Al-Omari Mosque hotels
The famous Al-Omari Mosque, in Beirut has had a very diverse history. A Roman temple once stood where it currently stands; this was destroyed at some point in history. In the twelfth century, a cathedral named the Church of St John the Baptist of the Knights Hospitallers was built on the same spot; this was converted into a mosque when Saladin conquered Beirut in 1187 AD. Ten years later, crusaders captured it again, and promptly turned it back into a church. The Mamluks ended this back and forth in 1291, by capturing it and turning it back into a mosque.
- See Beirut's Al-Omari Mosque, one of the first to debut the Umayyad square minaret style; there are four of these, soaring into the Beirut sky, looking like they are standing guard over a central dome.
- Experience the mosque at night, when it is lit up, forming a magical, spectacular sight, like a scene from the Arabian nights.
- Enjoy its design; this is one of the oldest mosques in the world, and an excellent example of twelfth-century architecture.
The Al-Omari mosque is located on Weygand Street, Beirut. The city is well served by a network of buses. A private company, the Lebanese Commuting Company, runs the red-and-white ones and the large blue-and-white ones are government owned; they all provide excellent service. To stop one, simply hail the driver, as there are no official stops. A motorbike is a great way to get around. Renting a car is also possible, and a very convenient way of getting to the mosque. Taxis are also available, particularly in areas frequented by tourists, such as outside major hotels.
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