The Ulu Mosque in Utrecht

I tend to focus more on the old city center of Utrecht, since that’s where I live, but occasionally I venture outside the binnenstad. Looking for some new scenery, I took a walk last month over to the western side of town and the neighborhood of Lombok, which is just outside the center, next to the train station. I was specifically interested in seeing more of the new mosque that is under construction. I’d seen the minarets rising up into the sky while in the area last summer and was curious to see the full building. (That’s the view from a section of the bicycle parking by the train station, by the way. It’s only a small fraction. I’ll show you more in another post.)Modern UtrechtThe minarets are visible from parts of the main road that runs through the center of town, but the mosque is located further out, past the train station, bicycle parking, and a few overpasses/bike tunnels. After navigating the construction and detours where the old city ring canal is being put back in (after about four decades as a road), we finally made it to the mosque.ULU MosqueThe Ulu Mosque project began in 2010 and was designed by Γ–nen Architects. It should be finished this year. There are obviously many smaller, traditional buildings in the area, but there are also many other large, modern buildings, such as hotels, office buildings and more, so it’s not necessarily out of place stylistically. In fact, the red brick color was intentionally chosen to refer to the traditional Dutch brick used so extensively throughout the country. The mosque is just one part of an overall renewal of that part of Lombok. (Although not all of the renewal is appreciated or supported, but that’s also a topic for another post.)ULU MosqueThe mosque was built to serve the Dutch/Turkish population, although it’s open to everyone. One of the stated goals is to encourage conversation and perhaps better understanding. Not such a bad thing to aim for.ULU MosqueULU MosqueULU MosqueULU Mosque

13 thoughts on “The Ulu Mosque in Utrecht

  1. That’s my new neighbourhood. I like the design of the mosque, with traditional and modern elements combined and that greenish glass front looks great. I’m curious whether they will actually sound the call to prayer from the minarets, that will be heard throughout the neighbourhood for sure. The Ulu Mosue is currently situated in an old school building next to the building site. They do the call for prayer there, I got quite a shock when they did once and I was standing right beneath one of the speakers (not realising it was a mosque at all, as you can’t tell from the outside). This was some years ago) πŸ™‚

    • I knew you were in Lombok but wasn’t sure how close. As for the calls to prayer, I hope they don’t end up just as startling, although at least you should be a bit further away. πŸ˜‰ The new mosque should have space for 1200, so I’m sure they’ll enjoy the extra space.

      • I’m on the complete other side of the neighbourhood, so I probably wouldn’t hear the call to prayer unless the wind direction was right. But I live very close to a church that chimes every half hour, that’s enough for me πŸ™‚ Yes the new building seems much more spacey, I think it’s going to be some sort of cultural centre for the neighbourhood as well.

  2. Very interesting architectural details on the mosque. I will have to walk over for a closer look when I get back to Utrecht. What was the material used for the turquoise, diamond-shaped tiles on the front? Is it colored glass, ceramic tiles or some other material? Lovely!

  3. Pingback: Graffiti Tunnel in Utrecht … or Is It Berlin or New York | A Flamingo in Utrecht

  4. These are some great pictures. I recently visited Utrecht to see a friend and photographed this stunning new mosque, which I feel really enhances the area. I’m a freelance travel writer and photographer and will be writing about Islam in the Netherlands and my time around this area soon.

    Here are my pictures from my visit for anyone that’s interested – I discuss how the style has been inspired by the classical Ottoman architecture found across the globe

    The article about my time in the Netherlands will feature on my blog shortly so do have a read.

    • Wonderful photos! I’m glad you got to visit during the nice weather we’ve been having. The blue skies complement the mosque beautifully. I look forward to reading about your time here.

      • Hey Alison, thanks for taking the time to visit my work.

        My piece on Islam/Muslims in the Netherlands should be written over the next week or so on my blog, so hope you enjoy that.

        All the best of luck with your blog, I’ll check back every so often to see how it’s going.

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