20September2017

Home Features THE UNIQUENESS OF THE GREAT MOSQUE OF GANTING, PADANG

THE UNIQUENESS OF THE GREAT MOSQUE OF GANTING, PADANG

MISCELLANY 23.06.2017

The Great Mosque of Ganting, written and pronounced ‘Gantiang’ in Minangkabau language, is a mosque located in Ganting Urban Village, Padang Timur Sub-district, Padang City, West Sumatera. When viewed at a glance, the front to the top of the mosque looks like a dark green and light green fortress, instead of a place of worship.

Initially, the location of the Great Mosque of Ganting was on the edge of the Harau river at the foot of Mt. Padang which is 4 kilometers from the current location. However, when the Dutch built the road to Emma Haven harbor (now Bayur Bay port) in 1790, the building was destroyed. In 1805, the mosque was re-built at its current location.

The rebuilding of the mosque was initiated by three local community leaders: Angku Gapuak (merchant), Angku Sheikh Haji Uma (head of Ganting village), and Angku Shaykh Kapalo Koto (cleric), while the fees were obtained from Minangkabau merchants and clerics in a number of places in Sumatra.

The land where this mosque stands is a seven-tribe waqf land in West Sumatra which was submitted through the General Governor of Ragen Bakh, the ruler of the Dutch East Indies in West Sumatra at that time.

The combination of interior architecture from various shades is clearly visible inside themosque, because its work involves various nationalities such as Europe, Middle East, China, and Minangkabau itself.

This mosque has a roof structure in the form of a five-story stacking roof with a vaulted top with Mustaka. The Chinese ethnic element is visible from a dome-like eight-square-vaulted building. In addition to the dome, there is also Mihrab where the Imam leads the prayers and preaches the sermons. Mihrab made from wood carvings is similar to Chinese carvings because the craftsmen imported it from China to do the carvings.

The front facade of the mosque area of 20 meters wide is  in Portuguese style. In addition, the mosque floor was replaced with cement imported from Germany. In 1900, the installation of the Dutch tiles was ordered directly through NV Jacobson van den Berg. The installation of the tile was handled by a designer directly appointed by the factory and completed in 1910.

Another uniqueness is that there is a main pole that serves as the main pillar of mosque roof construction in octagonal form. It is said that the columns are made of red brick with lime adhesive mixed with egg white and the most unique is that the poles do not use iron bones as a pole is made.

The poles are 40-50 cm in diameter with a height of 420 cm. A total of 25 columns lined up in 5 rows symbolize 25 Prophets, and each pole is covered in white marble with calligraphy containing the names of the 25 Prophets from Adam to Muhammad.

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