Billion dollar mosque: Algeria splurges on record-breaking house of worship (VIDEO)
The Djamaa el Djazair, or Great Mosque of Algiers, has been under construction since 2011 and is being billed as the third largest mosque on the planet. The German-designed mosque also looks set to surpass neighbors Morocco with the tallest minaret in the world by nearly 200 feet, after years of project setbacks.
The current tallest tower on a mosque belongs to Casablanca’s Hassan II Mosque. It stands at 689 feet, having opened back in 1993. The Great Mosque of Algiers’ glass ceiling minaret, however, is reported to reach an incredible 869 feet.
According to architectural news site Binyen, delays dogged the $1.5 billion project since the foundations were laid more than four years ago. However, a sudden increase in people working on the site – approximately 1,600 builders – reportedly means the project will be finished before the end of this year.
Originally scheduled to open in September this year, it is set to open in December. China People’s Daily reported that the mosque is now expected to be finished by the China State Construction Engineering Corporation.
Rising above the Bay of Algiers, the massive house of worship will have the capacity to hold more than 35,000 people – with the prayer room ready to accommodate a small town.
A video aired on Algerian television gives some indication as to how the finished structure will look – and the 374,000 square meter site resembles a luxury hotel, with sweeping staircases, fountains and observation deck.
One of the key features of the palatial mosque is its colossal library, fit for thousands of books.