The original idea of creating the Great Mosque of Paris appeared in 1849 but the beginning of the construction is dated back to 1922.
The first blow of pickaxe was done by Muslim people in the presence of eminent French figures and others from Maghreb, Africa, Middle East, Turkey, Egypt, Persia and Afghanistan.
At this time, Islam was the other great religion in the French empire. This symbolic act was going to concretize the gratitude of France for the 70.000 Muslims who came from colonies and fell on the battlefields of the 1st World War (1914-1918).
Inspired of the University of Al Quaraouiyine in Fes -Marocco- and the Mosque of Zitouna -Tunisia-, the Great Mosque of Paris have had the ambition to be a philanthropic, religious and independent foundation.
Since its opening, the Muslim Institute have took a humanitarian and universal vocation. Helping thousands of Jewish during the 2nd World War, hiding them in the Muslim community or providing them false documents to escape from the Nazis.
Active militant for Muslim's culture and arts, the Great Mosque of Paris is composed of a medresa (school), a library, a conference room, a restaurant, a tea shop, a spa and a shop.
We went to the tea shop as well and we enjoyed the traditional pastries with honey and nuts and the "real" green tea with mint. It was so delicious !! 4€ for a sweet break in a Moorish-style patio.
Hope you will enjoy it as much as we did !