When it opened in 1957, this distinctive minaret-topped limestone building was the first mosque in the Nations’ Capital and the largest Muslim place of worship in the Western Hemisphere; it remains the largest mosque in the United States. Designed by Mario Rossi, an Italian architect who had already built several mosques in Egypt, D.C.’s mosque features an ornate interior with Egyptian calligraphy, Turkish tiles and Persian rugs donated by their respective countries, and around the building’s exterior, flags from all the Muslim nations of the world.
Set on Massachusetts Avenue’s Embassy Row just past Rock Creek Parkway, a heavily-trafficked area, it’s surprising to find a peaceful courtyard garden here that is almost entirely free of street noise. Bazaars are sometimes held
Visitors are encouraged to attend services, and to arrange free tours in advance, either by email or phone. Women must wear headscarves and both men and women must keep their legs covered and shoes removed while indoors.
Street parking is available near the Mosque, and the Mosque itself is approximately one mile from the Metrorail’s Woodley Park-Zoo and Dupont Circle stations (both serving the Red Line); bus transfer is available from both stations.