World at a Glance: A Victorian Mosque in Malaysia

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, a Victorian Mosque in Johore Bahru, Malaysia

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque is the state mosque of the state of Johor in southern Malaysia, just across the border from Singapore.

Notice how this Islamic house of worship is built, at least partly, in a Victorian English style? There are other influences as well, of course – Moorish, and Malay – but look at the minarets. Couldn’t they just as well have been clock towers in England?

This Victorian mosque was built in the 1890s and the Sultan of Johor at the time was somewhat of an Anglophile, so we can see this architectural style on a number of royal and official buildings in the state of Johor.

For some odd reason I’ve seen the Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque quite a few times; not necessarily intending to, just by chance, really. It’s a lovely mosque – and a nice place to sit and contemplate – or think of nothing. And when you get tired of looking at the mosque, there are wonderful views of the Straits of Johor.

Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, Johore Bahru, Malaysia Sultan Abu Bakar Mosque, Johore Bahru, Malaysia
Tuan Haji Mohmamed Arif bin Punak is the architect behind this beautiful mosque.

 

World at a Glance is a series of short articles here on Sophie’s World, portraying curious, evocative, happy, sad or wondrous, unexpected little encounters. Normally, these posts have one single photo. However, I decided to make an exception today. You know, just because I can.

I love spotting the surprising and unexpected when travelling – or even at home. How about you?

20 Responses to “World at a Glance: A Victorian Mosque in Malaysia”

  1. Andrea 6 September 2013 2137 #

    Ok so we went to Johor when I was in Singapore for a couple of months and it did not look anything like this! Looks like we missed the pretty part…we just went to buy groceries…
    Andrea recently posted..The Maine Craft Beer Scene

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 September 2013 1241 #

      It’s often like that with border towns. Have to search a bit for the gems…

  2. Mary @ Green Global Travel 7 September 2013 1912 #

    I would never have guessed that this was a mosque and am so impressed and inspired by your knowledge of architectural styles! THank you for the lesson on both history and architecture!
    Mary @ Green Global Travel recently posted..MALAYSIA: A Sneak Peak at the Borneo Sun Bear Conservation Centre

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 September 2013 1241 #

      Thank you for stopping by :)

  3. cessie 8 September 2013 1023 #

    Lovely post and beautiful (and interesting!) mosque indeed. I loved Malaysia and so would like to go back there one day!
    cessie recently posted..Inspiration

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 September 2013 1242 #

      I’ve only been in Johor – and in Melaka, so I need to go back and see much more of the country.

  4. Vera Marie Badertscher 8 September 2013 1841 #

    What a beautiful building. And your analysis of it is spot on. When we were in Singapore we didn’t venture across the borders.
    Vera Marie Badertscher recently posted..A Taste and a Sip of Old Fashioned Wisconsin Supper Clubs

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 September 2013 1243 #

      Thanks, Vera. Maybe next time in Singapore, eh? It’s an easy day trip – or even half-day trip.

  5. Sand In My Suitcase 9 September 2013 0054 #

    Well, glad you posted 3 photos – they’re all great! Very interesting looking mosque…
    Sand In My Suitcase recently posted..Canoeing on the Zambezi

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 9 September 2013 1244 #

      I think so, too. So different from the mosques I’ve seen in e.g. the UAE.

  6. Jeff 10 September 2013 1144 #

    Wow! what a beautiful building. I could have thought it’s a royal house rather than a Mosque.
    Jeff recently posted..Maximizing the Airline Miles You Receive from a Credit Card

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 11 September 2013 1133 #

      Funny, now that you mention it, it actually reminds me of the Royal Palace in Nuku’alofa…

  7. Digital Nomads 10 September 2013 1656 #

    Impressive architecture, we also had a visit to Paris Mosque and it was so beutiful which was built on the islamic architecture.

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 11 September 2013 1135 #

      Mosques are generally very beautiful, aren’t they… whether they’re unusual like this one, or more traditional ones.

  8. Salika Jay 11 September 2013 1303 #

    It certainly doesn’t look like a typical mosque. A unique one for sure.
    Salika Jay recently posted..Tenerife For Families: Top Attractions

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 2053 #

      Mosques are very often beautiful. This one is beautiful, yet different.

  9. Ferrial Pondrafi 24 September 2013 0436 #

    yeah, it’s odd to know that the Mosque has been built in Victorian English Style.
    Ferrial Pondrafi recently posted..Villa Pagi Siang Sore

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 2054 #

      England – and Queen Victoria – had considerable influence in the area.

  10. Marysia @ My Travel Affairs 2 January 2014 1757 #

    Great architecture!
    Marysia @ My Travel Affairs recently posted..#MTAnews: I’m off again!

    • Anne-Sophie Redisch
      Anne-Sophie Redisch 19 January 2014 2055 #

      Isn’t it, though?

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