Last week in Paris, my friend and I took a prepandial stroll in the glowing sun in the 5th arrondissement, ice cream in tow of course, and after turning a corner, we ended up in front of the Great Mosque of Paris. I have been coming to Paris every spring for at least the last 20 years (Ella Fitzgerald’s “I love Paris in the spring time” comes to mind) but I’d never visited the mosque before. Next time you are in the ‘City of Lights’, make sure you do. This hidden gem is frankly quite beautiful and so incongruous in the middle of ‘nowhere’, away from the hustle and bustle of the French capital. For thirty minutes, I felt as if I had been transported to Marrakesh and the likes. Almost 100 years old, this temple of public worship is very welcoming, peaceful and also cheap (3 euros), and visitors are invited to wander around the rooms and gardens except the praying room. This is the perfect urban oasis to contemplate life but also the sheer beauty of the Islamic architecture and decoration.



Tile galore for any pattern fan-atic like me

The intricate, elaborate and symmetrical plasterwork looked like lace from the distance. Simply ravishing

The equally beautiful and serene courtyards and rooms



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