Maldives Heritage Sites – Visit the Country’s Greatest Treasures
Consisting of a little over one thousand islands, of which roughly two hundred are inhabitable, Maldives is one of the most popular beach destinations on the planet. Nestled in the azure waters of the Indian Ocean, there is no doubt that tourism in Maldives centres around the sea. However, the islands offer more than just beaches and tourists willing to leave the seaside for just a few hours will come across a treasure trove of sights and experiences. Maldives has a rich heritage and there are many cultural sites that one can visit.
When it comes to heritage sites in Maldives there are two extremely popular places, the Hukuru Miskiiy and the Mulee Aage. The Hukuru Miskiiy (also called the Grand Friday Mosque) is the oldest mosque in Maldives. Built in 1656, the mosque is a stunning fusion of Arabic architecture and Maldivian design. The mosque is instantly recognisable due to its distinctive drum shaped minaret. All the mosque walls are made up of coral and have been inscribed with Arabic designs and calligraphy. In addition to this there are displays of intricate coral carvings and excellent lacquer work done by locals. Sandalwood, teak and redwood have been used to make the doors, the roof and the window frames.
The tombs of past sultans, heroes and nobleman can be found on the mosque grounds. The mosque is an interesting place to visit and one can learn a lot about local customs and practices here. The Mulee Aage is located just a short distance from the Hukuru Miskiiy. It was originally built to serve as the residence of the sultan, but with the fall of the monarchy was converted into a government building where state functions are held. To learn more about the country’s history one can also visit the National Museum, which is housed in the remains of the Royal Palace.
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