Lifelong Learning Programme

This project has been funded with support from the European Commission.
This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.

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Great Mosque of Paris

Great Mosque of Paris

2bis Place du Puits de l'Ermite, 75005 Paris

RELIGIONS Judaism, Catholic, Islam


The Great Mosque of Paris (Grande Mosquée de Paris) is located in the fifth “arrondissement” of Paris and is one of the largest mosques in France. It is located near the Natural History Museum and is very famous, attracting many tourists. Visits are possible and guided tours are organised everyday except on Fridays. The entry costs 3 euros. There is also a café and a restaurant near the entrance.
First, the idea of a Muslim Institute appeared in the late 19th century. The Mosque was then built in 1926 as a token of gratitude for the Muslim soldiers who fought during the first World War and was a way to symbolise friendship between France and Islam. The Great Mosque in very famous in France. Also, the Muslim Institute within the Great Mosque provides a wide range of associative and cultural activities.
First, the fact that the Mosque was built to demonstrate friendship between France, mainly Catholic, and Islam shows a sort of interreligious open-mindedness. Moreover, during the Second World War, when France and Paris were occupied by Nazi Germany, the mosque served as a secret refuge for Algerian and European Jews. The rector ensured they were provided shelter, safe passage, and fake Muslim birth certificates to protect them from German persecution. Today, the Great Mosque is open to everyone, no matter the religion. Indeed, it can be freely visited by everyone, and guided tours are organised as well. There is a restaurant and café at the entrance. From a political perspective, the Great Mosque of Paris serves as a bridge between the French state and its Muslim citizens. Politicians frequently attend events at the site and regularly liaise with the head of the Great Mosque about sentiments in the community regarding current affairs or government policies. Moreover, the Muslim Institute in the Great Mosque offers associative and cultural activities. For instance, conferences are regularly held – there is also a library about Islam, books exhibitions, and guided tours. Also, there are Arabic language classes taught for children or adults as well as the teaching of the Coran. Furthermore, a class is offered about comparative studies of the main monotheist religions: this is a class which underlines the main dogmatic common points and differences between Islam, Catholicism and Judaism. This class allows people to have a clear overview of these religions and to be open-minded towards different religions. These classes are taught by scholars, members of the French academy, university teachers and specialised institutes teachers, all from different confessions.
The Great Mosque is very important for the Muslim community in Paris. Since it is a renowned mosque and that in addition to prayers it offers many activities and information about the history of Islam (exhibitions, books, teaching classes), it attracts many Muslims. Many Muslim children go to the Institute to learn about the Coran and the history of Islam or to deeply learn the Arabic language. But thanks to its open-mindedness to other religions, the Mosque also attracts people from other religions than Islam, as well as many tourists.
A direct visit (if possible) would be of great importance. A guided tour could be organised for schools. After the visit, students could be asked to work in groups about what they thought about their visit: about the building, about what the Institute offers (library, conferences, classes) and to talk about the importance of such a place in France (which has an important Muslim community) and the interreligious dialogue.
The teacher can also use the following video to show students what the Mosque looks like:




  • Grande Mosquée de Paris
    This is the official website of the Convention and Visitors Bureau which offers practical information about visits of the Great Mosque.

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This project has been funded with support from the European Commission. This web site reflects the views only of the author, and the Commission cannot be held responsible for any use which may be made of the information contained therein.