Adding color to the holy city
A burst of color has been added to the Makkah Mountains! For those exploring the city, and for those on Umrah or Hajj, there’s a fresh new base in the holy city – Welcome to Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Al Naseem!
The city of Makkah is built on the top of high cliffs and carved into the sides of mountains. Considered the most holy city in Islam, Makkah is beautiful in both its history and its offerings. For those on a pilgrimage or business, we thought you’d appreciate some of the top sites and holy landmarks to visit whilst staying in this inspiring city.
Believed to be built as far back as the 4th Century AD, Makkah is full of fascinating ancient sites. The city is characterized by narrow streets, high mountains, and unique mosques. Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah to perform the Islamic ritual of the Hajj, at least once in their lifetime, as it is the “fifth pillar” of Islam. With over 5 million Muslims performing the Hajj every year, it is the largest annual gathering of people in the world.
Below are some of the most iconic holy sites to be seen whilst visiting:
The Grand Mosque (Masjid Al-Haram)
Masjid Al-Haram, also called the Grand Mosque, is the largest mosque in the world with a capacity for 1,600,000 worshipers. The Grand Mosque surrounds the Kaaba, Islam’s most sacred site. All Muslims around the world face the Kaaba during prayers, no matter where they are; the direction is referred to as the qibla. The Grand Mosque is open for daily prayers, not only for pilgrims but also for Makkah residents and visitors. The area gets very crowded, so it is recommended to stay as close to the site as possible.
Al Rajhi Mosque in Al Naseem is the second largest mosque in Makkah, accommodating more than 47 thousand worshipers. Built by businessman Sheikh Sulaiman Al Rajhi, this mosque is located right next to the Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Al Naseem. Al Rajhi Mosque is estimated at 60,846 square meters and is convenient for Makkah visitors to perform prayers in order to avoid the over-crowding around the Grand Mosque, particularly during Ramadan and Hajj season. It is also beautifully designed, both interior and exterior, so a magnificent place to worship.
Jabal Al Nour (Mountain of Light)
Jabal Al Nour, also known as “The Mountain of Light” or “Hill of Illumination” is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Makkah with huge significance in Islamic history. The rocky mountain houses the famous Ghar Hira or Hira cave, a small cave of only 640m tall, where the prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is said to have spent a great deal of time and received his first revelation of the holy Quran. It takes about 2 hours of hiking to reach the Hira Cave and from the top of the mountain you will see panoramic views of Makkah – definitely worth a visit!
Be sure to not leave the holy city without buying your friends a souvenir! Makkah Auction is an auction house where you can find some amazing products in the small shops located around the Grand Mosque. It is one of the oldest markets, offering a wide variety of products at very fair prices. Inside you will find handmade items, antiques, jewelry, ornaments, watches, textiles and much more – so you can take home something to remember your time in Makkah.
If you’re planning your trip soon, check out the newly designed Park Inn by Radisson Makkah Al Naseem for a friendly hotel close to all the key sites.