Put a visit to the Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque on your to-do list when you are in Johor. This beautiful building combines Islamic and colonial English Victorian styles and sits on top of a hill overlooking Singapore and the Tebrau Straits.
Building of the mosque was completed in 1900 following an 8-year construction period. It is named after the sultan who commissioned its construction. Enjoy a stroll through the landscaped grounds and take a moment to study the four grand minarets, which resemble old Victorian clock towers. Look over the elegant detailing of the white façades.
Non-Muslims are permitted to enter the mosque, but must observe a simple, modest dress code. This means no shorts, bare shoulders or sleeveless tops. If skirts are worn they should be longer than knee length.
Inside, appreciate the beauty of the vast prayer hall, which can accommodate around 2,000 worshippers. Before entering, you will need to remove your shoes. The hall features grand Roman pillars and colonial-style windows. Admire the splendor of the chandeliers and the ornate carvings of the mimbar, or pulpit.
After your visit, stop by nearby attractions. These include the Sultan Abu Bakar Monument and the Royal Abu Bakar Museum, which was once the Grand Palace of the Sultan of Johor. Its collection features photographs and artifacts related to the Johor Royal Family. The building is another example of Victorian-style architecture in Johor. Look for other examples as you move around the city. Among them are some government buildings and the Figure Museum. This history museum is housed in a grand structure that was built toward the end of the 19th century.
The Sultan Abu Bakar State Mosque is open every day except Fridays, when it is closed for prayers. Admission is free. This cultural gem is easily reached on foot or by a short taxi ride from the center of Johor.