Tuesday, March 29, 2011

La Mosquee de Paris

After posting the last couple of pictures of the Paris Mosque I got a couple of comments on The Clever Pup, "A mosque that's a restaurant?" and I realized I should have explained myself. La Mosquée de Paris is a mosque, but it also has a restaurant, a salon du thé, a hammam (spa or turkish bath) and a souk (market). I visited the Mosque early one morning in October but I was really to timid to do anything but take photos.

I'm going to paraphrase freely here from Wiki. The Great Mosque of Paris, la Grande Mosquée de Paris, is located in the 5th arrondissement at 39 rue Geoffrey St. Hillaire. It's the largest mosque in France and the third largest in Europe. It was founded after World War I as a tribute to the 100,000 Muslims in France's North African colonies who died fighting against the Germans. It was completed in 1926. During World War II it served as a refuge for those persecuted by the Axis powers and provided safe-shelter and passage and even fake Muslim birth certificates for Jewish children.

It really is a fascinating place. Anyone who's seen the film Paris Je t'aime has seen the Muslim girl and her grandfather leaving the restaurant.

Here's a link to the French site. and a slightly more irreverent bilingual site which romantically details the drool-worthy menu and describes the souk and the hammam. I know next time I go to Paris (when ,and not if) I'll try a lamb tagine with prunes, almonds and onions and maybe with my mint tea I'll have the Sheherazade icecream bowl; strawberry,coconut sorbet with almond milk and fruit salad. I can't recommend the spa, because I didn't indulge but it does sound intriguing.

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