Architecture and Migration: Germany

Mosques in Germany


The earliest mosque-style building in Germany is the "Red Mosque" at Schwetzingen, built in 1779-1791 by a French architct for the Prince Elector of the Palatinate as part of a palace complex. Built at a time when the "Turkish" style was fashionable in Germany, it was never intended for prayer but later served religious purposes at various times.

mosque at Schwetzingen

The "Red Mosque" at Schwetzingen.
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The oldest real mosque in Germany was built in Berlin in 1923-25 by the Ahmadiyya Anjuman, an Islamic reform movement that originated from India. It is still in use.

mosque at Berlin

The 80-year-old mosque at Berlin-Wilmersdorf.
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With the start of large-scale immigration from Turkey to Germany in the 1960s, the Islamic minority in Germany needed mosques to practise their religion. At first, houses or flats were converted for this purpose, but later numerous mosques were newly built in many German cities. Although they follow architectural examples from islamic countries, notably Turkey, they are often designed by German architects.

At the moment, a number of very large mosques are under construction, notably in the towns of Cologne and Duisburg. There is also a new and yet unfinished one in our home town of Mülheim. In some cases, there has been controversy over the construction of these buildings as German neighbours protested against these new buildings.

We took the following photos at the Fatih mosque at Essen-Katernberg, a few kilometres from our school. It is relatively small and shows the typical architectural features of mosques in our area.


mosque Essen, outside view


mosque Essen, inside view 1


mosque Essen, inside view 2


mosque Essen, inside view 3