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Huaisheng Mosque

The Huaisheng Mosque is one of the four great mosques along the coastal area of Southeast China. It is located in Guangzhou City, Guangdong Province. It is also called the Guangta Mosque or the Shizi Mosque. The mosque has a long history, and is as famous as the Crane Mosque in Yangzhou City, the Qingjing Mosque in Quanzhou City, and the Phoenix Mosque in Hangzhou City. It is said that the Huaisheng Mosque was built by Wan Gesi, the earliest disseminator of Islam, in the early Tang Dynasty (618-970).

The existing buildings include the Pagoda of Light, the Main Hall, the Wangyue Pavilion, the Stele Pavilion, the ambulatory, the water house, and the reception room, etc. The Pagoda of Light of 35.75 meters high is located in the right front of the Main Hall, and is the most prominent building in the mosque. Visitors can get to the top of the pagoda via a helical staircase in the pagoda. Originally there was a golden cock that acted as a vane on the top of the pagoda. In 1392, the golden cock was destroyed by a hurricane. After that, people added a gourd-shaped top to the pagoda. The light on the top of the pagoda acts as a lighthouse for ships navigating at night. The Main Hall is located at the rear part of the mosque. The current Main Hall is the one rebuilt in 1935. The carvings outside the Main Hall have local features. For there is a longan (dragon eye) tree and a flame (phoenix eye) tree on each side of the Main Hall, the mosque is also called the Dragon and Phoenix Mosque.

There are many steles inside the mosque. It is one of the eight major scenic spots in Guangzhou City.

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