi persyaratan lomba.

Setelah dewan juri menilai dan mengevaluasi, akhirnya ditetapkanlah 5 (lima) peserta sebagai nominator. Lima peserta tersebut adalah:

  1. Pemenang Pertama: Fredrerich Silaban dengan disain bersandi Ketuhanan
  2. Pemenang Kedua: R. Utoyo dengan disain bersandi Istighfar
  3. Pemenang Ketiga: Hans Gronewegen dengan disain bersandi Salam
  4. Pemenang Keempat: 5 orang mahasiswa ITB dengan disain bersandi Ilham
  5. Pemenang Kelima: adalah 3 orang mahasiswa ITB dengan disain bersandi Khatulistiwa dan NV. Associatie dengan sandi Lima Arab

Pada tanggal 5 Juli 1955, Dewan Juri menetapkan F. Silaban sebagai pemenang pertama. Penetapan tersebut dilakukan di Istana Merdeka, sekaligus menganugerahkan sebuah medali emas 75 gram dan uang Rp. 25.000. Pemenang kedua, ketiga, dan keempat diberikan hadiah. Dan seluruh peserta mendapat sertifikat penghargaan.

Pembangunan

Pemancangan tiang pertama dilakukan oleh Presiden Ir. Soekarno pada tanggal 24 Agustus 1961 bertepatan dengan peringatan Maulid Nabi Muhammad SAW, disaksikan oleh ribuan umat Islam.

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Selanjutnya pelaksanaan pembangunan masjid ini tidak berjalan lancar. Sejak direncanakan pada tahun 1950 sampai dengan 1965 tidak mengalami banyak kemajuan. Proyek ini tersendat, karena situasi politik yang kurang kondusif. Pada masa itu, berlaku demokrasi parlementer, partai-partai politik saling bertikai untuk memperjuangkan kepentingannya masing-masing. Kondisi ini memuncak pada tahun 1965 saat meletus peristiwa G30S/PKI, sehingga pembangunan masjid terhenti sama sekali. Setelah situasi politik mereda,pada tahun 1966, Menteri Agama KH. M. Dahlan mempelopori kembali pembangunan masjid ini. Kepengurusan dipegang oleh KH. Idham Chalid yang bertindak sebagai Koordinator Panitia Nasional Pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal.

Tujuh belas tahun kemudian, Masjid Istiqlal selesai dibangun. Dimulai pada tanggal 24 Agustus 1961, dan diresmikan penggunaannya oleh Presiden Soeharto pada tanggal 22 Februari 1978,ditandai dengan prasasti yang dipasang di area tangga pintu As-Salam. Biaya pembangunan diperoleh terutama dari APBN sebesar Rp. 7.000.000.000,- (tujuh miliar rupiah) dan US$. 12.000.000 (dua belas juta dollar AS).

Peristiwa Kontemporer

Karena Masjid Istiqlal adalah masjid nasional Republik Indonesia, setiap upacara atau peringatan hari besar Islam senantiasa digelar di masjid ini. Misalnya Hari raya Idul Fitri, Idul Adha, Isra Mi’raj, dan Maulid Nabi digelar di masjid ini dan diliput televisi nasional. Untuk turut memeriahkan perhelatan Visit Indonesia Year 1991 digelarlah Festival Istiqlal yang pertama pada tahun 1991. Festival ini digelar untuk memamerkan seni dan kebudayaan Islam Indonesia, turut hadir perwakilan negara sahabat berpenduduk muslim seperti Iran, Arab Saudi, dan perwakilan muslim China dari Uighur. Festival Istiqlal yang kedua digelar pada tahun 1995 untuk memperingati 50 tahun kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia.

Pada pukul 15.20 WIB hari Senin, 19 April 1999 bom meledak di lantai dasar Masjid Istiqlal. Letusan ini meretakkan tembok dan memecahkan kaca beberapa kantor organisasi Islam yang berkantor di Masjid Istiqlal, termasuk kantor Majelis Ulama Indonesia. Dua orang terluka akibat ledakan ini. Pada bulan Juni 1999 Polisi mengumumkan tujuh orang pengamen tersangka pelaku pengeboman Masjid Istiqlal yang telah ditangkap. Ketujuh orang ini adalah pelaksana yang menempatkan bom di Masjid Istiqlal, meskipun demikian siapakah otak perencana di balik pengeboman ini masih belum terungkap jelas.

Karena letak Masjid Istiqlal dan Gereja Katedral Jakarta yang bedampingan, maka kedekatan ini menjadi simbol keharmonisan antarumat beragama di Indonesia. Kendaraan umat Katolik yang merayakan misa hari besar keagamaan Katolik diperkenankan menggunakan lahan parkir Masjid Istiqlal.

Pengunjung

Sebagai masjid terbesar di Kawasan Timur Asia (Asia Tenggara dan Asia Timur), Masjid Istiqlal menarik perhatian wisatawan dalam dan luar negeri, terutama wisatawan muslim yang datang dari berbagai penjuru Indonesia ataupun wisatawan muslim dari luar negeri. Pengunjung muslim dapat langsung masuk dan berbaur dengan jemaah untuk menunaikan shalat berjamaah. Wisatawan non-Muslim diperbolehkan berkunjung dan memasuki masjid ini, setelah sebelumnya mendapat pembekalan informasi mengenai Islam dan Masjid Istiqlal. Pengunjung non-Muslim harus mengikuti tata cara mengunjungi masjid seperti melepaskan alas kaki serta mengenakan busana yang sopan dan pantas. Misalnya pengunjung tidak diperkenankan mengenakan celana pendek atau pakaian yang kurang pantas (busana lengan pendek, kaus kutang atau tank top). Pengunjung yang mengenakan celana pendek biasanya dipinjamkan sarung, sedangkan pengunjung wanita diminta mengenakan kerudung. Meskipun demikian bagian yang boleh dikunjungi kaum non-Muslim terbatas dan harus didampingi pemandu. Misalnya pengunjung non-Muslim (kecuali tamu negara atau VVIP) tidak diperkenankan memasuki lantai pertama ruang utama tempat mihrab dan mimbar, tetapi diperbolehkan melihat bagian dalam ruangan ini dari balkon lantai kedua. Selebihnya pengunjung non-Muslim boleh mengunjungi bagian lain seperti pelataran terbuka, selasar, kaki menara dan koridor masjid.

Setelah presiden Amerika Serikat Barack Obama didampingi istrinya mengunjungi Masjid Istiqal pada November 2010, makin banyak wisatawan asing yang berkunjung ke masjid ini, rata-rata sekitar 20 wisatawan asing mengunjungi masjid ini tiap harinya. Kebanyakan berasal dari Eropa. Para tokoh penting asing terkenal yang pernah mengunjungi Masjid Istiqlal antara lain; Bill Clinton Presiden Amerika Serikat pada tahun 1994, Presiden Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Presiden Libya Muammar Gaddafi, Pangeran Charles dari Britania Raya, Li Yuanchao wakil ketua Partai Komunis China, Presiden Cile Sebastián Piñera, Heinz Fischer Presiden Austria, dan Jens Stoltenberg Perdana Menteri Norwegia,dan Kanselir Jerman Angela Merkel pada tahun 2012.

Arsitektur

Sebagai masjid negara Indonesia, Masjid Istiqlal diharapkan dapat menampung jamaah dalam jumlah yang besar. Karena itu arsitekturnya menerapkan prinsip minimalis, dengan mempertimbangkan keberadaannya di kawasan beriklim tropis. Masjid dirancang agar udara dapat bebas bersirkulasi sehingga ruangan tetap sejuk, sementara jemaah terbebas dari panas matahari dan hujan. Ruangan shalat yang berada di lantai utama dan terbuka sekelilingnya diapit oleh plaza atau pelataran terbuka di kiri-kanan bangunan utama dengan tiang-tiang dengan bukaan lowong yang lebar di antaranya, dimaksudkan untuk memudahkan sirkulasi udara dan penerangan yang alami.

Gaya Arsitektur

Masjid ini bergaya arsitektur Islam modern internasional, yaitu menerapkan bentuk-bentuk geometri sederhana seperti kubus, persegi, dan kubah bola, dalam ukuran raksasa untuk menimbulkan kesan agung dan monumental. Bahannya pun dipilih yang besifat kokoh, netral, sederhana, dan minimalis, yaitu marmer putih dan baja antikarat (stainless steel). Ragam hias ornamen masjid pun bersifat sederhana namun elegan, yaitu pola geometris berupa ornamen logam krawangan (kerangka logam berlubang) berpola lingkaran, kubus, atau persegi. Ornamen-ornamen ini selain berfungsi sabagai penyekat, jendela, atau lubang udara, juga berfungsi sebagai unsur estetik dari bangunan ini. Krawangan dari baja ini ditempatkan sebagai jendela, lubang angin, atau ornamen koridor masjid. Pagar langkan di tepi balkon setiap lantainya serta pagar tangga pun terbuat dari baja antikarat. Langit-langit masjid dan bagian dalam kubah pun dilapisi kerangka baja antikarat. Dua belas pilar utama penyangga kubah pun dilapisi lempengan baja antikarat.

Karena bangunan yang begitu besar dan luas, jika memanfaatkan seluruh permukaan lantai di semua bagian bangunan, masjid ini dapat menampung maksimal sekitar 200.000 jamaah, meskipun demikian kapasitas ideal masjid ini adalah sekitar 120.000 jamaah. Masjid ini mempunyai arsitektur yang bergaya modern. Jamaah dan wisatawan yang berkunjung ke masjid ini dapat melihat konstruksi kokoh bangunan masjid yang didominasi oleh batuan marmer pada tiang-tiang, lantai, dinding dan tangga serta baja antikarat pada tiang utama, kubah, puncak menara, plafon, dinding, pintu krawangan, tempat wudhu, dan pagar keliling halaman.

Selain sebagai tempat ibadah, Masjid Istiqlal juga merupakan obyek wisata religi, pusat pendidikan, dan pusat aktivitas syiar Islam. Dengan berkunjung ke masjid ini, jamaah dan wisatawan dapat melihat keunikan arsitektur masjid yang merupakan perpaduan antara arsitektur Indonesia, Timur Tengah, dan Eropa. Arsitektur Indonesia nampak pada bangunan yang bersifat terbuka dengan memungkinkan sirkulasi udara alami sesuai dengan iklim tropis serta letak masjid yang berdekatan dengan bangunan pusat pemerintahan. Kemudian pada bagian dalam kubah masjid yang berhiaskan kaligrafi merupakan hasil adopsi arsitektur Timur Tengah. Masjid ini juga dipengaruhi gaya arsitektur Barat, sebagaimana terlihat dari bentuk tiang dan dinding yang kokoh.

Arsitektur Masjid Istiqlal juga menampilkan pendekatan yang unik terhadap berbagai serapan budaya dalam komposisi yang harmonis. Perpaduan itu menunjukkan kuatnya pemahaman yang menghargai berbagai budaya dari masyarakat yang berbeda, yang ditempatkan sebagai potensi untuk membangun harmoni dan toleransi antar umat beragama, dalam rangka membina kesatuan dan persatuan bangsa.

Beberapa kalangan menganggap arsitektur Islam modern Timur Tengah masjid Istiqlal berupa kubah besar dan menara terlalu bersifat Arab dan modern, sehingga terlepas dari kaitan harmoni dan warisan tradisi arsitektur Islam Nusantara tradisional Indonesia. Mungkin sebagai jawabannya mantan presiden Suharto melalui Yayasan Amal Bhakti Muslim Pancasila menyeponsori pembangunan berbagai masjid beratap limas tingkat tiga bergaya tradisional masjid Jawa.

Simbolisme

Rancangan arsitektur Masjid Istiqlal mengandung angka dan ukuran yang memiliki makna dan perlambang tertentu. Terdapat tujuh gerbang untuk memasuki ruangan dalam Istiqlal yang masing-masing dinamai berdasarkan Al-Asmaul-Husna, nama-nama Allah yang mulia dan terpuji. Angka tujuh melambangkan tujuh lapis langit dalam kosmologi alam semesta Islam, serta tujuh hari dalam seminggu. Tempat wudhu terletak di lantai dasar, sementara ruangan utama dan pelataran utama terletak di lantai satu yang ditinggikan. Bangunan masjid terdiri atas dua bangunan; bangunan utama dan bangunan pendamping yang lebih kecil. Bangunan pendamping berfungsi sebagai tangga sekaligus tempat tambahan untuk beribadah. Bangunan utama ini dimahkotai kubah dengan bentang diameter sebesar 45 meter, angka “45” melambangkan tahun 1945, tahun Proklamasi Kemerdekaan Republik Indonesia. Kemuncak atau mastaka kubah utama dimahkotai ornamen baja antikarat berbentuk Bulan sabit dan bintang, simbol Islam.

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Interior ruang utama masjid Istiqlal; kubah raksasa ditopang 12 tiang berlapis baja antikarat

Kubah utama ini ditopang oleh 12 tiang ruang ibadah utama disusun melingkar tepi dasar kubah, dikelilingi empat tingkat balkon. Angka “12” yang dilambangkan oleh 12 tiang melambangkan hari kelahiran nabi Muhammad yaitu tanggal 12 Rabiul Awwal, juga melambangkan 12 bulan dalam penanggalan Islam (juga penanggalan Masehi) dalam satu tahun. Empat tingkat balkon dan satu lantai utama melambangkan angka “5” yang melambangkan lima Rukun Islam sekaligus melambangkan Pancasila, falsafah kebangsaan Indonesia. Tangga terletak di keempat sudut ruangan menjangkau semua lantai. Pada bangunan pendamping dimahkotai kubah yang lebih kecil berdiameter 8 meter.

Adanya dua bangunan masjid; yaitu bangunan utama dan bangunan pendamping (berfungsi sebagai tangga, ruang tambahan dan pintu masuk Al Fattah), serta dua kubah yaitu kubah utama dan kubah pendamping, melambangkan angka “2” atau dualisme yang saling berdampingan dan melengkapi; langit dan bumi, kepentingan akhirat dan kepentingan duniawi, bathin dan lahir, serta dua bentuk hubungan penting bagi muslim yaituHablum minallah (hubungan manusia dengan Tuhannya) dan Hablum minannaas (hubungan manusia dengan sesamanya). Hal ini sesuai dengan sifat agama Islam yang lengkap, mengatur baik urusan keagamaan maupun sosial kemasyarakatan. Islam tidak semata-mata bertitik berat pada masalah ibadah dan akhirat saja tetapi juga memperhatikan urusan duniawi; kesejahteraan, keadilan dan kepedulian sosial, ekonomi, hukum, ilmu pengetahuan, kebudayaan dan kehidupan sehari-hari umat muslim.

Rancangan interior masjid ini sederhana, minimalis, dengan hiasan minimal berupa ornamen geometrik dari bahan baja antikarat. Sifat gaya arsitektur dan ragam hias geometris yang sederhana, bersih dan minimalis ini mengandung makna bahwa dalam kesederhanaan terkandung keindahan. Pada dinding utama yang menghadap kiblat terdapat mihrab dan mimbar di tengahnya. Pada dinding utama terdapat ornamen logam bertuliskan aksara Arab Allah di sebelah kanan dan nama Muhammad di sebelah kiri, di tengahnya terdapat kaligrafi Arab Surah Thaha ayat ke-14. Semua ornamen logam baja antikarat didatangkan dari Jerman. Pada awalnya direncanakan menggunakan bahan marmer impor dari Italia seperti Monumen Nasional. Akan tetapi untuk menghemat biaya dan mendukung industri mamer lokal maka bahan marmer akhirnya diambil dari Tulungagung di Jawa Timur.

Thousands of the Indonesian muslims congregrated during Eid ul Fitr mass prayer in Istiqlal Mosque, the largest mosque in Southeast Asia, located in Central Jakarta, Indonesia.

Ribuan umat muslim Indonesia berkumpul untuk menunaikan shalat Ied pada Hari Raya Idul Fitri di Masjid Istiqlal

Struktur bangunan utama dihubungkan dengan emper dan koridor yang mengelilingi pelataran terbuka yang luas. Teras besar terbuka ini berukuran seluas 29.800 meter persegi, berupa pelataran berlapis tegel keramik berwarna merah bata yang disusun sesuai shaf shalat, terletak di sisi dan belakang gedung utama. Teras ini berfungsi menampung jemaah pada saat shalat Idul Fitri dan Idul Adha. Koridor di sekeliling teras pelataran menghubungkan bangunan utama dengan menara masjid. Tidak seperti masjid dalam arsitektur Islam Arab, Persia, Turki, dan India yang memiliki banyak menara, Istiqlal hanya memiliki satu menara yang melambangkan Keesaan Allah. Struktur menara berlapis marmer berukuran tinggi 66,66 meter (6.666 cm),melambangkan 6.666 ayat dalam persepsi tradisional dalam Al Quran. Ditambah kemuncak yang memahkotai menara terbuat dari kerangka baja setinggi 30 meter melambangkan 30 juz’ dalam Al Quran, maka tinggi total menara adalah 96,66 meter. Selain koridor emper keliling terdapat pula koridor di tengah yang menghubungkan Gerbang Al Fattah dengan Gerbang Ar Rozzaq. Jika masjid sudah tentu berkiblat ke arah Mekkah, penjuru koridor ini mengarah ke Monumen Nasional, hal ini untuk menunjukkan bahwa masjid ini adalah masjid nasional Republik Indonesia.

Di masjid ini juga terdapat bedug raksasa yang terbuat dari dari sebatang pohon kayu meranti merah asal pulau Kalimantan yang berusia sekitar 300 tahun.

Masjid Istiqlal dikenal dengan kemegahan bangunannya. Luas bangunannya hanya mencapai 26% dari kawasan seluas 9.32 hektare, yang selebihnya adalah halaman dan pertamanan. Pada taman masjid di sudut barat daya terdapat kolam besar dengan air mancur yang dapat menyemburkan air setinggi 45 meter. Air mancur ini hanya diaktifkan tiap hari Jumat menjelang shalat Jumat atau pada hari raya dan hari penting keagamaan Islam seperti Idul Fitri, Idul Adha, Maulid Nabi, dan Isra Miraj.

Lingkungan Sekitar

Pada tahun 1950, keadaan dan kondisi kawasan Taman Wilhelmina yang berada di depan Lapangan Banteng merupakan tempat yang sepi, gelap, kotor, dan tak terurus. Reruntuhan tembok bekas bangunan Benteng Prins Frederick di taman itu penuh dengan lumut, dan ditumbuhi ilalang dimana-mana.

Pada tanggal 21 Mei 1961, dalam rangka peringatan Hari Kebangkitan Nasional di tempat yang sama, sekitar 50.000 orang dari berbagai unsur lapisan masyarakat, termasuk pegawai negeri dan swasta, alim ulama, tentara, dan lain-lain bekerja bakti membersihkan taman Wilhelmina yang tak terurus itu, sebagai persiapan lokasi pembangunan Masjid yang diawali dengan pidato Menteri Jaksa Agung.

Beberapa bulan kemudian, tepatnya tanggal 24 Agustus 1961, telah menjadi tanggal yang paling bersejarah bagi kaum muslimin di Jakarta khususnya, dan Indonesia pada umumnya, untuk pertama kalinya di bekas taman itu, kota Jakarta akan memiliki sebuah masjid besar dan monumental. Maka dengan ucapan Bismillahirrahmanirrahim Presiden RI Ir. Soekarno meresmikan permulaan pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal diatas area seluas 9.32 Ha. Yang ditandai dengan pemasangan tiang pancang disaksikan oleh ribuan ummat Islam. Sebuah masjid yang akan menjadi simbol kemerdekaan bagi bangsa Indonesia.

Kompleks Masjid Istiqlal juga mempunyai daya tampung parkir untuk 800 kendaraan.

Pagar dan Pintu Gerbang

Komplek Masjid Istiqlal dikelilingi pagar setinggi empat meter, terdiri dari tembok setinggi satu meter dan diatasnya berdiri pagar setinggi tiga meter yang terbuat dari bahan stainless steel, baja anti karat sepanjang 1.165 meter.

Semula pagar ini meski dibuat dari bahan baja antikarat dan cukup kokoh, namun tingginya hanya sekitar 1,2 meter ditambah 1 meter tembok sehingga memudahkan keluar masuknya orang-orang yang tidak bertanggung jawab dengan cara melompati pagar tersebut, ditambah lagi dengan pintu gerbang yang sangat mudah dilewati meski pintu tersebut dalam keadaan terkunci.

Sebagai solusinya maka mulai tahun 2007 pagar diganti menjadi lebih tinggi dan indah seperti yang disaksikan sekarang. Pintu gerbangpun diubah dan dipercantik dengan menggunakan alumunium cor dan dirancang memiliki celah-celah yang rapat yang tidak mungkin dilewati oleh manusia.

Saat ini untuk masuk ke wilayah Masjid Istiqlal baik menggunakan kendaraan ataupun berjalan kaki harus melalui pintu gerbang yang terbuka yang masing-masing mempunyai gardu jaga. Pintu-pintu gerbang tersebut terletak di sebelah utara, timur, tenggara dan selatan. Salah satu dari pintu gerbang tersebut diperuntukkan khusus untuk VIP yaitu RI 1 dan RI 2.

Terdapat lima pintu gerbang masuk menuju kompleks Masjid Istiqlal, beberapa gerbang masuk ini dihubungkan ke masjid oleh jembatan yang dibawahnya mengalir sungai Ciliwung dan di kiri kanannya terdapat lapangan parkir yang luas, sedangkan dua buah lainnya di bagian utara tidak dihubungkan dengan jembatan. Gerbang masjid ini terdapat di ketiga sisi kompleks masjid, yaitu sisi utara menghadap pintu air dan jalan Veteran, sisi timur menghadap Gereja Katedral Jakarta dan jalan Katedral, dan sisi tenggara-selatan menghadap jalan Perwira dan kantor pusat Pertamina. Sementara di sepanjang sisi barat terdapat rel kereta api yang menghubungkan Stasiun Gambir dan Stasiun Juanda, di sisi barat ini tidak terdapat pintu gerbang.

  1. Sisi Utara dari arah Pintu Air terdapat satu pintu gerbang yang langsung diarahkan menuju pintu As-Salam. Pada acara kenegaraan biasanya hanya dibuka untuk dilalui para undangan VIP setingkat pejabat negara, para menteri, duta-duta besar perwakilan negara sahabat, pejabat legislatif, pejabat daerah dan undangan VIP lainnya.
  2. Sisi Timur Laut dari arah Katedral terdapat satu buah pintu gerbang berhadapan dengan bangunan gereja Katedral. Pintu gerbang inilah yang dibuka setiap harinya untuk keluar masuk area Masjid Istiqlal dan mulai pada pertengahan tahun 2008 perparkiran menggunakan sistem Check Point.
  3. Sisi Tenggara-Selatan dari arah Kantor Pusat Pertamina dan jalan Perwira terdapat tiga pintu gerbang, satu pintu gerbang ujung selatan tepat di pertigaan Jalan Merdeka Timur dan jalan Perwira searah dengan gedung kantor pusat Pertamina dan Stasiun Gambir, satu pintu di sisi tenggara dekat jembatan Ciliwung, dan satu lagi dekat pertigaan Lapangan Banteng searah dengan gedung Kementerian Agama Pusat. Gerbang tenggara dekat jembatan Ciliwung biasanya dibuka untuk umum hanya pada saat shalat Jumat, sedangkan pintu gerbang ujung selatan khusus diperuntukkan bagi Presiden dan Wakil Presiden Indonesia beserta rombongan bila menghadiri acara keagamaan yang diselenggarakan secara kenegaraan di Masjid Istiqlal, seperti peringatan hari-hari besar Islam seperti Hari Raya Idul Fitri dan Idul Adha.

Seluruh pintu gerbang ini dibuka setiap acara resmi kenegaraan, sedangkan untuk hari-hari biasa pintu gerbang yang dibuka hanya pintu dari arah Katedral yang langsung menuju pintu Al-Fattah.

Sedangkan pada bangunan Masjid Istiqlal terdapat 7 buah pintu gerbang yand dinamakan berdasarkan Asmaul Husna.

Taman, Parkir, Jembatan, dan Air Mancur

Halaman di sekitar Masjid Istiqlal sebelah utara, selatan dan timur seluas 6,85 Ha terdari dari:

Pertamanan seluas 4,15 Ha, dibagi menjadi 23 lokasi dan masing-masing diberi nama sesuai dengan nama pepohonan yang dominan berada di lokasi tersebut. Misalnya Taman Kamboja dan lain-lain. Rindangnnya pertamanan berfungsi juga sebagai hutan kota, dihidupi pula dengan beberapa jenis unggas untuk menambah keindahan komplek Masjid Istiqlal. Dengan demikian menjadikan suasana masjid terasa sejuk sehinnga akan menambah kekhusyuan beribadah bagi para jamaah.

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Air mancur di tengah kolam sudut barat daya taman Masjid Istiqlal

Perparkiran seluas 2,15 Ha, yang dapat menampung kurang lebih 800 kendaraan sekaligus melalui 7 buah pintu gerbang yang ada. Kualitas pengaspalan untuk halaman, parkir dan jalan dibuat dengan methode pengaspalan kelas satu. Sungai Ciliwung mengalir membelah kompleks Masjid Istiqlal. Karena halaman Masjid Istiqlal dikelilingi oleh sungai, maka dibangun pula tiga buah jembatan besar yang lebarnya 18,6 meter dan panjang sekitar 21 sampai 25 meter. Ditambah satu buah jembatan kecil untuk pejalan kaki, kerangka dari jembatan-jembatan ini juga terbuat dari bahan stainless steel. Tepat di taman ini aliran sungai Ciliwung bercabang dua, cabang ke barat mengarah ke Harmoni, Jalan Gajah Mada-Hayam Wuruk, dan kawasan Kota Tua Jakarta, sedangkan cabang ke timur mengarah ke Pasar Baru, Gunung Sahari dan Ancol. Di sisi utara cabang barat terdapat pintu air yang dibangun pada zaman kolonial Hindia Belanda.

Untuk menambah indahnya panorama kompleks Masjid Istiqlal, di halaman bagian selatan dilengkapi dengan kolam air mancur yang ditempatkan di tengah-tengah, taman air mancur ini seluas 2.803 meter persegi, dan kolam air mancur seluas 8.490 meter persegi, jadi luas keseluruhannya 11,293 meter persegi. Pada bagian tengah kolam dibuat ring penampung air bersih bergaris tengah 45 meter, jumlah nozel pemancar air mancur sebanyak: 1 buah tegak lurus di tengah-tengah cawan air mancur, 17 buah di lingkar luar, dan 8 buah buah di lingkar dalam pada kolam penampungan air bersih. Air mancur ini dapat memancarkan air setinggi 45 meter.

Gedung Utama dan Gedung Pendukung

Masjid Istiqlal berdaya tampung jamaah sebanyak 200.000 orang yang terdiri dari:

  1. Ruang shalat utama dan balkon serta sayap memuat 61.000 orang.
  2. Ruang pada bangunan pendahuluan memuat 8.000 orang.
  3. Ruang teras terbuka di lantai 2 memuat 50.000 orang.
  4. Semua koridor dan tempat lainnya memuat 81.000 orang.

Pintu Masuk

Terdapat tujuh pintu gerbang masuk ke dalam Masjid Istiqlal. Masing-masing pintu itu diberi nama berdasarkan Asmaul Husna. Dari ketujuh pintu ini tiga pintu yaitu Al Fattah, As Salam dan Ar Rozzaq adalah pintu utama. Ketujuh pintu itu adalah:

  1. Al Fattah (Gerbang Pembuka): pintu utama yang terletak sisi timur laut berhadapan dengan Gereja Katedral. Pintu ini adalah pintu untuk masyarakat umum yang senantiasa terbuka dan terletak di bangunan pendamping dengan kubah kecil diatasnya.
  2. Al Quddus (Gerbang Kesucian): pintu yang terletak di sisi timur laut terdapat di sudut bangunan utama masjid.
  3. As Salam (Gerbang Kedamaian): salah satu pintu utama ini terletak di ujung utara pada sudut bangunan utama. Pintu ini langsung menuju dekat shaf terdepan barisan shalat, sehingga pintu ini digunakan untuk tamu penting VIP, seperti ulama, tamu asing, duta besar dari negara muslim, dan tamu penting lainnya pada acara keagamaan penting.
  4. Al Malik (Gerbang Raja): pintu VVIP di sisi barat pada sudut bangunan utama masjid. Seperti pintu As Salam pintu ini juga langsung menuju dekat shaf terdepan barisan shalat, sehingga pintu ini digunakan untuk tamu penting VVIP seperti presiden dan wakil presiden Indonesia serta tamu negara yang berkunjung.
  5. Al Ghaffar (Gerbang Ampunan): pintu ini terletak di ujung selatan pada bangunan selasar pelataran, tepat di bawah menara masjid Istiqlal. Pintu ini adalah yang paling dekat gerbang tenggara sekaligus yang terjauh dari mihrab masjid.
  6. Ar Rozzaq (Gerbang Rezeki): salah satu pintu utama ini terletak di tengah-tengah sisi selatan selasar pelataran Istiqlal. Dari pintu ini terdapat koridor yang lurus menghubungkannya dengan pintu Al Fatah di sisi timur laut.
  7. Ar Rahman (Gerbang Pengasih): pintu ini terletak di sudut barat daya bangunan selasar masjid, dekat pintu Al Malik.

Gedung Utama

  • Tinggi: 60 meter
  • Panjang: 100 meter
  • Lebar: 100 meter
  • Tiang pancang: 2.361 buah

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Masjid Istiqlal yang megah ini adalah bangunan berlantai dua. Lantai pertama untuk perkantoran, ruang pertemuan, instalasi AC sentral dan listrik, kamar mandi, toilet dan ruang tempat wudhu. Lantai dua, untuk shalat yang terdiri dari ruang shalat utama dan teras terbuka yang luas guna untuk menampung jemaah yang melimpah terutama pada saat shalat Idul Fitri dan Idul Adha.

Gedung utama dengan ruang shalat utama mengarah ke kiblat (Mekkah), sedangkan teras terbuka yang luas mengarah ke Monumen Nasional (Monas).

Lantai utama yang disediakan untuk ruang sholat baik Rawatib ataupun sholat sunnat lainnya terletak di gedung utama dengan daya tampung 61.00 orang jamaah. Di bagian depan terdapat Mihrab tempat dimana imam memimpin sholat jamaah, dan disebelah kanan mihrab terdapat mimbar yang ditinggikan. Lantainya ditutupi karpet merah sumbangan seorang dermawan dari Kerajaan Arab Saudi.

Kubah besar

Dengan diameter 45 m, terbuat dari kerangka baja antikarat dari Jerman Barat dengan berat 86 ton, sementara bagian luarnya dilapisi dengan keramik. Diameter 45 meter merupakan simbol penghormatan dan rasa syukur atas kemerdekaan Bangsa Indonesia pada tahun 1945 sesuai dengan nama Istiqlal itu sendiri. Bagian bawah sekeliling kubah terdapat kaligrafi Surat Yassin yang ditulis oleh K.H Fa’iz seorang Khatthaath senior dari Jawa Timur.

Dari luar atap bagian atas kubah dipasang penangkal petir berbentuk lambang Bulan dan Bintang yang terbuat dari stainless steel dengan diameter 3 meter dan berat 2,5 ton. Dari dalam kubah di topang oleh 12 pilar berdiameter 2,6 meter dengan tinggi 60 meter, 12 buah pilar ini merupakan simbol angka kelahiran nabi Muhammad SAW yaitu 12 Rabiul Awal tahun Gajah atau 20 April 571 M.

Seluruh bagian di gedung utama ini dilapisi marmer yang didatangkan langsung dari Tulungagung seluas 36.980 meter persegi.

Gedung pendahuluan

  • Tinggi: 52 meter
  • Panjang: 33 meter
  • Lebar: 27 meter

Bagian ini memiliki lima lantai yang terletak di belakang gedung utama yang diapit dua sayap teras. Luas lantainya 36.980 meter persegi, dilapisi dengan 17.300 meter persegi marmer. Jumlah tiang pancangnya sebanyak 1800 buah. Di atas gedung ini ada sebuah kubah kecil, fungsi utama dari gedung ini yaitu setiap jamaah dapat menuju gedung utama secara langsung. Selain itu juga bisa dimanfaatkan sebagai perluasan tempat shalat bila gedung utama penuh.

Teras raksasa

Teras raksasa terbuka seluas 29.800 meter terletak di sebelah kiri dan dibelakang gedung induk. Teras ini berlapis tegel keramik berwarna merah kecoklatan yang disusun membentuk shaf shalat. Teras ini dibuat untuk menampung jamaah pada saat shalat Idul Fitri dan Idul Adha. Selain itu teras ini juga berfungsi sebagai tempat acara-acara keagamaan seperti MTQ dan pada emper tengah biasa digunakan untuk peragaan latihan manasik haji, teras raksasa ini dapat menampung sekitar 50.000 jamaah.

Emper keliling dan koridor

  • Panjang: 165 meter
  • Lebar : 125 meter

Emper atau koridor ini mengelilingi teras raksasa dan koridor tengah yang sekelilingya terdapat 1800 pilar guna menopang bangunan emper. Di bagian tengah terdapat koridor tengah yang menghubungkan pintu Al Fattah di timur laut dengan pintu Ar Rozzaq di barat daya. Arah poros koridor ini mengarah ke Monumen Nasional menandakan masjid ini adalah masjid nasional.

Menara

  • Tinggi tubuh menara marmer: 6.666 cm = 66.66 meter
  • Tinggi kemuncak (pinnacle) menara baja antikarat: 30 meter
  • Tinggi total menara: sekitar 90 meter
  • Diameter menara 5 meter

Bangunan menara meruncing ke atas ini berfungsi sebagai tempat Muadzin mengumandangkan adzan. Di atasnya terdapat pengeras suara yang dapat menyuarakan adzan ke kawasan sekitar masjid.

Menara megah tersebut melambangkan keagungan Islam, dan kemuliaan kaum muslimin. Keistimewaan lainnya, menara yang terletak di sudut selatan masjid, dengan ketinggian 6.666 cm ini dinisbahkan dengan jumlah ayat-ayat Al-Quran. Pada bagian ujung atas menara, berdiri kemuncak (pinnacle) dari besi baja yang menjulang ke angkasa setinggi 30 meter sebagai simbol dari jumlah juz dalam Al-Quran. Menara dan kemuncak baja ini membentuk tinggi total menara sekitar 90 meter.

The minaret or tower of Istiqlal Mosque, Jakarta, Indonesia. The National Monument (Monas) and Medan Merdeka Square in the background with Jakarta skyline.

Menara Istiqlal dengan Monas terlihat di kejauhan

Puncak menara yang meruncing dirancang berlubang-lubang terbuat dari kerangka baja tipis. Angka 6.666 merupakan simbol dari jumlah ayat yang terdapat dalam AL- Quran, seperti yang diyakini oleh sebahagian besar ulama di Indonesia.

Lantai Dasar dan Tangga

Ruangan shalat terdapat di lantai pertama tepat di atas lantai dasar, sedangkan lantai dasar terdapat ruang wudhu, kantor Masjid Istiqlal, dan kantor berbagai organisasi Islam. Lantai dasar Masjid Istiqlal seluruhnya ditutupi oleh marmer seluas 25.000 meter persegi dipersiapkan untuk sarana perkantoran, sarana penunjang masjid, dan ruang serbaguna. Gagasan semula tempat ini akan dibiarkan terbuka yang sewaktu-waktu dapat dipergunakan, misalnya pada saat penyelenggaraan Festival Istiqlal I tahun 1991 dan Festival Istiqlal II tahun 1995 ruangan-ruangan serbaguna di lantai dasar dan pelataran halaman Masjid dijadikan ruang pameran seni Islam Indonesia dan bazaar. Namun pasca terjadinya pengeboman di Masjid Istiqlal pada tanggal 19 April 1999 maka dilakukanlah pemagaran dan pembuatan pintu-pintu strategis pada tahun 1999.

Jumlah tangga menuju lantai shalat utama sebanyak 11 unit. Tiga diantaranya memiliki ukuran besar dan berfungsi sebagai tangga utama yaitu: satu unit berada disisi utara gedung induk, satu unit berada pada gedung pendahuluan yang dapat dipergunakan langsung menuju lantai lima, dan satu unit lainnya berlokasi di emper selatan menuju lantai utama, tangga-tangga ini memiliki lebar 15 meter.

Disamping itu terdapat 4 unit tangga dengan ukuran lebar 3 meter berlokasi pada tiap-tiap pojok gedung utama yang langsung menuju lantai lima dan di sudut-sudut teras raksasa.

Sarana dan Fasilitas

Ruang shalat utama luasnya satu hektare dapat menampung jamaah lebih dari 16.000 orang. Ruang tersebut ditambah balkon 4 tingkat dan sayap disebelah timur, selatan, dan utara sehingga luas seluruhnya menjadi 36.980 meter persegi atau sama dengan hampir 4 hektare yang berarti dapat menampung jamaah sekitar 61.000 orang.

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Koridor keliling dipenuhi jemaah shalat Ied hari raya Idul Fitri

Di sebelah barat ruang shalat utama terletak mimbar yang diapit sebelah kiri dan kanannya oleh tembok berlapiskan marmer di mana terpajang kaligrafi Arab yang indah berbunyi: “Allah” (sebelah utara), “Laa Ilaha Illa Allah, Muhammad ar Rasulu Allah” (tengah), dan “Muhammad” (sebelah selatan).

Sarana Peribadatan

Karpet

Seluruh lantai utama masjid ditutupi oleh karpet merah sumbangan dari seorang dermawan Arab Saudi bernama Sheikh Esmail Abu Daud yang diserah terimahkan pada tanggal 3 Juni 2005. Karpet sebanyak 103 gulung ini berwarna merah terbuat dari bahan dasar wol.

Perawatan karpet tersebut dikerjakan secara manual, setiap hari dibersihkan dengan menggunakan alat vacum cleaner. Jumlah karpet penutup lantai utama 18 lembar, setiap lembarnya berukuran: panjang 25 meter dan lebar 4 meter, rata-rata beratnya 250 kg.

Rak Al Quran

Masjid Istiqlal juga menyediakan mushaf Al-Qur’an untuk dibaca oleh para jama’ah yang ditempatkan pada rak yang melingkar di 12 tiang yang terdapat pada lantai utama, setiap rak berbentuk setengah lingkaran yang terdiri dari dua tingkat terbuat dari bahan stainless steel.

Setiap rak dapat menampung 100 sampai 150 buah mushaf yang disediakan oleh BPPMI serta waqaf dari jamaah.

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Umat muslim Indonesia tengah membaca Al Quran setelah menunaikan shalat di Masjid Istiqlal, Jakarta, Indonesia. Indonesia memiliki jumlah umat muslim terbesar di dunia

Sketsel

Untuk pembatas antara tempat shalat bagi jamaah pria dan wanita dan batas area sholat rawatib, di lantai utama Masjid Istiqlal juga disediakan sketsel yang terbuat dari 20 modul dengan bahan stainless steel dan dari bahan kayu 20 modul dengan ukuran masing-masing 2 meter x 80 cm. Sketsel tersebut bersifat knock down yang bisa dipasang sesuai kebutuhan.

Sarana Olahraga

Didalam tubuh yang sehat terdapat jiwa yang kuat. Menjaga kesehatan dengan berolahraga merupakan hal yang rutin dilakukan oleh siswa-siswi madrasah dan remaja Masjid Istiqlal.

Untuk mendukung berbagai macam program yang ada, BPPMI menyediakan fasilitas-fasilitas pendukung seperti sarana olah raga yang representatif berstandart nasional dan internasional yang dibangun di pojok kiri bagian timur Masjid.

Pusat kegiatan olahraga ini berupa lapangan terbuka terdiri dari lapangan Futsal, Badminton, Bola Volly dan Basket. Lapangan olah raga ini berukuran 420 meter persegi, diresmikan penggunaannya oleh ibu Menteri Agama RI pada Tanggal 17 Januari 2009 M/20 Muharram 1430 H.

Tenaga Listrik

Tenaga listrik di Masjid Istiqlal difungsikan untuk:

  1. Penerangan
  2. Tenaga Hydrofour
  3. AC
  4. Sound system
  5. Air Mancur
  6. Alat eloktronik lainnya seperti TV, Komputer dll.

Penggunaan listrik untuk kebutuhan penerangan diseluruh areal Masjid Istiqlal baik di gedung ataupun di taman dan halaman serta pagar menggunakan layanan listrik dari PLN. Suplai listrik yang diperoleh dari Perusahaan Listrik Negara (PLN) dengan satu gardu tersendiri yang menyiapkan central box berkapasitas 2.000 KVA.

Sebagai cadangan bila terjadi pemadaman dari pihak PLN, disiapkan juga dua buah mesin diesel atau generator berkekuatan 825 KVA dan 500 KVA. Selain untuk penerangan tenaga listrik ini juga dipergunakan untuk mesin-mesin Hydrofour dan AC di ruang perkantoran yang terdapat di lantai dasar masjid, rata-rata konsumsi listrik setiap bulannya adalah 1.750 KVA, dengan pembayaran rekening rata-rata sebesar Rp: 125.000.000/bulan.

Sistem Suara dan Multimedia

Untuk keperluan ibadah dan sarana informasi Masjid Istiqlal menggunakan sound system yang dikendalikan secara terpusat yang terletak pada ruang kaca bagian belakang lantai dua, dengan jumlah speaker sebanyak 200 chanel yang tersebar pada lantai utama.

Jumlah speaker yang terdapat pada koridor, gedung penghubung dan gedung pendahuluan sebanyak 158 chanel. Sound system dikendalikan oleh 26 amplyfire dan 5 (lima) buah mixer dan diawasi oleh enam orang yang bertugas secara bergantian baik siang ataupun malam hari.

Untuk mendukung kelancaran komunikasi pada waktu pelaksanaan ibadah dan kegiatan, di lantai utama juga telah dipasang system TV plasma sehingga akses informasi dpat diikuti secara merata oleh para jamaah yang berada diseluruh area ruang utama Masjid.

Pendingin Udara (AC)

AC difungsikan secara sentral yang meliputi seluruh perkantoran dan ruangan lain yang ada di lantai dasar. Untuk memenuhi kebutuhan AC ini didukung oleh empat buah mesin pendingin atau chiller.

Pendingin ruangan hanya digunakan bagi ruangan-ruangan kantor di lantai bawah dengan menggunakan sistem AC central dan AC split.

Untuk menambah kenyamanan beribadah bagi jamaah, sekarang ini ruang utama Masjid Istiqlal dilengkapi juga dengan 5 unit standing AC, masing-masing berkekuatan 5 PK dan sebelas unit AC celling berkekuatan masing-masing 5 PK, ditambah kipas angin berukuran besar.

Disamping itu pada ruangan perkantoran, ruang madrasah serta ruang VIP yang berada pada lantai dasar sistem pendinginnya juga menggunakan AC sentral yang digerakkan oleh empat unit mesin chiller dengan 300 buah fan coil unit yang tersebar pada setiap ruangan, karena termakan usia di beberapa ruangan ditemukan AC chiller sudah kurang berfungsi maka secara bertahap dilakukan penggantian dengan AC split.

Fasilitas Air, Ruang Wudhu, Kamar Mandi, WC

Keperluan air untuk bersuci di Masjid Istiqlal pada awalnya dari Perusahaan Air Minum (PAM). Sebagai cadangan untuk mengantisipasi kekurangan dan kerusakan maka dibuatlah 6 buah sumur artesis dengan kedalaman 100 M, menggunakan mesin berkekuatan 3 PK dan 3 fase berkapasitas 600 liter permenit dan didistribusikan ke tempat-tempat wudhu.

752px-Istiqlal_Mosque_Wudhu_(Ablution)

Tempat wudhu pria

Untuk kebutuhan air di tempat pembuangan air kecil digunakan delapa buah mesin Hydrofour, ditambah empat tangki Hydrofour berkapasitas 1400 liter. Mesin-mesin air tersebut menggunakan tenaga listrik sebanyak 15 PK.

Tempat wudhu terdapat di beberapa lokasi di lantai dasar yaitu di sebelah utara, timur maupun selatan gedung utama. Di setiap lokasi tersedia 100 unit tempat wudhu dengan kran air terbuat dari bahan stainless steel, tiap unitnya terdiri atas 6 buah kran maka jumlah kran seluruhnya sebanyak 600 buah. Berarti pada saat yang bersamaan dapat melayani 600 orang berwudhu sekaligus.

800px-Wudu_Istiqlal_Mosque

Tempat wudhu wanita

Sedangkan toilet terdapat di lantai dasar sebelah barat, selatan dan timur di bawah teras raksasa. Toilet ini sengaja dibangun terpisah dari tempat wudhu, hal ini dimaksudkan agar tempat yang bersih dan suci tidak berdekatan dengan tempat yang kotor. Disisi sebelah timur, dibawah emper masjid terdapat dua lokasi urinior yang berkapasitas 80 ruang.

Selain itu juga terdapat 52 kamar mandi dan WC, dengan rincian: 12 buah dibawah emper barat, 12 buah dibawah emper selatan dekat menara dan 28 buah dibawah emper sebelah timur. Keperluan air untuk wudhu, kamar mandi dan toilet ini setiap hari dipasok air dari PAM yaang berkapasitas 600 liter per menit.

Lift Bagi Penyandang Cacat

Mengingat Masjid Istiqlal sebagai sarana umum dan jamaah yang berkunjung juga terdapat diantaranya penyandang cacat dan jamaah lanjut usia. Karena itu bagi penyandang cacat yang akan menuju ke lantai dua dan lantai utama disediakan lift yang terletak di bagian selatan. Hal ini dalam rangka peningkatan pelayanan kepada para jamaah penyandang cacat dan lansia.

Keberadaan satu unit lift yang diperuntukkan khusus bagi jamaah penyandang cacat dan lansia ini adalah berkat bantuan pemerintah DKI Jakarta. Lift tersebut berkapasitas 6 orang dan dioperasikan pada waktu-waktu tertentu sesuai kebutuhan.

Lift ini terdapat di lokasi pintu Ar-Rahman dan dapat diakses melalui pintu gerbang depan kantor pusat pertamina.

Perpustakaan Islam

Firman yang pertama kali diturunkan-Nya dalam Al Quran adalah perintah membaca, melalui firman-Nya tersebut Allah memerintahkan manusia membaca sebagai jalan untuk menuntut ilmu. Jadi jika menutut ilmu memiliki kedudukan mulia, maka jalan kearahnya pun dengan membaca menjadi jalan yang mulia. Kesadaran akan pentingnya membaca sebagai jalan masuknya ilmu telah mendorong generasi terdahulu umat Islam untuk mendirikan fasilitas yang bisa menampung bahan bacaan karya-karya ulama Islam waktu itu.

Perpustakaan Islam Istiqlal, walaupun belum bisa mewakili jumlah besarnya koleksi buku seperti perpustakaan-perpustakaan Islam yang besar lainnya, mewakili fungsinya sebagai pusat keilmuan Islam. Perpustakaan Islam sendiri sudah mulai berkembang di Indonesia. Hampir di setiap masjid-masjid besar di Ibukota, telah dilengkapi dengan sarana perpustakaan.

Poliklinik

Ketika gubernur DKI Jakarta dijabat oleh Bapak Sumarno pada tahun 1968 dimana Masjid Istiqlal masih dalam proses pembangunan, maka untuk membantu karyawan dalam pemeriksaan kesehatan, Gubernur Sumarno ketika itu meminta bantuan pihak RS Gatot Soebroto untuk turut serta membantu dalam bidang pelayanan kesehatan bagi seluruh pekerja dan karyawan proyek pembangunan Masjid Istiqlal. Pihak RS mengirimkan bantuan empat orang tenaga mantri secara bergiliran yaitu:

H.Abd.Hamid Ipang H.M.Sukiran Suster Yuyun Rahayu Suster Rosda Setelah proyek pembangunan masjid diserahkan kepada Sekretaris Negara pada tahun 1984 tenaga medis yang menangani pelayanan kesehatan tinggal dua orang yaitu H.Abd. Hamid Ipang dan H.M. Sukiran.

Sampai sekarang Masjid Istiqlal tetap menyediakan fasilitas berupa Poliklinik Umum. Poliklinik ini berada di bawah tanggung jawab dr. Khulushinnisak, MARS yang juga PNS Departemen Agama. Di Klinik ini karyawan dan para jamaah Masjid Istiqla bisa mendapatkan layanan kesehatan dengan berbagai kemudahan. Klinik Istiqlal bertempat di lantai dasar Masjid Istiqlal Jl. Taman Wijaya Kusuma No.1, Jakarta Pusat.

Pelayanan Kesehatan yang diberikan berupa pemeriksaan dan konsultasi dokter umum serta obat-obatan generik. Bagi karyawan dan jamaah Masjid Istiqlal, dibebaskan biaya pemeriksanaan. Karyawan dan jamaah harus membawa kartu berobat (atau kartu identitas jika belum memiliki kartu berobat) agar dibebaskan dari biaya pemeriksaan dan konsultasi dokter.

Obat-obatan yang diberikan diutamakan dalam bentuk generik, dan bagi obat-obatan yang tidak ada dalam bentuk generik diutamakan penyediaan hasil produksi perusahaan farmasi nasional.

Jadwal pelayanan kesehatan bagi karyawan adalah setiap hari kerja :

Senin s/d Jum’at : 08.00 – 16.00, Hari sabtu dan Ahad tutup kecuali jika di Masjid Istiqlal diadakan acara hari-hari besar Islam atau acara-acara penting lainnya.

Sejak tahun 2003, pliklinik Masjid Istiqlal sudah dilengkapi oleh tiga orang tenaga dokter dan seorang paramedis, tiga orang tenaga dokter tersebut adalah dokter umum yang terdiri dari seorang dokter PNS Departemen Agama DPK, dua orang dokter Kememterian Agama dan seorang paramedis/mantri karyawan Masjid Istiqlal pensiunan dari RS Gatot Soebroto. Poliklinik Masjid Istiqlal juga dilengkapi alat untuk mengecek kadar gula darah dan kolestrol serta satu unit mobil ambulans.

Adapun obat-obatan yang tersedia di poliklinik ini adalah obat generik bagi penyakit ringan untuk membantu pada tahap pertolongan pertama, bila ada penyakit yang memerlukan pengobatan medis yang serius maka akan dirujuk ke RS. Gatot Soebroto atau RSCM.

Madrasah

Masjid ini menjadi pedoman dan teladan pengelolaan masjid di Indonesia, sehingga harus menjadi contoh dan model dalam pengelolaan masjid secara nasional. Dalam konsep pengelolaan masjid yang ideal, masjid tidak hanya berfungsi sebagai tempat ibadah, tetapi juga harus mejadi tempat pembinaan umat melalui berbagai macam kegiatan. Salah satu kegiatan yang sangat penting adalah pendidikan untuk pembinaan masyarakat atau umat baik pendidikan formal maupun non formal.

Telah diselenggarakan pendidikan formal di Masjid Istiqlal yang terdiri dari jenjang pendidikan: Kelompok bermain dan Raudhatul Athfal, Madarasah Ibtidaiyah (MI) dan Madrasah Tsanawiyah (MTs).

Bedug Raksasa

Pada waktu dulu masjid-masjid di Indonesia dilengkapi dengan bedug yang berfungsi sebagai tanda masuk waktu shalat. Bedug dipukul ketika waktu untuk shalat tiba, diikuti adzan.

BEDUG RAKSASA

Di Masjid Istiqlal bedug masih ada dan dilestarikan keberadaannya sebagai warisan budaya bangsa, saat ini bunyi bedug direkam kemudian diperdengarkan melalui pengeras suara sebelum adzan dikumandangkan. Bedug tersebut memiliki ukuran yang sangat besar, diletakkan di atas penyangga setinggi 3,80 meter, panjangnya 3,45 meter, dan lebarnya 3,40 meter. Semua terbuat dari kayu jati dari hutan Randu Blatung di Jawa Tengah.

Bedug Masjid Istiqlal panjangnya 3 meter, dengan berat 2,30 ton, bagian depan berdiameter 2 meter, bagian belakang 1,71 meter, terbuat dari kayu meranti merah (shorea wood) dari sebuah pohon berumur 300 tahun, diambil dari hutan di Kalimantan Timur, diawetkan menggunakan bahan pengawet superwolman salt D (fluoride, clirome, dan arsenate)

Dulu bedug di Masjid Istiqlal tersebut dipukul setiap hari Jumat, mendahului adzan Jumat yang dikumandangkan melalui pengeras suara. Belakangan ini suara bedug direkam kemudian diperdengarkan melalui pengeras suara sebelum adzan dikumandangkan. Walaupun fungsi beduk sudah dapat digantikan oleh pengeras suara, dalam menentukan tanda masuk waktu shalat, tetapi di Masjid Istiqlal, beduk masih dimanfaatkan. Beduk dipukul sebelum adzan. Selain itu beduk raksasa masjid ini juga berfungsi sebagai hiasan dan sekaligus melestarikan salah satu budaya Islam Indonesia.

Bedug

  • Garis tengah bagian depan : 2 meter
  • Garis tengah bagian belakang : 1,71 meter
  • Panjang : 3 meter
  • Berat : + 2,30 ton
  • Jenis kayu : Meranti Merah (Shorea) dari Kalimantan Timur
  • Umur pohon : + 300 tahun.

Kaki bedug (Jagrag)

  • Tinggi : 3,80 meter
  • Panjang : 3,45 meter
  • Lebar : 3,40 meter
  • Volume kayu  : + 3,10 meter kubik
  • Jenis kayu : jati (tectona grandis) dari Randublatung Jawa Tengah.
  • Ukiran : Jepara.

Ukiran pada Jagrag

Tulisan “Allah” di dalam segilima pada 4 tempat. Segi-lima melambangkan : 5 rukun Islam dan 5 waktu sholat.

Tulisan “Bismillahirrahmanirrahim” pada 2 tempat. Tulisan Kalimah Sahadat pada 4 tempat. Surya Sengkala (tahun Matahari) : 1978 dalam seni kaligrafi yang berbunyi :

  • Angesti = angka 8
  • Suwara = angka 7
  • Kusumaning = angka 9
  • Samadi = angka 1

Pada bagian-bagian jagrag seluruhnya terdapat 27 (dua puluh tujuh) ukiran Surya sengkala.

“Nanasan” dengan dua susun kelopak daun, masing-masing menunjukkan Angka 7 dan 8 (daun).

Ukiran pada Bedug

Ukiran surya Sengkala (tahun matahari) : 1978 dalam seni kaligrafi dengan pengertian sama dengan No.4. Pada kayu bedug terdapat 2 (dua) ukiran Surya Sengkala dilingkari segi lima. Dua buah kendit/sabuk dari logam kuningan terukir berfungsi sebagai hiasan. Pada kedua kendit terdapat 11 (sebelas) ukiran Surya Sengkala.

Bahan kayu

Kayu jagrag berbahan jati (tectona grandis) dari Randublatung Jawa Tengah. Bahan kayu bedug dari jenis Meranti Merah (Shorea) dari Kalimantan Timur, umur pohon diperkirakan 300 tahun, sumbangan dari Badan Pelaksana Pembangunan dan Pengelolaan Pengusahaan Proyek Taman Mini Indonesia Indah dan merupakan potongan batang pohon dari koleksi Taman Mini Indonesia Indah.

Bahan kulit

Bagian depan adalah kulit sapi jantan dari daerah Jawa Timur. Bagian belakang adalah kulit sapi betina jenis Santa Gertrudis, umur 2 tahun, sumbangan PT. Redjo Sari Bumi, Tapos, Bogor.

Bahan lainnya

  • Kendit/Sabuk : dari logam kuningan.
  • Gantungan : dari besi baja yang di verchroom.
  • Band penguat : (pada kedua ujung) dari baja anti karat (stainless steel).
  • Paku kulit : dari kayu sonokeling, 90 buah pada bagian depan dan 80Â buah pada bagian belakang.
  • Obat pengawet : Superwolmansalt D (fluoride, chrome, arsenate), konsentrasi larutan kl. 4%, masa rendam 6 (enam) hari.
  • Pemukul bedug : 4 (empat) buah dari kayu jati terukir.

Jagrag/kaki dikerjakan dalam waktu 25 hari, sedangkan bedug dalam 60 hari.

Koperasi Karyawan dan Jamaah Masjid Istiqlal (KOSTIQ)

Usaha Pengembangan KOSTIQ (Koperasi karyawan dan Jamaah Masjid Istiqlal), selain dapat memakmurkan masjid, juga sangat diharapkan mampu menciptakan dan meningkatkan kesejahtraan karyawan dan jamaah Masjid Istiqlal.

KOSTIQ telah diakui keberadaannya oleh badan hukum yang telah disahkan oleh Menteri Koperasi dan Pembinaan Pengusaha Kecil pada tanggal 19 Mei 1997 nomor 171/BHKWK.9/V/1997 serta anggaran rumah tangga yang disahkan pada Rapat Anggota Tahunan (RAT) tanggal 31 Maret 2004. Pendirian Kostiq dimotori oleh para pengurus BPPMI, dalam rangka pemberdayaan potensi yang dimiliki oleh Masjid Istiqlal.

Salah satu tujuan KOSTIQ adalah ikut serta meningkatkan citra baik Masjid Istiqlal melalui kegiatan-kegiatan sosial masyarakat. Saat ini KOSTIQ telah banyak dimanfaatkan oleh para karyawan dan jamaah Masjid Istiqlal.

Pada awal berdirinya KOSTIQ mensepakati usaha yang dijalankan adalah pengadaan barang-barang kebutuhan sehari-hari, usaha yang sudah berjalan hingga saat ini adalah penjualan sembako. Untuk kebutuhan lainnya seperti barang-barang elektronik KOSTIQ menerapkan sistem kredit jangka pendek maksimun 12 bulan.

Disamping itu usaha yang benar-benar menjadi konsentrasi KOSTIQ adalah:

  • Usaha simpan pinjam
  • Usaha perdagangan umum
  • Usaha toko sembako dan elektronik serta usaha cetak foto yang sangat dibutuhkan oleh para pengunjung di Masjid Istiqlal
  • Usaha kerjasama khusus
  • Usaha jasa boga

Kegiatan KOSTIQ dipusatkan di kamar 58 Masjid Istiqlal, sebagai pusat administrasi usaha. Untuk toko penjualan sembako selama ini dipusatkan di pintu air sebelah utara Masjid Istiqlal sementara usaha wartel dan foto copy di area parkir timur pintu utama Masjid Istiqlal.

Koperasi Istiqlal mempekerjakan 6 (enam) orang tenaga staf yang terdiri dari tenaga bantuan dan tenaga staf penuh, jumlah angota sampai dengan 31 Desember 2008 adalah 261 orang. Pengurus Kostiq selalu berusaha semaksimal mungkin untuk melakukan pembinaan administrasi melalui pemanfaatan potensi pegawai dan saran perkantoran dengan segala keterbatasannya.

Imam dan Muadzin

Masjid Istiqlal mempunyai seorang imam besar, seorang wakil imam besar, dan tujuh orang imam. Sampai saat ini, Masjid Istiqlal memiliki empat imam besar. Imam Besar bertugas untuk mengawasi peribadatan di Masjid Istiqlal sesuai Syari’at Islam dan memberikan layanan konsultasi agama. Mereka adalah K. H. A. Zaini Miftah (1970-1980), K. H. Mukhtar Natsir (1980-2004), K. H. Nasrullah Djamaluddin (2004-2005)dan Imam Besar saat ini yang dijabat oleh Prof. Dr. K. H. Ali Musthafa Ya’qub, M. A. Dia adalah pengasuh Pondok Pesantren Luhur Ilmu Hadis Darus Sunnah di Ciputat, Jakarta Selatan. Wakil Imam Besar dijabat Drs. H. Syarifuddin Muhammad, M. M. Dia adalah mantan Ketua Ikatan Penghafal al-Qur’an. Tujuh imam lainnya adalah:

  1. Drs. H. Ali Hanafiah
  2. H. Ahmad Husni Isma’il S. Ag.
  3. Drs. H. Muhasyim Abdul Majid
  4. H. Martomo Malaing AS, S. Q. , S. Th. I
  5. H. Ahmad Rofi’uddin Mahfudz, S. Q.
  6. Drs. H. Hasanuddin Sinaga, M. A.
  7. Drs. H. Dzulfatah Yasin, M. A.

Selain itu, Masjid Istiqlal juga memiliki tujuh orang muadzin yang bertugas mangumandangkan adzan dan memberikan pengajaran tentang Al-Qur’an dan agama Islam. Mereka adalah:

  1. Drs. H. Abdul Wahid
  2. H. Sayuti
  3. H. Muhammad Mahdi, S. Ag.
  4. H. Ahmad Achwani S. Ag.
  5. H. Hasan Basri
  6. H. Muhdori Abdur Razzaq, S. Ag.
  7. H. Saiful Anwar al-Bintani

Galeri

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image032 Hukum Berdiam Di Masjid Bagi Wanita Haidh, Abu Mujahidah

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Source: Wikipedia

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